Baked Oatmeal (or Oatmeal Cake) (gluten-free with vegan and sugar-free options)

Need a healthy, easy breakfast? This Baked Oatmeal Cake can be started the night before and finished in the morning and it is flourless, refined sugar free, with an egg free and dairy free option. One of our family favorites!

Breakfast is a tough meal of the day for families on the go who are trying to be healthy.  We’re a little unconventional around here and have been known to have this chocolate pudding, bean fudge, or even homemade protein bars or almond joy bars for breakfast.

The way I see it – if it’s healthy, you can have it for breakfast, right?  Even if it’s fudge :).

This recipe is a little more of a conventional breakfast food for sure, but we still love it.

And I’ve been making way too much of it.

It really is that good – and that easy.

My family’s Baked Oatmeal Cake obsession all started when our dear friend, Beckie, shared some baked oatmeal with us at her home one night after a homeschooling family gathering.  I had heard of baked oatmeal, but had never made it nor tried it.  Well, my kids gobbled it up and ….well, I was then one a quest for the best Baked Oatmeal recipe that I could find.

I came home with her recipe in hand and poked around on the internet a bit and found a few recipes that intrigued me, but I basically ended up altering a combination of my friend’s recipe and this one from Baked Bree.

The resulting success story that you see pictured above is the result!

I love this cake – why?  It is:

  • Super easy
  • Super healthy
  • Super good

The funny thing about this recipe is that I discovered the “cake” version completely by mistake.  I knew it was important to soak grains (especially oats) and so I set the oats out to soak overnight.

The next day ended up being a flurry of too many things to do and so I didn’t get around to baking the cake until about 24 hours later.  The result?  A delicious not-too-sweet-at-all cake that you won’t believe was made entirely from rolled oats.  (For another “mistake turned family favorite, see my post on Chat Masala.)

You can make the oatmeal cake in either way (hence the funny title), either soaking the oats just overnight so that you end up with more of a Baked Oatmeal-type dish.  The top will be more of a cake, but it will be more dense and more like thick oatmeal on the bottom.

Or, if you soak them for 24 hours or more (like I did the first time :-)), then you will end up with something that more resembles a cake than baked oatmeal.

In fact, when I took the 24 hour soaked version over to Becky’s house for her to try, she said, “You added flour to this, didn’t you?”

No – I didn’t :-).  The oats just turned out that way.  Amazing.  See how much soaking your grains can change the grains themselves?

Don’t know about soaking grains?  I never had heard of this until a few years ago and I didn’t really understand.  The basic reason is that grains (and especially oats) contain phytic acid and other anti-nutrients that make digestion difficult.  You can read more about this in my post on how and why to soak grains.

You can also subscribe to my email blog updates and get a wonderful Free Cookbook of Soaked Grains recipes delivered right into your email inbox!

We like this recipe both ways, but I personally think the cake version is a bit nicer.

Tell me what you think!
Need a healthy, easy breakfast? This Baked Oatmeal Cake can be started the night before and finished in the morning and it is flourless, refined sugar free, with an egg free and dairy free option. One of our family favorites!

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Baked Oatmeal (or Oatmeal Cake) (gluten-free with vegan and sugar-free options)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan
Serves: 9-12 servings (depending on size, of course :-))
 
You won't believe that this Baked Oatmeal Cake has no flour. It's soaked overnight and baked the next morning for an easy healthy breakfast. Gluten free!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix oats, milk, and sweeteners in a large bowl. Soak either overnight (for a more baked oatmeal-type dish) or for at least 24 hours (for an Oatmeal Cake) at room temperature.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, saving baking powder and egg substitute (if using) until last.
  3. Mix well.
  4. If using nuts and/or dried or fresh fruit, put half of the nuts and fruit in the bottom of a greased 8x8 square baking dish.
  5. Pour the batter onto the nuts and fruit (or directly into the prepared dish if not using the nuts and fruit).
  6. Top with the remaining nuts and/or fruit if using.
  7. Top with cinnamon sugar if desired.
  8. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is set.
  9. Serve either warm, with additional cinnamon sugar, nuts, fruit and milk (almond milk and coconut milk are wonderful on top) or eat at room temperature like a cake.
  10. Store in the refrigerator in a closed container.

Notes

1.  I make this regularly with walnuts and dried apples we made in our dehydrator.  So many combinations are possible.  Bananas and walnuts, fresh apples and pecans…We even once just blended shredded coconut (about 1/3 cup) into the batter and sprinkled both cinnamon sugar and more coconut on top.  It was wonderful.

2.  As mentioned above, you can use any type of milk that you like.  I recommend healthy raw milk if you use dairy.  Otherwise, any non dairy alternative will work great.

3.  As with any tried and true recipe, I recommend Baking in Bulk to save time and money.  I’ve made the mistake of baking new recipes in bulk before (and then I end up with way too much of something we may not like).  But now I’m getting better at “new recipe restraint” and so now I just bulk bake with the recipes that we love.  I typically mix up and soak 4 batches of this cake at time!

Other Healthy Baked Goods:

Do you have a recipe “mistake” that turned out great?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Could I add cacao powder and zucchini to make this a gluten-free zucchini cake?

  2. I baked this recipe, soaked the oats for a little over 24 hours. And it turned out more like baked oatmeal with a crust for than a cake. What do you think I did wrong?

  3. hello, i find that baked oats have a bitter aftertaste, any idea why?

  4. Teresa D Campbell says:

    Hello, this recipe sounds really good! I use Hemp milk, but wonder about baking with it as it immediately curdles/separates when heated. I could use coconut milk I guess, but really love the Hemp milk. What do you think?

  5. This looks super yummy!! Is it possible to use only Steel Cut Oats instead of the Oatmeal? If so, how much additional liquid (or ratio liquid to sc oats) should I use?

    • Thanks! I haven’t tried it but from what I am reading you can use the same amount cup for cup, but you may need to add 10-15 min cooking time….so not sure but maybe a slightly lower temp so they don’t burn and go 15-20 min longer? I’d love to hear how it works out!

  6. This looks like a keeper! This would be great to make ahead and serve on busy mornings throughout the week!

  7. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon says:

    This is a GREAT recipe! Thank you for sharing ! I notice my oats have a much better texture when I soak versus don’t soak and they don’t bother me a bit digestion wise. It’s crazy to think how much water and a little acid makes a difference! I don’t keep baked oatmeal around because I know I’ll eat it all way too fast, and it’s basically the only reason I stick to single serving stove top oats. However, I think I’ll try this with a mini version just to see how it goes. Thank you for sharing!:)

  8. wen u bake this in bulk, how do u save it…freezer?

  9. Is it okay to leave the oatmeal soaking in milk at room temp for 24 hours? That would worry me.

    • According to everything that I have read about soaking grains, you are to soak overnight or longer. I understand your concerns, but that is the way it’s done.

    • i wud use some yogurt and water myself. if it was raw milk it wud be fine too. but to use killed milk (pasteurized –and then homogenized to add insult to injury) in this quantity makes it iffy to me.

  10. Hi Adrienne, I’m a little unclear about soaking the oats. Am I to add an acidic medium or just soak with the milk & sweetners? I’m also concerned about soaking outside of the refrigerator as I live in a very warm area. Thanks for all your great recipes.

    • You don’t need an acidic medium from what I have read but adding 1/10 of buckwheat would be a good idea. In fact, it might be necessary. I have heard soaking at a warm temp is better.

      • definitely need acidulated water, and whole wheat flour (1T per cup) can be added to help the soak, along with warm temp. i just grind a couple tablespoons wheat in my coffee grinder that morning when im setting out my next mornings oats/barley to soak. btw rolled barley tastes just like oats. i either mix the 2 grains or do one or the other. of course, barley has gluten if ur staying away from that…
        barley is a very nutritious grain also. oats and barley are my fav grains just behind rye, which i dont like in a cereal too much, so thats for bread (at least 50% WhlWht too tho) or cooked whole as a base for a dinner entreé
        check out Nourishing Traditions for info on soaking and acidulating ur liquid. or SueGregg.com She has free pages on soaking grains and why…based on Nourishing Trads.

  11. hi! I am a bad planner and as I added oats to my milk, I realized I was short about 3/4 c. so I subbed steel cut oats… do you think I will need more liquid?

  12. Elzenia Allison says:

    I enjoy your blog very much. I’ve been following it for quite awhile. I’ve really enjoyed your oatmeal recipes.

  13. Louise Gainor says:

    I made this yesterday: I soaked the oats in milk and stevia leaf powder starting Sunday morning, and yesterday morning I added the other ingredients and baked it up. I was surprised with it actually pulled away from the edges of the baking pan just like a cake does when it’s done. Awesome! I keep getting a distinct buttery flavor, and there is no butter in this. I even used applesauce in place of the oil. Super good – thanks for the recipe!

  14. Thank you for this recipe. I am
    Going to make it and Inlook forward to using maple syrup as sweetener. I REALLY appreciate your time in sharing the sweetener substitutes. Invaluable – up to including turning the oven down a bit when using maple syrup!

    Have you ever added chia seeds? Just curious. Thanks again!

  15. ann gibert says:

    I love baked oatmeal, and am curious to try the “cake” version, but if you’re using regular milk, is it really okay to leave it out at room temp for 24 hours? I would worry about the milk going sour.

    • Traditionally baked goods are soaked at room temp with no concern about spoilage. In fact, if it’s too cold the beneficial effect of the soaking won’t take place. Enjoy :)!

  16. Hey Adrienne, just wanted to share that I have turned your cake into waffles. We have gone wheat free but I have a couple of kids that looooove pancakes and waffles. We tried going radical paleo for a while but it didn’t work so well. So we have cut the wheat and we are doing lots of veggies, but my kids still eat fruits and rice and beans once or twice a week. Anyway, I used your recipe to create waffles that are to die for.

    Here is the recipe:

    soak your oats in whatever you like. I usually use coconut milk or whole goat milk. Sometimes I add coconut flakes. I don’t measure. I just add enough liquid (I add some whey so that the oats ferment nicely) to drench every single oat. There is no liquid floating on top of the oats. I keep it outside the fridge for at least 12 hours, then I put it in the fridge. Soaking it for 24 hrs makes it wonderful. YOu can go less or more.

    Once you are ready to use I add 2 or 3 eggs depending on how much oats I soaked. I add a pinch of salt, some baking some and baking powder. I add no sweetener at all!! The coconut milk makes it sweet enough for us. You could add some vanilla extract if you like. I keep it simple. Once they are ready we add butter, sometimes honey or jelly. NO need for extra sugar. Without sugar the waffles can also be used in sandwiches.

    The batter will be thick. It is perfect for a waffle grill, not so much for pancake making. You would probably have to dilute the batter a bit. Once I tried to and had to add some tapioca flour to keep it together. It also took too long to cook it. Waffles are easier. I make a huge batch and freeze. When we want to eat I pop them into the toaster and slap some butter and honey and the kids are devouring them faster than I can toast them. 🙂

    I want to make a post with the recipe but homeschooling 4 kids has been crazy. Maybe soon. 🙂

    Again, thanks so much for sharing the original recipe. 🙂

  17. Mmm… that sounds so comforting. Always on the look out for tasty baked goods without refined sugar.

  18. The recipe doesn’t clarify whether you are supposed to soak the oats in the milk in the fridge or at room temperature. I wasn’t sure, so just to be safe, I put it in the fridge. Was that right? Maybe you should add that info. To the recipe. I have been soaking mt wheat in water before I bake bread, but this is my first time to soak oats. I have a batch in the oven right now and am dying to try it! It smells amazing!

    • I will change it. Room temp :). But my home is chilly and we’ve made it in winter too. Hope you like it. Just to clarify, I sub in 1/10 buckwheat flour now for the oats to get better soaking but that’s another post for another time :).

  19. I did soak it 24 hours the first time, this time it was soaking a little bit over 24 hours. It could just be my oven it is over 25 years old.
    This is my second time making it but it is very cold in my downstairs kitchen where I left the oats soaking. Maybe the coldness is the problem? Plus I do use honey instead of milk. I just now realized I forgot to use less milk.

  20. The first time I made this my 5 year old and fiancee ate more than half of it in one day. My son wanted maple syrup on his and it was yummy.
    I have a batch in the oven right now, this time I put blueberries on the bottom and some extra cinnamon on top, I also mixed a little bit of ground flax seeds into it. I hope it comes out as good as the first time.
    The only issue I have is the middle of the cake setting. It has been in there for almost 45 minutes now and it is still extremely liquidy. I think i had to bake it much longer the first time I made it, but I can not remember.
    All in all this is a fantastic recipe, thank you so much for sharing it.