Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

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

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

The other day I was in the grocery store and a woman with a little girl stopped to smile at Larson. Larson’s face lit up and he held the girl’s hand for a moment. “The news is so depressing. Why can’t things like this be on the news?”, the woman asked me. I laughed. But really, with all darkness and devastation, can’t two sweet babes holding hands in the grocery store make headlines, just once? Keep reading for how this relates to baked steel cut oatmeal, and the recipe.

Coming together around the table

Did you know that our human brains are more affected by negative events than positive ones? It’s the negative things that happen to us that are the ones we remember best. There’s a biological reason for it (it helps us flee from and avoid danger), but it can also be challenging to overcome. It’s why out of 99 positive compliments, we remember the one criticism. We’re wired that way.

But if we’re ready, to balance the current bleak outlook we can consciously meditate on the positive. We can come together for Sunday brunch with baked steel cut oatmeal, or movie nights or bike rides. We can talk about our fears, our hopes and dreams. We can strive for a world where there is more peace and compromise and listening, and less division and confusion and fear.

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

How to make baked steel cut oatmeal

This recipe, then, is one for those gatherings where we can come together. It’s a baked steel cut oatmeal recipe based on our favorite pumpkin pecan version. And best of all, it’s an idea brought to us by a reader, Heather! She let us know that she makes our pumpkin oatmeal so that she’s created a few other “flavors”. When she mentioned a carrot cake version, I knew we needed to try it out.

This carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal is cozy and comforting, flecked with orange carrots and flavored with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Heather suggested another tweak from the original: feeling “too lazy” to melt butter, she substituted olive oil and found the flavor of the baked steel cut oatmeal was just as delicious. Since I’m all about lazy hacks, we included the olive oil in this version and loved it.

This baked steel cut oatmeal takes over an hour to put together, so make sure to make it when you have plenty of time for prep. However, the leftovers save well and make for a healthy breakfast recipe that lasts throughout the week. It’s also a nice make-ahead dish for a special brunch. Since we’re not able to cook for you all in person, consider this our cozy fall treat, virtually. Sending warm thoughts to all.

More carrot recipes

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

This baked steel cut 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 Steel Cut Oatmeal

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (122 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)

  • 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 1/2 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)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup raw steel cut oats (do not use rolled oats)
  • 1/3 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 1/2 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

Looking for healthy breakfast recipes?

Outside of this carrot cake oatmeal, here are a few of our favorite healthy breakfast recipes:

Last updated: July 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby
    October 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 9:47 am

    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!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Shauna | Linden & Lavender
    October 22, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      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!

      • Reply
        Shauna | Linden & Lavender
        November 10, 2017 at 11:50 am

        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!

  • Reply
    C. Cochran
    October 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Loved this! It was super, super tasty. Definitely on the repeat list!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Oh I’m so glad you tried it out and that you enjoyed it! Thank you for letting us know!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2017 at 6:10 am

    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!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      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?

      • Reply
        April 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm

        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 ;)!

        • Reply
          April 22, 2019 at 9:19 am

          Ooo this is a great tip! We’ll try it next time. Thanks Anna!

  • Reply
    Anna Honeyman
    February 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    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 :).

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Peggy Baker
    December 12, 2019 at 10:58 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 12, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      It is 1 1/2 cups — thanks for the note! We’ve updated the recipe accordingly.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    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

  • Reply
    April 25, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      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?

  • Reply
    April 25, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Suggestions for modifying using “regular” oats instead of steel cut. (I have them and a bunch of extra carrots!) Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      Great question! I think I’d just make our Best Oatmeal and with the oats add in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated carrots. Then serve with chopped pecans and maple syrup!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Just cooking this recipe in the oven right now! Is it supposed to be soft and fluffy or flat and gooey? P.s I used rolled oats (its what i had in the pantry).

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      July 16, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Hi Marie! Thanks for letting us know about the rolled oats. This dish is meant to be made with steel cut oats, which are much different than rolled oats (more like a whole grain and need to be cooked a long time). We wouldn’t recommend using rolled oats here, so we can’t advise on the texture. You’ll probably want to pull it out of the oven sooner than with steel cut!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Hi, what can I use to substitute for the egg to amke it vegan? Thanks

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