Carrot Cake Oatmeal is a delicious way to add veggies into your morning! This easy breakfast tastes like carrot cake, and comes together in just 10 minutes, for a fast and healthy start to your day.
Why You’ll Love It
If you love carrot cake as much as I do, you are going to love this oatmeal recipe. It has all the flavor you love, but it takes only a fraction of the time to prepare. Plus, oats have some potential health benefits!
- Oats may have anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the avenanthramides they contain.
- Oatmeal may also have a prebiotic effect, which means they may help to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
- The soluble fiber, called beta-glucan, found in oats, may help to lower cholesterol levels.
- Adding oatmeal to a meal may help to improve insulin sensitivity.
- The beta-glucan in oatmeal may also help keep you feeling full.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in carrot cake oatmeal?
- Rolled oats
- Shredded carrots
- Milk of choice (I use almond or coconut, usually)
- Cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg
- Maple syrup
- Pure vanilla extract
You can add any other carrot cake add-ins that you love, like pineapple, walnuts, or shredded coconut, too. What’s great about this oatmeal version, is that you can customize each serving to your liking. (If someone doesn’t like raisins or walnuts, simply leave them out, or add peanut butter for another filling option.)
Tip: Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to your oatmeal! It will bring out the flavor even more.
You can use store-bought shredded carrots for this recipe for convenience, but I prefer the texture of grated carrots using a box grater. To do this, use the largest holes on your box grater (the same you’d use for shredding cheese) and start by grating the largest side of the carrot to get the most out of it.
How to Make Carrot Cake Oatmeal
1. Heat the milk & carrots. Add the milk, water, and grated carrots to a small saucepan, and heat them together over high heat, bringing them to a boil.
This will help to soften the carrots, and may help your body absorb more of the beta-carotene they contain, too.
2. Cook the oats. Add in the oats, raisins, vanilla, and spices, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the oats are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Enjoy! Once the oats are tender, add maple syrup for a touch of natural sweetness, and serve warm. Depending on how thick or runny you like your oatmeal to be, you can add extra milk for serving, or cook the oats a little longer to help them thicken up even more.
Add your favorite toppings, like shredded coconut, walnuts or pecans, greek yogurt, or extra carrots, and then serve warm.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I enjoy these cold, just as much as I do when they are warm!
How to Make Overnight Oats
Prefer to skip the cooking process? Make carrot cake overnight oats, instead.
To prepare this, combine the ingredients (including the liquid) and divide the mixture between two glass jars with a lid. Store them in the fridge overnight, to allow everything to soften up. In just a few hours, the oats will be tender and the flavors will meld.
Serve chilled in the morning for an easy breakfast on the go, and add extra milk, as needed, to loosen the texture. You can also heat these up, if you prefer, but in that case I recommend adding a little extra liquid, too, since the oats will thicken when chilled.
Expert Tips & Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use quick cooking oats? Yes, for this recipe you can use either old-fashioned rolled oats or quick cooking oats. The main difference will be cooking time! Rolled oats usually require 5 minutes of simmering, while quick oats may thicken up in only 2 minutes on the stove top. Be sure to stay near the stove so you can stir often and check on their progress either way.
Can I use steel cut oats? Yes! However, steel cut oats require a longer cook time and more liquid. Use 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of steel cut oats, and plan on cooking them for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender. In this case, you can cook everything together at once, since the carrots will be very tender by the time the oats are done, too.
Can I make a carrot cake baked oatmeal? Yes, baked oatmeal is an easy alternative to the stove top version if you want to make multiple servings at once. Keep in mind that you’ll need to double or triple the ingredients to fill an 8-inch baking dish, and I like to add a tablespoon of oil in that case, to help it slice easier. Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF for about 40 minutes, or until the top looks firm.
Is oatmeal gluten-free? Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they can sometimes come into contact with other gluten grains during processing, so be sure to look for a “certified gluten free” label on the package, if you need to. Some people with gluten intolerance can’t handle oats, either, so be sure to check with the person you are cooking for, to be on the safe side.
Can I cook oatmeal in a microwave? Yes, I imagine these would cook in 90 seconds to 2 minutes in a microwave. I can’t test this myself because my family doesn’t have a working microwave (we haven’t used one in years!), but I grew up cooking oatmeal in a microwave so I know it can be done. Just be sure to use a deep microwave-safe bowl, to allow for quite a bit of expansion as the oats cook. It will settle back down when the cooking cycle is over.
Can I use canned coconut milk? Yes, I originally tested this recipe with canned coconut milk, to help make the oats more filling and add a hint of coconut flavor to the oats. I like it equally as well with almond milk, so feel free to use whichever milk you keep on hand.
Can I make these sugar-free? Yes, of course! You can simply leave out the maple syrup for a non-sweet bowl of oatmeal, or use your sugar-free sweetener of choice. I don’t use sugar substitutes, so I can’t tell you exactly how much to use, but luckily you can taste-as-you-go with this recipe, and adjust as needed.
I hope you’ll love this carrot cake oatmeal as much as I do!
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- chopped walnuts
- shredded coconut
- In a small saucepan over high heat, add the almond milk, water, and carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil, so the carrots will start to soften.
- When the liquid is boiling, add in the oats, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the oats are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Once the oats are tender, stir in the maple syrup. You can adjust the thickness of the oatmeal to your liking, by either adding in a splash of extra milk, or you can let them cook another minute or two to help them thicken up even more. Serve warm, with any extra toppings you love on top, like shredded coconut, walnuts, or extra shredded carrots.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They are delicious reheated, or just chilled straight from the fridge!
If you try this Carrot Cake Oatmeal, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite breakfast lately?