Gluten-free Oatmeal Cake {gluten-free with vegan option}

Looking for a nutritious way to start (or end) your day? This Gluten-free Oatmeal Cake is a super easy recipe that's loaded with whole grains and lots of flavors and can be easily made vegan too.

It's a healthy treat that your whole family is sure to love!

gluten free oatmeal cake with berries in a white baking pan

Breakfast is a tough meal of the day for families on the go who are trying to be healthy.  It's easy to lean on convenience foods so that everyone can grab something fast when they're headed out the door, and that can mean some not so good decisions, you know?

Breakfast When I Was Growing Up

When I was little, we had a lot of those "not so good for you" type breakfasts.

Some of the breakfast "foods" that I remember us having were:

Thomas'® English Muffins
Thomas' Corn Toast-R-Cakes®
Homemade Cinnamon Toast (made with margarine and white bread and granulated white sugar--yikes!)
Ka-Boom® Cereal (my sister's favorite)
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Life Cereal
Cream of Wheat

Get the idea :)?

Now that I've woken up to how important it is to have real food, things have changed. Oh how they have changed.

soaking oats for baked oatmeal cake
Stir the oats to prepare them for soaking.

A Healthier Breakfast Option

We're basically an "all whole foods" family now, so things have changed.

Truth is, we are a little unconventional around here and have been known to have some unusual breakfasts. Like this Chocolate Chia Pudding, this Bean Fudge, or Homemade Protein Bars or Almond Joy® Bars for breakfast. Actually those Almond Joy Bars are amazing for breakfast--tons of healthy fats to get you going and keep you satisfied.

The way I see it - if it's healthy, you can have it for breakfast, right?  Even if it's fudge.

Why not last dinner's leftovers, in fact?

This Oatmeal Cake Recipe is, of course, a little more of a conventional breakfast food.

The Origin of this Cake

Our 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'd heard of baked oatmeal, but had never made it nor tried it.

Well, my kids gobbled it up and....when gobbling like that happens, I go on a mission. This time on a quest for the best Baked Oatmeal recipe that I could find.

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

The resulting success story is what you see pictured above.

A Kitchen Mistake Gone Right

The funny thing about this recipe is it basically was a mistake.  Remember I mentioned that Becky's recipe for baked oatmeal?

Well, this recipe became a "cake" by mistake.

I knew it was important to soak grains (especially oats) and so when I set out to try out my version of the cake, 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 is so light, you won't believe that it is made from whole rolled oats.

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?"

Nope--the oats just turned out that way.  Amazing.  See how much soaking your grains can change the grains themselves?

Side note--for another "mistake turned family favorite, see my post on Chaat Masala.)

You could definitely make this dish the Baked Oatmeal Way, but I will most likely work on that to perfect it into another recipe.

But if you like experimenting, for a more Baked Oatmeal-ish recipe, simply soak the oats overnight only. Or you could simply not soak them at all. The top will be more like a cake, but the bottom of the dish will be more dense and like thick oatmeal on the bottom.

Either way--oatmeal yumminess.

Soaked oats in a bowl and berries and walnuts on a plate
Layer nuts and fruit in the bottom of the baking dish.

The photos in this post are of the "soaked for 24 hour" option.

Baked oatmeal cake topped with berries and walnuts in a white baking pan
Oatmeal Cake ready to go in the oven.

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.

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

If you try it both ways, I would love to hear what you think!

Either way, this cake tastes special--especially topped with whipped cream, coconut whipped cream, or yogurt--and lots of fruit.

Won't the Cake Spoil If It's Left Out Overnight?

I get this question often.

The answer is no, it won't, if you are using an acidic medium (like cultured milk, whey, or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice).

If you are using regular dairy, then you MUST use an acidic medium to prevent spoilage. If you are not using dairy, you should be able to soak the mixture on the counter overnight with no problem.

vegan oatmeal cake with berries on top in white pan with spatula

Recipe Notes

  • Topping Options: I make this regularly with walnuts and dried apples from our dehydrator. So many combinations are possible. Bananas and walnuts, fresh apples and pecans. For the cake in these photos we used berries and walnuts. We even once just blended shredded coconut (about 1/3 cup) into the batter and sprinkled both cinnamon sugar and extra coconut on top.  Mmmmmm......
  • Milk Options: Use any type of milk you prefer.  I recommend healthy raw milk if you use dairy.  Otherwise, any non-dairy alternative will work great like Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Rice Milk, etc.  Here is a great organic store-bought coconut milk.
  • Bake In Bulk: 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. Make a bunch and freeze for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks anytime you need them.
  • Gluten-free Oats: If necessary, use gluten-free oats. Here is a great brand. I've heard that the GF Harvest Company's oats are very reliably gluten-free and they test for glyphosate too!
  • Oil / Fat Options: You can use any other healthy fat for the coconut oil, or use applesauce for a fat-free / Trim Healthy Mama (THM:E) menu option.
  • Sweetener Options: Although xylitol is a good candida-friendly sweetener, organic erythritol is as well. Or sub a liquid sweetener using my guidelines in Substituting Sweeteners. You can use an additional 1/3 cup of a healthy granulated sweetener instead of stevia. If using stevia, here is a great brand of stevia scoops. Also, see How to Use Stevia for some tips on stevia.
  • Egg Alternatives: This is the egg substitute we used for years. See my Powdered Egg Substitute for a homemade option. This cake turns out great with either option.
  • Baking Powder Option: If you would like to make your own baking powder, or need a corn-free or grain-free option, see this Grain-free Baking Powder.
  • Cinnamon Sugar Substitute: See this Healthier Cinnamon Sugar for a homemade cinnamon sugar alternative.
  • Soaking Notes - as you can see in my post on soaking grains, typically an acidic medium is recommended, but there are mixed thoughts on this. You may add the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the oats before soaking but you will end up with a slightly acidic taste to the oats.
pieces of gluten-free oatmeal cake with coconut yogurt and berries on top

Other Healthy Baked Goods to Try:

If you're a fan of whole grain baking, here are some other recipes that you might enjoy.

gluten free oatmeal cake with berries in a white baking pan

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

This Gluten-free Oatmeal Cake is so simple and healthy, you'll love how easy it is to make and your family will love the hearty, not-too-sweet taste.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, THM:S, Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free oatmeal cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 55 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 435kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 4 cups coconut milk (see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (optional) or lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or other sweetener as desired)
  • 3/32 teaspoon stevia extract (or other sweetener as desired--see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute--see Recipe Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or dried fruit (optional)
  • cinnamon "sugar" (optional - for topping--see my post on Healthier Cinnamon "Sugar")

Instructions

  • Mix oats, milk, and sweetener(s) in a large bowl. Combine well.
  • If soaking to remove phytates, add acid medium (apple cider vinegar or lemon juice).
  • Soak either overnight (for a more baked oatmeal-type dish) or for at least 24 hours (for an Oatmeal Cake) at room temperature. Make sure to read the instructions about How to Soak Grains.
  • Add remaining ingredients, saving baking powder and egg substitute (if using) until last.
  • Mix well.
  • 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.
  • Pour the batter onto the nuts and fruit (or directly into the prepared dish if not using the nuts and fruit).
  • Top with the remaining nuts and/or fruit if desired.
  • Top with cinnamon sugar if desired.
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is set.
  • Serve either warm, with additional cinnamon sugar, nuts, fruit and milk, whipped cream or yogurt. Alternatively, eat at room temperature like a regular cake.
  • Store in the refrigerator in a closed container or freeze for a longer shelf life.

Nutrition

Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 5.2mg | Net Carbs: 19g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Note: This post was originally published on 12/22/11. It was republished on 6/1/19 with updated information and images. Following is the original image for reference.

Baked oatmeal cake in a white bowl

I'd love to hear how you like this Baked Oatmeal Cake once you've tried it!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




 

237 Comments

  1. This sounds interesting. I'm hoping this will fit the bill for a quick protein rich breakfast when in a hurry. I'm gonna try this with a few more eggs and a TBS gelatin powder. How much more milk do you think I should add also?

    Also, if I start with sprouted oats, would I need to still soak it?

    When you say, 3/32 teaspoon stevia extract, would that basically equate to 1/10th tsp? I don't have any measurement to make 3/32. Thanks.

    1. Hi Michele! Can you tell me more about the milk and why you think you should add more? Not sure how to answer that. You don't need to soak it if you are starting w/ sprouted oats - but it might make the finished product lighter.

      Yes, that's about 1/10 of a teaspoon. Typically stevia is measured in "scoops" that are 1/32 of a teaspoon - I talk about that and have links to the spoons in this post: https://wholenewmom.com/stevia-what-it-is-and-how-to-use-it/

      1. Thanx for your reply. Ok, now I remember that powdered stevia is measured in mini 1/32 scoops. Silly me, I was thinking of liquid stevia.

        I'll clarify: If I add a few more eggs and a TBS gelatin powder, will it come out too dense? If so, should I increase amount of liquid? Thanx 😊.

        1. Of course - so you are thinking about adding the eggs and gelatin for the purpose of adding more protein - is that the main reason?

          1. Yes. A quick, healthy protein- rich snack. We get tired of meat sticks and the healthy ones are getting more expensive 😉

            1. I get it. I would think you could get away with 1 egg but more than that will likely be too much. You could try it but I don't know that it will work well. Same with the gelatin.

              Might be a good idea to add more protein as you are able and consider other things like these Homemade Gummies for more added protein. Thoughts? This Homemade "JELLO" would work well too.

  2. I soaked over night with juice from 1/2 a lemon. I added 1/2 cup ground flax/chia, used 1/2 cup monk fruit, almond milk, no fruit/nuts because my family won't eat it then, but used the cinnamon sugar topping. Baked it 50 minutes and it was too dense for my liking. Next time I'll try it in a bigger dish.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this cake for Easter morning, and it was a huge hit! It’s so tough to find a truly-delicious, healthy, easy breakfast recipe that is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, and nut free, so I had to try this one. I’m thrilled with it and I’ll be making it again soon!

    1. Oh wow - you seriously made my night. Thank you for taking the time to come and comment. SO glad you enjoyed it! I am working hard to bring new recipes and new information to help others on their journey.....thanks in advance for your patience :). And thank you again. I'm sitting here w/ a huge smile on my face. 🙂

  4. This looks so good! Question: what is the volume/amount of oats after they've been soaked? In other words, if I wanted to make this with leftover oatmeal that's already been cooked (thus skipping the soaking part) how much should I use?
    Thanks, I can't wait to try it!

    1. Gosh I have no idea! I've never measured. I would try to do one batch and then see...then you can apply that to how you would like to make it. Hope you like it! Interesting question!

  5. Hi! How can I leave milk on the counter to soak for 24 hours.....
    Wouldn’t the milk be growing bacteria? I get soaking overnight in water.
    Should I put oats soaking in milk in the fridge instead? Thanks!!
    So eager to try this recipie

  6. 5 stars
    I'm planning my son's 4th birthday cake, and I really love the look of this recipe! I'm wondering, do you think this would work if I made this into two smaller, round cakes and layered one on top with a cream cheese frosting? Or would the cake collapse / be too crumbly? Thanks

    1. Oh what a LOVELY idea!! I think it would work. I don't feel that the cake is that crumbly as oats tend to be quite gummy. I hope it works out! Might want to make a small cake first to see the texture for yourself, but I think you'll be happy with it! Do let me know!

      1. 5 stars
        I tried it using a cream cheese frosting and it was GREAT! Held up fantastically. Even grandma commented on how nice the cake was. Will definitely be making this in the future.

        1. Oh my that sounds amazing! Did you do a lower carb version? We don't do much dairy but wow I would love to try a vegan version maybe!

          1. I'm not sure what the carb count would have been - mixed about 750g cream cheese with half a stick of butter, lime juice, vanilla and honey to taste (perhaps 2tbs?). Definitely wasn't as sweet as conventional icing, but I wouldn't call it low carb either 🙂
            I'm sure a vegan version would work out nicely as well!

  7. When you say center of the cake is “set” will a knife come out clean? I’ve got the sucker in the oven but it’s not fully cooked. But also I used flax eggs, so maybe it’s that...

    1. It should but I never used a flax egg w/ this and they can be tricky. Even if it's a bit gooey it should taste good - LMK how it turns out!

  8. What a great recipe - I want the cake for sure. Your photo is terrific (I haven't been on your site for a while; thanks for keeping me on!) - you look almost ecstatic! Dealing with food allergies cannot be easy even though necessary.
    I am now trying to feed a young man, which is also not easy. His preference is junk food, heavy on sugar and chocolate. He buys what he likes but will eat what I cook (if it is convenient!)

    1. Hi there! Aww - thanks! Were you not getting my emails earlier? My photo turned out much better than I would have expected given the circumstances (not all of them were good)--we were out of town and had mold in our hotel and had had almost no sleep for 2 days in a row. Guess it was adrenaline and a great photographer and some touchups :).

      Food allergies can be tough but not as bad as other things for sure. I hope that he will work with you more! Junk is not helpful!

      1. I was getting your emails but I was caught up in free ebooks! Although I recently purchased an ereader, I am not convinced they are a good way to read books! I mostly bought it because one Windows10 update blocked the audio - it is still tere but the system cannot/does not access it. I have 2 brothers in the tech field but they both shrugged and said sometimes that happens. [Not helpful!]

  9. Hi!

    I'm looking forward to trying this! Is it important to add Apple Cider Vinegar to a warm liquid to release needed anti nutrients?

    Thank you!

      1. Thank you! What would be the process for adding ACV? Would you add it to the Coconut milk (should it be warm) or would you use warm water? Do you discard the water after soaking?

    1. This is what people do so it's a common practice. Hope you enjoy it! You can use water instead if you'd like.

  10. Soaking grains is NOT necessary for health or nutrition. The concept behind it simply doesn't apply to people who eat a decent diet and have plentiful access to food, as most of us are blessed to have. (If you don't have either of those things, by all means, soak your grains to get as much as you can from your food.) That said, I'm looking forward to trying this recipe with the soaked oats, to experience the difference in texture. It sounds well worth the wait! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Thanks, Kasey! So are you saying that you don't think that phytates are an issue w/ grains? Interested in your thoughts and hope you like the recipe!

  11. I've been making this for a while and my kids and I love it!! Its the only baked oatmeal recipe I use. I start soaking the oats Sunday morning, bake it Monday and have a quick and delicious breakfast for the week. I sometimes replace the oil with peanut butter for the flavor and extra protein.

  12. Finally I found healthy oatmeal that my husband will eat for breakfast! He'd prefer cookies but this is good & easier to bake. Have you ever tried making it like carrot cake? I love carrot cake even without the cream cheese frosting! I don't have the time to experiment but thought someone might have come across a good recipe with oatmeal & carrots. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I will see what I can come up with. Great idea! So you are thinking Healthy Oatmeal Cake like Carrot Cake?

  13. 5 stars
    Great find... I was looking exactly for such combination as I do not have flour only oatmeal and lots of apples, no time for groceries shopping!! 🙂 can't wait to make it tonight. Thanks