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This carrot cake baked oatmeal is everyone’s favorite cake, done up for breakfast! It’s a hearty way to start the day.

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

Looking for a fun breakfast idea? Try carrot cake baked oatmeal! Here’s everyone’s favorite cake dressed up as a wholesome way to start the day. It’s cozy and comforting, flecked with orange carrots and flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Steel cut oats add heartiness, and it’s seriously simple to throw together and eat off a pan all week. This one’s a favorite of ours: especially in the spring! Here’s how to make it.

Ingredients in carrot cake baked oatmeal

This carrot cake baked oatmeal has a twist: it’s make with steel cut oats instead of rolled oats! It’s a spin on our favorite pumpkin pie baked oatmeal, with carrots and cozy spices instead. Best of all, it’s an idea brought to us by a reader, Heather! She let us know that she makes our pumpkin oatmeal all the time and she even created a few other “flavors”: one of which was carrot cake. We knew we needed to try it out, and it’s become a big favorite around here. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Carrots
  • Raw steel cut oats (do not use rolled oats; see below
  • Olive oil
  • Egg
  • 2% milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Baking powder and salt
  • Pecan pieces
Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

Steel cut oats vs rolled oats

This carrot cake baked oatmeal uses steel cut oats, not rolled oats. What’s the difference?

  • Steel cut oats are whole grain oats that are cut into nubs: the grains look like brown rice or barley
  • Rolled oats are oat groats that are rolled through steel rollers: this gives them a flat shape and makes them much quicker to cook. Both varieties have very similar nutritional profiles: lots of protein and fiber to start your day! See Steel Cut vs Rolled Oats.
  • Don’t substitute rolled oats here! The recipe is designed for steel cut oats, so the liquid quantities and bake time don’t work for rolled oats.

It takes 1 hour, but leftovers save well

This carrot cake baked oatmeal takes 1 hour start to finish, but most of the time is hands off while the oatmeal bakes. However, the leftovers save well and make for a healthy breakfast recipe that lasts throughout the week. It saves well in the refrigerator, and you can eat it cold or room temp: no reheating necessary! If you’d like, you can heat it in the oven or microwave.

More carrot recipes

Got leftover carrots? Here are some more carrot recipes to use up a bunch!

This carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free, use almond milk.

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Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


There’s nothing cozier than baked oatmeal! This baked steel cut oatmeal is carrot cake flavored, with cozy spices and pecans.


  • 3 large carrots (1 ½ cups grated)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or oat or almond milk)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup raw steel cut oats (do not use rolled oats)
  • ⅓ cup pecan pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
  2. Peel and finely grate the carrots, enough for 1 ½ cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and kosher salt. Pour into the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Stir in the steel cut oats.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, then mix in carrots and spread them around evenly. Cover the pan loosely with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil then sprinkle with pecans. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes until set. Serve warm, or refrigerate and eat leftovers for several days. (Note: This baked steel cut oatmeal is best warm or room temperature. Leftovers store well and can be reheated. To make it ahead, you could bake the entire pan and reheat: or prepare the wets and dries separately and refrigerate overnight, keeping the carrots in a separate container, and then mix them and bake the next morning.)
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked steel cut oatmeal, Baked Oatmeal, Steel Cut Oatmeal, Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Brunch Recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Thank you so much for the reply! I think you’re right about the oats being older-I checked the bag and it said “best by May 2020” which probably means they’re several years old. i just tasted it again several hours after taking it out of the oven and I think the oats have softened up a bit. Next time I’ll use fresher oats!
    Anyway, I am so grateful for this yummy healthy variation on steel-cut oatmeal. This recipe is a keeper and I look forward to sharing it with friends and family.

  2. The flavor was so delicious! I added some fresh grated ginger and some raisins. I added a little extra milk as I figured the raisins would absorb some of the liquid. One question: do you use traditional steel cut oatmeal (the kind that takes 20-25 minutes to cook on stovetop) or quick-cooking steel cut oatmeal? I ask because it came out pretty chewy; I used traditional steel cut oats. I baked it for a little over an hour. I like chewy but I felt like the oats were not cooked enough and could cause some indigestion/gas for some people. Maybe presoaking the oats in the liquid called for a few hours or overnight might help. I liked this recipe enough to fiddle with it, but I would like to know whether you used traditional or quick-cooking steel cut oats. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for letting us know! This recipe is for traditional steel cut oats (not quick cooking). This has been made many times over the years and we’ve never heard that comment from anyone — and never had it happen ourselves! There can be some variation in steel cut oats brands. I’d suggest maybe using a different brand next time to see? Or, do you know if the oats you had were very old?

  3. La verdad que el sabor es como comer avena con zanahoria, pensé que iba a ser otra cosa por el título. Gracias por compartir la receta igual, muy rico sale

  4. It is unclear as to whether it is 1/2 cup or 1.5 cups. The list of ingredients indicates 1/2. The instructions indicate 1.5.
    Which is it?

  5. Another delicious recipe! Our family loved these steel cut oats, probably the best we’ve had. I seriously wanted to devour the entire pan! Thank you, thank you. I want to try with other mix-ins as well :).

    1. Really? SO glad to hear this — and worse things have happened than devouring an entire pan of baked oatmeal, ha! :) Thank you so much for letting us know!

  6. Hello! I made this yesterday and it is delicious, but all of the carrots floated to the top and made their own layer! Is there any way to avoid that and keep them mixed in? Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    1. That’s how ours worked too — since the carrots are less dense, they do float to the top! So unfortunately I’m not sure of a way for that not to happen — unless you could try grating them thicker?

      1. We’ve been loving this recipe for a solid year! I’ve found when I use a Milk with some fat such as reduced fat canned coconut or full fat the carrots don’t all float to the top ;)!

    2. Mix the carrots with the steel cut oats thoroughly so it’s a dry crumble and then combine that with the wet ingredients; comes out even

  7. This sounds delicious! I have always been hesitant to bake with steel cut oats as I was unsure that they would soften enough. Will give this a go.

    1. I agree, they are so tough that it seems almost impossible they’d soften! This one bakes for quite a while so it gets soft and gooey. Let us know if you try it!

      1. Baked it for house guests and it was a big success! The texture is lovely because of the steel cut oats. I used 2 medium carrots and that was enough for 1.5 cups and substituted walnuts as I was out of pecans. Thank you!

  8. Made it this week, and it’s delicious. My husband, who doesn’t like carrots, saw me eating it and asked what it was. He tried it and liked it!! Making your pumpkin version next. And he loves pumpkin! Thanks for sharing!

    1. How great is this?! I love hearing when one of our recipes converts someone into liking something new! :) Thanks so much for making it, and I hope the pumpkin version works out!

    2. It looks delicious. As a vegan, can I use plant-based milk and replace the egg with flaxseed? Also, do you have the carbohydrate count and nutrition info on this? Thank you.

  9. I’ve been thinking about that recently too, bad news after bad news after bad news. Yet the precious moments slip by, how can we remember them when we need them the most? Food that we can share together brings us together to creat those memories!

    1. Absolutely, we couldn’t agree more over here: it’s a call to meditate on the good in community over good food. THANKS for your kind words!

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