Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Cream Cheese Glaze is a healthier way to enjoy the flavors of carrot cake, and you get to eat it for breakfast! It’s moist, fluffy, and perfect for a special brunch.
Here we are…the Monday before Easter, and I’m not completely ready for it. It’s gotten super hectic around here because my son is now on a travel basketball team, which means shuttling him to practice a few times a week and LOTS of tournaments on the weekends. Yesterday was our first one, and it was a very long day but so exciting! They’re just starting out together and won 2 out of 3 games, with the last one being a huge come from behind win. All I can say is I have a lot of basketball in my future, and it’s a good thing that I love it so much. 🙂
How about you…are you ready for Easter? Maybe you’ve got some dinner or brunch plans along with an egg hunt? If brunch is on the agenda, and even if you need a special breakfast idea that’s on healthier side, this Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Cream Cheese Glaze is for you. Carrot cake is a huge favorite of mine, and I was really excited to try these flavors in a baked oatmeal. It worked beautifully, and it totally satisfied the huge carrot cake cravings that I’ve had. Easter always gets me in the mood for carrot cake. 🙂
I realize carrot cake can be a personal thing…some people like raisins in theirs, and some don’t. Crushed pineapple? Maybe not. Walnuts may not be your thing either, and I know some people don’t care for coconut (which I try to understand but can’t). 🙂 Because it’s so personal, you get to customize it exactly the way you want to. I didn’t add raisins because I can take them or leave them in carrot cake, but I did add coconut, crushed pineapple, and the crunchy walnuts that I love. This recipe will still turn out perfectly if you omit any of these items or add something else in their place — you really can’t go wrong.
Some baked oatmeals can be dry, but not this one, because the carrot and crushed pineapple add so much moisture. We’ve got a whopping 1 cup of grated carrots in here, along with an 8 ounce can of well-drained crushed pineapple. Well-drained is key here, because if you add the pineapple juice to this baked oatmeal, it will be way to juicy and won’t set up. I drained my crushed pineapple in a mesh strainer and pressed down on it with the back of my hand until pretty much all of the liquid had been strained out.
The carrots in this recipe had a bit of chew to them, which I didn’t mind at all because the oatmeal is so soft that I loved the contrast in texture. If you’d rather your carrots are softer, you can place them in a bowl with a little water, cover them with plastic wrap, and microwave them for about a minute until they’re softened. Drain them in a mesh strainer, and add them to your oatmeal.
When the oatmeal was 10 minutes away from being done, I topped it with the walnut pieces so that they would toast right as the oatmeal baked — that’s the lazy girl way to toast nuts! When the oatmeal is done, cool it slightly on a wire rack and make your glaze. I decided on the glaze because it’s not really carrot cake without a tangy cream cheese element. I was trying to keep this healthier, so I only made a little bit and I didn’t even end up using it all as a little of this glaze goes a long way.
This Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Cream Cheese Glaze is the perfect breakfast or brunch item that you need for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any other time you want something extra special. This way you can have your carrot cake for breakfast, and if that’s not a fun way to start the day, I don’t know what is. 🙂
More oatmeal recipes you’re gonna love!
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if gluten intolerant)
- ⅓ cup shredded sweetened coconut (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups almond milk (or the milk of your choice)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 medium)
- (1) 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, very well drained (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup walnut pieces
- 2 ounce ⅓ less fat neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1½ tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Place the oat mixture in the prepared pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, and egg until well incorporated. Stir in the carrot, crushed pineapple, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the oat mixture and rap the baking dish on the counter so that the milk is evenly distributed. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes, then top with the walnut pieces, pressing them down into the oatmeal slightly. Bake another 10 minutes, or until the oatmeal is golden brown and set. Cool on a wire rack.
- Beat the cream cheese in a small bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more until creamy and smooth. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat until combined.
- Drizzle the glaze over the slightly cooled baked oatmeal, serve, and enjoy!
Feel free to customize this oatmeal to make it the way you like your carrot cake! Omit the crushed pineapple, coconut, or walnuts, and replace with raisins or any of your favorite additions! You can also omit the glaze completely to make this even healthier.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.