Carrot cake baked oatmeal has that classic carrot cake flavor, but is actually a healthy breakfast made with whole ingredients. Perfect for Easter brunch!
Spring is heeeeeere 🙂 Well, this week in Wisconsin it was in the mid-30’s, and I wore a scarf and mittens, drank hot coffee and blasted heat in my car. But, I’m going to give Mother Nature the benefit of the doubt. She was probably just getting the last bit of that out of her system, right? *Fingers crossed*. Needless to say, I’m optimistic that warmer days are just around the corner. After all of the rain we’re supposed to get this weekend. Yeesh. Flowers will be blooming (lilacs! Yay! <3), farmers markets will be opening up, and I’ll be able to ride my bicycle everywhere again. I just love it. Oh, and tons of spring recipes are popping up everywhere on Pinterest, Instagram, and all over the Interwebs…one of such recipes being carrot cake.
To be honest, though, I never really understood why carrot cake falls within the springtime recipes category. I think it’s an Easter bunny thing? Because I was just in the dollar section at Target and saw cute bunnies and things with carrots on them. And that whole thing about bunnies liking carrots. On the other hand, carrots aren’t unique to spring in terms of the growing season…
But okay okay, I’ll just stop questioning it now. Because carrot cake. Amiright?
So that’s it. Carrot cake is a springtime recipe, and we’re almost going to have some for breakfast. Almost. See, because it’s not truly a cake, and it’s actually very healthy. But don’t bail on me now, because it’s so warm and cinnamon-y and tasty in all the best ways, and I promise it’ll make your kitchen smell amazing. Oh, and Easter Sunday brunch? Got you covered. This carrot cake baked oatmeal is perfect for serving a crowd, and you can easily double it to serve more people. What’s more, you will be their fave person ever because you fed them something that tastes like carrot cake but actually has a lot of protein, fiber, vitamin A, iron, healthy fats, and it’s naturally sweetened. Don’t you want to be your brunch guests’ fave person ever??
I know what you’re going to say, though. Carrot cake baked oatmeal can’t be compared to carrot cake unless it has cream cheese frosting, because everyone knows that’s what makes it! (Dad, I know this is really actually a conversation between you and me). So I offer the following solution: Take a 1/2 cup of 2% or full fat plain Greek yogurt, and whip it with some vanilla extract. Add a couple spoonfuls to the top of your carrot cake.
Then sprinkle with more cinnamon and maybe even a few more chopped walnuts, because we like pretty food.
I promise it’s just as good as if it had cream cheese frosting, and that’s not just my health fanatic self trying to convince you to eat “healthy” alternatives that make you feel like you’re missing out. It’s really just my health fanatic self saying, This is not actually a cake, and we are trying to be healthy here, so don’t put real cream cheese frosting on it. But here put this really yummy other stuff on it. 🙂
Oh man though, you guys, this weekend at my place, spring cleaning is HAPPENING. And I’m really excited about it in the nerdiest way possible. I have everything all planned per area of my apartment, with lists of all the things I’m going to get rid of, and all the domestic household adult stuff I should invest in to make my space more organized and homey. I also want to do more decorating, maybe paint something and hang it up, maybe rearrange my room. You know that feeling when you just want everything to be new?? Yeah. I’ve got that bug. Besides, it’s supposed to rain all weekend, so it’ll be the perfect time to spring clean and start over fresh next week.
- 2¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup milk (any kind will work)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- optional: a handful of candied ginger or shredded coconut, 2% Greek yogurt whipped with a little vanilla extract (about ½ cup yogurt per ¼ tsp vanilla)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish or 9-inch pie dish with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, add oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add shredded carrots, milk, egg, vanilla, maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Stir to combine.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until evenly combined. Add raisins and walnuts, and stir again to distribute. Mixture will be moderately thick.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, spreading it out with a rubber spatula if necessary.
- Bake for 35 minutes, checking at 30 minutes. Oven times will vary, so if at 30 minutes the entire dish is hot and the top crispy, take it out and let it cool. Otherwise, let it bake for 5 more minutes before taking it out. Let cool completely. Serve with milk, cream, or more maple syrup.