This carrot cake baked oatmeal turns the best sweet spiced dessert into a healthy meal prep friendly breakfast!
If you love carrot cake, then boy, do I have a breakfast recipe that will put a smile on your face! Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved carrot cake anything. There is something about it that feels so decadent, absolutely unique, and freaking delicious. But unfortunately, I haven’t made as many carrot cake recipes as I would like in recent years because, after a raisin incident with Nala, I’ve had to be on high alert.
In case you didn’t know, some dogs can’t have raisins, but which dogs will react to them is random. It’s not by the dog’s size or breed. It’s bizarre. And since Nala is a master counter thief, having them in the house has made me nervous. But, occasionally, I get a craving for carrot cake that I can not ignore. So last year, I made an actual oat flour carrot cake, this year, it’s carrot cake baked oatmeal. It’s worth the extra hassle of making damn sure it’s not in her reach because it’s so good.
And just in case you were on the fence, I even whipped up a healthy cream cheese frosting to go along with it! And yes, I’m still dairy-free. So yes, the frosting can be made dairy-free!
Train my dog not to jump on the counter, you say? That is wise advice, and she was very well trained at one point. But, she’s an opportunist and a smart one. When we had our first baby, she started counter-surfing again. And I wasn’t about to shake a can full of pennies or whatever every time she did it and wake or scare the baby.
Plus, the moment was usually gone faster than I could get there with any can to shake, water bottle to squirt, whatever, because I was with a baby that only slept in 15-20 minute blocks during the day. So, it is what it is. Some day my kids will have raisins as a snack, and I’ll eat lots of carrot cake-flavored foods, but Nala will be missed, so until then, I’ll be extra vigilant about my delicious carrot cake oatmeal! Not like the kids will eat it anyway, so it’s really just me!
How to Make Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
This carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe can be made using only one bowl! Despite being a food blogger, I’ve never been a big fan of doing the dishes, so anytime I can use fewer dishes, I do! For this recipe, you’ll start by mixing your oats with your spices and flax. Then, you’ll add in your wet ingredients like your egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and milk.
Then it’s time for the mix-ins! I’m a carrot cake purist, and I only like raisins, walnuts, and shredded carrots. But, see below for more swaps and substitution ideas! The baking time is pretty quick, and before you know it, the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves will fill your house! Meanwhile, if you choose to make the frosting, you can whip up a batch now, so it’s ready when the oatmeal bake is done!
The cream cheese frosting is totally optional, but oh so delicious!
I tested a full dairy option and a dairy-free version, and both were delicious! Trader Joe’s for the dairy-free cream cheese and cashew yogurt win! The only thing I would say is that if you are planning on reheating your oatmeal later, I’d wait to add the cream cheese frosting. Microwaved cream cheese frosting wasn’t as appealing to me as microwaving the oatmeal bake and then adding cold cream cheese frosting. Just a preference thing, though!
Swaps and Substitutions
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
rolled oats: do not omit or change
ground flax: optional – sub chia seeds or one additional egg
spices: adjust to fit taste preferences
unsweetened vanilla almond milk: could use any non-dairy milk substitute, nonfat milk, or water instead
vanilla extract: optional, you can omit, but you will lose flavor!
maple syrup: sub any liquid sweetener such as honey or agave syrup
walnuts: can omit or sub pecans
shredded carrots: can skip, but necessary for the traditional carrot cake flavor
Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting – the frosting is optional!
cream cheese: do not omit. Use Trader Joe’s dairy-free or Kite Hill for dairy-free
plain yogurt: do not omit, use cashew yogurt plain for dairy-free
maple syrup: adjust to taste preferences, do not omit, can sub alternative liquid sweeteners
vanilla extract: optional for flavor
How to Store & Freeze Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Storing: Store carrot cake baked oatmeal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat or eat cold!
Freezing: Freeze carrot cake baked oatmeal separate from frosting in an airtight container. You could probably freeze it with the frosting on as well, but the preferred would be having it off. The frosting might undergo texture changes in the freezer that aren’t ideal. It’s best to make that fresh!
More Carrot Cake Recipes
More Oatmeal Bake Recipes
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
- Mix oats with spices and ground flax.2 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup ground flax, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp ginger
- Add milk, egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to the bowl. Mix to combine well.2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 large egg, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup raisins
- Fold in raisins, walnuts, and shredded carrots.
- Pour the mixture into the dish and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set and golden brown on the edges.
- Allow to cool, top with cream cheese mixture and serve!
Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine cream cheese, yogurt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup in a food processor.4 ounces cream cheese, 2-3 tbsp plain yogurt, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add cream cheese frosting to carrot cake!