Vegan baked oatmeal! A delightful and healthy, gluten-free oatmeal breakfast disguised as a slightly sweet cake using pantry ingredients. Yes, life and oatmeal can be this good!
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why is it either so mundane that I want to go back to bed or so complicated that it turns into lunch?
When I realized that I could toss ingredients into a bowl and back myself a breakfast 'cake,' the morning got a little brighter.
There is a lot to love about this recipe. You don't need fresh fruit (although you can use it). Mix and match any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that you like.
Breakfast is yours. Take it back!
Another 'best part' of this recipe is that you can make it a day before. Have it baked and ready to cut a slice and dig in straight from the pan. You can also prep all the ingredients, toss them into a bowl or straight into the baking dish and start the day by filling your kitchen with baking. That's an unusual dimension for me which I fully endorse.
This basic recipe is designed to inspire you to transition from 'breaking the fast' to anticipating and enjoying that first meal of the day. Here’s what you’ll need:
Oats – Any kind of rolled oats will do. If you require gluten-free oats, be sure to check the package. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but sometimes they are processed with other ingredients that aren't. Be on the safe side and check the label.
Baking powder – A teaspoon of baking powder can lift all those oats and create a cake texture.
Cinnamon and nutmeg – I opted for traditional oatmeal spices, but you can experiment. Allspice, or ground ginger comes to mind.
Salt – I've made salt optional because the first time I made this, I added salt. It was a mistake because my peanut butter contained salt. We tend to use little salt around our kitchen, so you may want to add it or only use a pinch.
The wet ingredients
Flax eggs – We’re returning to a favorite, the star of vegan pie crust and tamale pie. -the flax egg. If you follow me, you already know I’m a fan.
I'm no baker, but this may have tipped the scale toward my confidence in becoming one.
Flax seeds, specifically ground flax seeds when mixed with water, mimic the behavior of eggs. Flax seeds are super healthy They are filled with heart-healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Those are healthy fats. So that's your answer to folk who ask how you get along without meat. Quite nicely. And it tastes so good!
Ground flaxseed is easy to make. Grind 2 tablespoons in a spice or coffee grinder for every ground tablespoon desired.
Applesauce – For plant-based baking, applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil. The typical ratio of applesauce for oil is 1:1. For example, for every ¼ cup of oil in a recipe, you want to use ¼ of a cup of applesauce.
Use applesauce that doesn’t contain added sugar. You can also puree a fresh apple. Depending on the type of apple, that might give the overall flavor added tartness.
Peanut butter – ¼ of a cup of peanut butter is enough to help bind the ingredients. You can use any nut butter you like, such as almond butter or cashew butter. I think the smooth works best but use what you have. If it is already salted, omit the salt.
Maple syrup – This isn’t intended to be a sweet recipe, so if you are using unsweetened applesauce, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup will result in a slightly sweet flavor. You can use another healthy liquid sweetener, such as date paste, but the maple flavor compliments the apple and spices.
Vanilla extract – Any excuse! I used a whole teaspoon.
Plant milk – Oat milk is my preference, but almond milk or other non-dairy milk is suitable.
Chopped nuts and dried fruit – Aim for ½ a cup total. I used walnuts and dried cranberries, although I love this recipe with raisins. You can also use chopped apricots or dates.
- Make the flax eggs first. Ground flax seeds need at least 15 minutes to start thickening with the water. That is just enough time to gather everything and mix your dry spices.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, and spices) before adding the wet ingredients. Leave the nuts and fruit for last.
- Be sure that you mix the flax eggs, applesauce, peanut butter, maple syrup in a small bowl before adding it to the dry ingredients. The peanut butter can be obstinate to combine, and you don't want chunks of peanut butter. Ok, maybe you do, but you want a nice even bake, so mix it up.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients before adding the plant milk. I know that milk is 'wet,' but it's easier to add after. Add the vanilla into the plant milk before you pour it into the oat mixture. Again, even distribution of flavors.
- As a final step, add chopped nuts and dried fruit. Proceed to bake.
- Mixing doesn’t take long, so you can start preheating the oven to 3750 F. (1900 C.) after making the flax egg. I used an 8 x 11- inch glass baking dish and didn’t have any problem with the baked oatmeal sticking to the bottom. A few crumbs, well, you know where they go.
- If you have any concerns about sticking, you can line the bottom of the dish or pan with a sheet of parchment paper. We never add oil, but you can also lightly coat the baking dish with spray oil.
You can mix up this entire recipe, store it in the refrigerator, and then pop it into the oven the next day to bake.
The best substitute for ground flaxseed in flax eggs is ground chia seeds. Use the same amount, 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 egg.
If you are looking for a healthy sweetener, consider using date paste or other fruit pastes. You can easily make fruit paste by soaking the fruit, then pureeing it in a blender or food processor.
If you are making vegan baked oatmeal, then the answer is no. It can be stored at room temperature. Simply cover the baking dish and try not to keep cutting pieces every time you come into the kitchen.
We love this basic breakfast recipe and the simple ingredients required. I’m not really motivated toward change; however, change can be good, so here are a few ideas if you want to experiment.
- Add chopped apple, ½ a cup of diced strawberries, bananas, blueberries, or other fresh fruit.
- Substitute pureed pineapple or peaches for the applesauce.
- If you want to skip the peanut butter substitute with another nut butter or add mashed chickpeas.
- We covered this already, but you can mix up the spices using ground ginger, allspice, nutmeg, or even a pinch of cardamom or pumpkin pie mix.
- As much as I love vanilla, if you don’t have it or want to add another flavor, consider almond or a few drops of coconut extract. You can also add 2 tablespoons of coconut flakes.
Other healthy breakfast ideas
easy vegan baked oatmeal recipe
Vegan baked oatmeal! A delightful and healthy, gluten-free oatmeal breakfast disguised as a slightly sweet cake using pantry ingredients.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 35 min
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: bready things
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt (if using unsalted peanut butter)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
- 6 Tbsp. water
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups plant-milk
- Make the flax eggs by combining 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 3750 F. (1900 C).
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Omit the salt if using salted peanut butter.
- In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, and flax egg. Mix until it is smooth.
- Combine this mixture with the oatmeal mixture.
- Measure out the milk and add mix in the vanilla before adding it to the oat mixture. Then, add the chopped nuts and dried cranberries.
- Pour the mixture into an 8x11-inch baking dish and place it in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. It should be slightly brown on top and firm in the middle.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Cut and serve!
- Stove leftovers by covering the dish with plastic wrap, foil, or a fitted lid. It does not need refrigeration and will stay fresh for 3 days.
- Be sure to use ground flax seeds for the eggs. You can also substitute ground chia seeds in the same amount.
- Applesauce is used as an oil replacement for this recipe. You can make your own by pureeing a fresh apple.
- If you need to substitute peanut butter for something nut-free, consider mashed chickpeas. Use the same amount – ¼ of a cup.
Keywords: vegan baked oatmeal