Simple and Delicious Gluten-free and Vegan Baked Oatmeal

Looking for a nutritious way to start (or end) your day? This Gluten-free and Vegan Baked Oatmeal 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?

My Childhood Unhealthy Breakfasts

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

Super Easy Gluten-free Vegan Baked Oatmeal

This Gluten-free Vegan Baked Oatmeal is so simple and healthy, you'll love how easy it is to make and your family will love the hearty, perfectly 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 baked oatmeal, vegan baked oatmeal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 55 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 435kcal


  • 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 egg equivalents (I use this Egg Replacer Powder - you can also use eggs if you like)
  • 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")


  • 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.


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!

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Recipe Rating



    1. Ooh that sounds good, but I would think the zucchini might add too much water. I would for sure squeeze the liquid out before trying it. Might work!

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

    1. 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 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!

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

  5. 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!:)

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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 She has free pages on soaking grains and why...based on Nourishing Trads.

        1. I have heard both way about acid and have also heard you need to add buckwheat to make it soak properly - thanks!

  7. 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?

    1. Looks like you might want to add a bit more. For the portion you subbed add in a proportionate amt equal to 50% more of what you should have :).

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

    1. 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 :)!

  12. 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. 🙂

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

  14. 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!

    1. 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 :).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. You know, I had that every once in awhile. Does it happen to you every time? And did you soak it for 24 hours?