Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

 Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

It’s been a crazy past few months. Fires in California and natural disasters in Houston, Puerto Rico, and Florida destroyed everything in their path, reducing family homes to nothing. The recent mass murder in Las Vegas left many of us questioning all that is good. A few months ago a hate rally inspired terror and fear in Charlottesville. And it goes on. The news is utterly tragic, to say the least. 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?

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 1 criticism. We’re wired that way.

It’s necessary to make space and time to grieve these events. But once we’re ready, to balance the current bleak outlook we can consciously meditate on the positive. I’m grateful to see so many amazing ways to help the victims of these tragedies. Almost immediately, companies and non-profits and everyday people are giving back. Even in a country that feels incredibly divided, people are coming together. That gives me hope. And instead of descending into a hole of depression, we can gather loved ones close and cherish each other. We can come together for Sunday brunch or movie nights or bike rides and enjoy each other’s company. We can talk about our fears, our hopes and dreams for a world where there is more peace and compromise and listening and less division and confusion and fear.

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

Special thanks to Heather E. for the inspiration for this recipe!

Looking for healthy breakfast recipes?

Healthy breakfast recipes can be hard to come by. Here are a few of our favorite healthy breakfast recipes:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.

This recipe is…

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

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal | A Couple Cooks

Carrot Cake Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

1 Star (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


Serves more as part of a large brunch spread; less if eating as the main event.



  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups 2% milk (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
  • 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: Our pumpkin pecan steel cut baked oatmeal is best cold, but this version is best warm or room temperature. Leftovers store well and can be reheated.)
Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

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
    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!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.