Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
Enjoy the best of both worlds with this healthy carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe! A flavorful, nourishing breakfast that tastes like a comforting fall dessert. Perfectly sweet but not overly sweet—with a lusciously rich, moist, and fluffy texture. Learn how to make a carrot cake oatmeal bake with cream cheese, crunchy walnuts, and chewy raisins in every bite.
What is a carrot cake oatmeal bake?
A carrot cake oatmeal bake is an oatmeal casserole made with carrot cake-inspired flavors. Rich & tangy cream cheese, sweet maple syrup, comforting cinnamon & ginger—all baked into a healthy breakfast casserole. Unlike stovetop oatmeal which has the texture of a porridge, carrot cake baked oatmeal is creamy, fluffy, and chewy. It’s like a breakfast muffin meets bread pudding!
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Ingredients
- Rolled Oats. Stick with rolled oats in this carrot cake baked oats recipe. Quick oats will become very mushy, and steel cut oats require longer to cook—so it’s best not to use them as substitutes here.
- Baking Powder. An important leavening agent to give this oatmeal casserole a satisfying, fluffy texture!
- Spices. Cinnamon, ground ginger, and a bit of salt create a simple yet irresistible fall flavor blend. Feel free to add nutmeg, allspice—whatever you like.
- Egg. An egg helps bind the batter together, or you can substitute with a flax egg.
- Cream Cheese. Like a classic carrot cake recipe, this carrot cake baked oatmeal is tastiest made with cream cheese! If needed, substitute with 1 additional egg.
- Milk of Choice. Use any milk you prefer—dairy or non-dairy. I like to use light coconut milk to add creaminess, or a combination of almond + full-fat coconut milk.
- Maple Syrup. I love the fall flair that maple syrup adds to this breakfast bake! If needed, you can substitute with honey or a granulated sugar like coconut, brown, or white sugar.
- Butter. Add some melted butter (or coconut oil) for rich flavor and a light, tender bite! The added fat makes for a fluffier, less-rubbery texture—but this is optional, so feel free to omit it.
- Vanilla Extract. Like in any tasty cake, a dash of vanilla enhances all the sweet flavors.
- Mix-Ins. Of course, this carrot cake oatmeal bake needs some fresh shredded carrots for flavor, color, and moisture—plus some crunchy pecans and chewy raisins. Feel free to customize with whichever mix-ins you enjoy. Or try my cinnamon roll baked oatmeal for another dessert-inspired recipe!
Substitution Notes for Vegan Baked Oatmeal
To make this carrot cake baked oatmeal vegan, you’ll need to replace the egg, cream cheese, & butter. Substitute for the 1 egg + 2 oz cream cheese with 2 flax eggs, or with ½ cup fruit puree—like mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin, or sweet potato puree. And instead of butter, use coconut oil. Though these substitutions will change the flavor some, your casserole will be totally plant-based and delicious!
How to Make a Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake
- Grease a baking dish (1.5-2 quarts) with cooking spray. I made this carrot cake baked oatmeal in an 8-inch round baking dish, or you could use a 9×9-inch square pan. You can also bake in a 9×13-inch dish—just double the recipe and bake 10-15 minutes longer to yield a casserole that serves 10-12.
- Prepare the batter only when ready to bake. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in a separate bowl, then combine the 2 mixtures and bake immediately. (Or store the dry & wet mixtures separately overnight and bake in the morning.)
- Bake carrot cake oatmeal at 350°F (180°C) for 40-50 minutes—my casserole took closer to 50 minutes for this recipe. You’ll know it’s done when crispy and browned on top and a knife comes out mostly clean.
- How long does baked oatmeal last? This carrot cake bake will last 4-7 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Let the casserole cool completely, then cover the entire dish and refrigerate, or freeze in a freezer-safe container. Or, cut the casserole into individual servings and store as desired—in airtight containers, zip-top bags, wrapped in plastic, etc.
- Reheat carrot cake baked oats in the oven or microwave. Pop the entire refrigerated casserole into the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 15-20 minutes, or longer if frozen. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave (60-90 seconds) or in the oven or toaster oven (5-10 minutes).
Watch how to make carrot cake baked oatmeal in my Baked Oatmeal 7 Ways video!
How to Meal Prep Carrot Cake Baked Oats
To meal prep this easy breakfast casserole, simply bake the dish as directed and store however suits your needs—in the fridge or freezer, as a full casserole or individual portions. Then, reheat and enjoy in the mornings! Or, if you prefer to wait to bake your casserole in the morning, prep the dry and wet mixtures and keep them stored separately overnight until the time of baking.
Can I leave baked oatmeal out overnight?
Personally, I do not recommend prepping an unbaked casserole and leaving it in the fridge overnight. If the dry oat mixture sits in the wet milk mixture for too long, your carrot cake baked oats may turn out mushy! The best make ahead option is to bake the casserole and then store it in the fridge or freezer.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- 2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened, (or substitute 1 egg)
- 1½ cups milk of choice, (I use light coconut milk)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted, (or coconut oil)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup chopped pecans, (or walnuts)
- ½ cup raisins
- 8-inch (1.5-qt) round baking dish (or 9×9-inch baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Separately, add wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add dry mixture into wet and mix well to integrate.
- Fold in shredded carrot, chopped nuts, and raisins as mix-ins.
- Spray an 8-inch (1.5-qt) round baking dish with cooking spray (or a 9×9-inch pan). Transfer oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Bake 40-50 minutes, until lightly browned and crisped on edges. (A knife should come out mostly clean—it can be a bit moist, but it shouldn’t be soggy. If it is, it needs to bake longer.)
- Cool 10 minutes before serving.
Storage & Reheating
- Allow dish to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Or cut cooled oatmeal bake into portions and store in airtight containers in the fridge.
- Baked oatmeal will last in the fridge for 4-7 days.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, until warmed through. Or reheat in the oven at 350°F (180°C): 15-20 minutes for the full casserole, 5-10 minutes for individual portions.
- To freeze, store the entire casserole in a freezer-safe container, or store individual portions in freezer-safe containers or wrapped in plastic.
- Method 1: Prep and bake the entire casserole, then store as desired.
- Method 2: Mix and store the dry ingredients the night before, and mix and store the wet ingredients in the fridge so they’re ready. Then, the next day, combine the dry & wet ingredients at the time of baking.
- Don’t mix the dry and wet ingredients together and let the batter sit for too long! The oats will soak up too much of the liquid, which can result in mushy baked oats. Wait to combine the dry and wet mixtures until you’re ready to bake.
- For a larger oatmeal casserole that yields 10-12 servings, double the recipe ingredient amounts and bake in a 9×13-inch dish for 10-15 minutes longer.