Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal – Old-fashioned oats are combined with all the flavors of carrot cake (including that luscious cream cheese frosting!) and baked in the oven until perfectly tender.
Not only does this season bring wonderful flavors like pumpkin and apples, but it also brings comforting dishes like soups and casseroles. But not just dinner casseroles – breakfast casseroles are so popular this time of year, usually around the holidays when you’re feeding a crowd.
I love a great breakfast casserole – sweet and savory alike. Today I am bringing a sweet version of a breakfast casserole that I first made only recently. It’s a baked oatmeal, made with old fashioned oats and lots of yummy flavors that you find in a carrot cake. That’s right, it’s a Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal.
Baking the oats helps them soak up the flavors and create a firm structure, almost like a cake. But don’t worry – this oatmeal has just enough sweetness without going over the edge. Even the cream cheese icing on top still has a a slight tang to it to remind you that it’s cream cheese.
The easiest breakfast casserole
Out of all the breakfast casserole dishes I’ve made, this baked oatmeal is, by far, the easiest. There’s very little prep, with the biggest step being the first one: toasting the oats and pecans. Toasting these two ingredients before making the oatmeal brings out a nutty flavor in both of them that you won’t get just by baking it.
After the oats and pecans are toasted, they’re mixed with the other dry ingredients and the butter. I like mixing the butter into the dry ingredients vs the wet ingredients because it ensures that it get mixed throughout the oatmeal without clumping up in the cold wet ingredients.
The wet ingredients are mixed separately and then gently folded into the oatmeal mixture. You don’t want to overmix the ingredients because it will create a tough texture in the oatmeal. Then the mixture is poured into a casserole dish.
Cream cheese frosting
Before we place the oatmeal in the oven to bake, it’s topped with a cream cheese frosting that is barely sweetened. To make sure there’s cream cheese in every portion, I pipe the frosting in diagonal stripes. No need for a fancy piping bag, though. I just used a plastic storage bag and snipped off the corner.
The oatmeal is then baked for about 35 minutes, cooled outside the oven for a few minutes, and then ready for everyone to enjoy.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you use old fashioned oats for this recipe – do not use instant oatmeal! It will make the oatmeal mushy.
- Do not use store bought carrot matchsticks for this recipe. Those carrot pieces are thicker and will stay firm in this oatmeal. By shredding yourself, you get thinner, softer carrot pieces that are perfect for baked recipes.
Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal
For the baked oatmeal:
- 2½ cups old fashioned oats
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- 1½ cups shredded carrots
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar divided
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add oats and pecans. Toast them for about 5 minutes, or until you see them start to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk toasted oats and pecans, shredded carrots, raisins, baking powder, spices, salt, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar until evenly combined. Whisk in melted butter until combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla together until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and fold together just until combined. Do not overmix!
- Pour oatmeal into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the top. Prepare cream cheese icing by whisking together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together. Scoop into a plastic storage bag. Cut off a corner of the bag and squeeze out the icing through that hole into diagonal stripes on the oatmeal in the baking pan.
- Bake oatmeal until set and no liquid remains, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before scooping into servings.
I got it. It is not cake, but what a perversion
Baked oatmeal is my favorite! It’s like cake for breakfast! And this carrot cake version is even better!!
Andrea Howe says
I love love love carrot cake and this is the perfect recipe to make me feel like I’m enjoying my mother in laws recipe for breakfast haha. I love the creamy topping and also love that I can add in a few other extras to customize it and make it even extra healthy. Nothing better than healthy food that feels indulgent. Thank you!
Like No! Who wants to spoon out oatmeal from a pan and call it cake? There is not enough baking powder to deliver a cake quality product. Neither does it include baking soda. SMH. Really! This recipe is a guaranteed disappointment if you are looking for cake.
Loreto and Nicoletta says
I have never had a sweet breakfast casserole, however it has intrigued me. I love carrot cake and oatmeal, so this is a win win for me. The frosting looks creamy and delicious. I am in for a serving of this to start my day joyfully!
What a lovely idea to use the flavors of a carrot cake to make baked oatmeal. I have a potluck coming soon, and I bet they will love bringing a casserole like this. Thanks for the idea!
What a healthier way to enjoy the flavours of carrot cake – and perfect for kids or people who maybe new to oatmeal!
Kayla DiMaggio says
This carrot cake baked oatmeal is so delicious!
Wow, three of my favourite things in one recipe! I love carrots, oatmeal and cake so this is a perfect recipe that I cant wait to make. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I cant wait to try this out!
I am a huge carrot cake fan, so I cannot wait to make this baked oatmeal. Who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?
Stephanie Rose de Jesus says
I love the texture of the oatmeal plus throwing in some carrots is wonderful!
I’ve been looking for breakfast ideas to make for when my family comes into town for Thanksgiving. This recipe looks like perfection especially with that cream cheese frosting! They are going to love it!
We love carrot cake, so this will be the perfect breakfast.
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
Monica Simpson says
What a delicious way to make oatmeal. I love all these flavors!
Amber Myers says
This looks like something I’d love for breakfast. I am a huge fan of carrot cake!
This is totally ok to have for breakfast right? Either way I’m going with it.
Wow! This is the best looking and sounding baked oatmeal I’ve ever heard of. I can’t wait to taste it.
Kacie Morgan says
This looks like a great dish to make ahead for a convenient breakfast or snack on-the-go. Love the idea of the carrot cake flavour!
Carrot cake oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts during the winter. It’s so delicious and comforting. I will give your recipe a try next time I’m making oatmeal. Looks delicious and so full of flavor.
Wajeeha Nadeem says
I can’t wait to try this recipe. Would it be okay to substitute with instant oats? Thanks!