Looking for a nutritious way to start (or end) your day? This Gluten-free Oatmeal Cake is loaded with whole grains and lots of flavor and can be easily made vegan–you won't believe how simple it is!
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.
We like this recipe both ways, but I personally think the cake version is a bit nicer.
Tell me what you think!
- Topping Options: 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- If necessary, use gluten-free oats. Here is a great brand.
- My Easiest Coconut Milk would work great for a homemade dairy-free milk substitute! Here is a great organic store-bought coconut milk.
- You can use any other healthy fat for the coconut oil, or use applesauce for a THM E menu option.
- 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.
- Here is a great egg substitute. Also see my Powdered Egg Substitute for a homemade option.
- If you would like to make your own baking powder, see Homemade Baking Powder.
- If using nuts, please soak and dehydrate them first.
- See my Healthier Cinnamon Sugar for a homemade cinnamon sugar substitute.
- Soaking Notes – as you can see in my post on soaking grains, typically an acidic medium is recommended.
Baked Oatmeal (or Oatmeal Cake) (gluten-free with vegan and sugar-free options)
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups milk (or non-dairy substitute)
- 6 Tbsp organic coconut oil (melted)
- 1/3 cup xylitol
- 3 scoops stevia extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp organic cinnamon
- 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 cup nuts (optional)
- 1 cup fresh or dried fruit (optional)
- cinnamon sugar (or substitute - optional for topping)
- 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. 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 using.
- 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 (almond milk and coconut milk are wonderful on top) or eat at room temperature like a cake.
- Store in the refrigerator in a closed container.
Other Healthy Baked Goods to Try:
Do you have a recipe “mistake” that turned out great?