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.
Have a different veggie to use up? Be sure to try zucchini oatmeal or pumpkin overnight oats, too. This recipe is flexible when you use a neutral-tasting veggie, so feel free to get creative!
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.
For extra protein and structure, add 1 to 2 eggs, or use flax eggs to keep this vegan. Check out my Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal for another variation with veggies.
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!
Need more warm breakfast ideas? Try Sweet Potato Hash or Chickpea Pancakes for something new.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large carrot , shredded (about 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons raisins (see note)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 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?
Questions and Reviews
Yummmy! I made it this morning, it was wonderful! I made it with oat milk and water and brought it to a boi, added the oats, waited about three minutes added the carrots, and all the spices and cooked it all togethe. I added the toppings at the end, and it was delicious!! it carried us through for most of the day now I’m onto some soup making. I wish I had taken a picture of it but as soon as it came off the stove we gobbled it up. 😁 thank you!!!
Glad you enjoyed it, Nicole! Thanks for the feedback!
Looks so delicious, definitely need to make!
This recipe was just perfect! I doubled it knowing it was going to a good one!
Carrot Cake baked oatmeal sounded good to me. So, I added 2 flax eggs, 1 T of gelatin and walnuts. I baked it for 40 min in a small baking dish. It was so good!! I’ll be making this often!!
Great and tasty!
Amazing! This will be a go to from now on. We added a tablespoon of chia seeds per serving.
Agree with previous reviewer, had a feeling I would love this oatmeal so I doubled the recipe. I most definitely was not disappointed! Being a massive fan of carrot cake, I found the flavors divine. I topped mine with homemade granola. So quick & easy to make. I love Megan’s recipes!
Loved this recipe. I will be making this recipe many more times.
This was absolutely delicious! Going to be a breakfast staple for me for sure. Do you think I could cheat and make it in the instant pot? Any suggestions on timing?
Probably, but if you add sweetener you’ll want to use the pot-in-pot method. I’ve got everything covered in this post with a video: https://detoxinista.com/instant-pot-oatmeal/
Great way to add some veggies to breakfast. I made it my thermomix (which chops as well as cooks) so it was crazy quick and easy.
That sounds awesome! Glad you enjoyed it!
Just made this! Wonderful! Made it for myself and non-vegan relatives and we really enjoyed it!
I used steel cut oats, so I dumped them in alongside the carrots to boil to reduce time and found that it worked fine. I also ended up adding extra liquid (around 1/2 cup soy milk, 1/2 cup water) to easily stretch the portion into more but the recipe by itself was perfect and didn’t require alteration.
As a personal preference, I’m going to next time add in more carrot (about 1 cup rather than 1/2 cup) and the carrots cooked so easily that I’m sure it’ll work out fine.
Love this website! Thanks for the recipe!
I made this for breakfast this morning and even though I forgot to add the maple syrup and didn’t have any raisins, it was still delicious. I will be sure to add those in next time though. I topped it witt coconut flakes and almond butter. Excited to eat the rest of the batch tomorrow morning. Thanks for another great recipe, Megan!
I thought carrots and oatmeal sounded crazy but I made it and loved it. I make several times a week now and my husband eats it also. Thanks for a great recipe and for making it so easy to eat a veggie at breakfast.
I made this as uncooked overnight oats and found it to be on the soupy side. Flavor is excellent though! Next time I will cut back on the liquid by about 1/4 cup of the water and that should be about right. Did use old fashioned oats.
Question: Directions refer to vanilla extract but it didn’t make it to the ingredients list.
Thank you for another wonderful recipe!
I made this carrot cake oatmeal this morning and loved it! Will definitely be making it again. I used skim milk and added a little bit of egg whites in for some protein. Topped with walnuts and shredded coconut – yum! Great way to add veggies to breakfast.
Made this today and it was so good. I used coconut milk and added chopped almonds and some hemp hearts because that’s what I had on hand. I will make this again. Thank you for another great breakfast option!