What’s your favorite kind of cake? Mine happens to be carrot cake. Speaking of which, have you tried my healthy carrot cake recipe yet?!
Well, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could transform carrot cake into a healthy version you could enjoy for breakfast. After making my almond butter apple oatmeal cups, peanut butter banana oatmeal cups and pumpkin oatmeal cups, I thought it would be fun to try out a carrot cake baked oatmeal version.
AND OH MY FREAKING ZAC EFRON. These carrot cake oatmeal cups are my new favorite breakfast! They’re hearty, perfectly spiced with cinnamon, include plenty of carrots, applesauce and maple syrup for sweetness, and nuts, raisins and shredded coconut for texture and true carrot cake flavor. Great for kids, too!
What you’ll need to make carrot cake baked oatmeal cups
You’re going to LOVE the simple, delicious ingredients in these carrot cake baked oatmeal cups. They’re the perfect breakfast for kids and adults! Not only are they naturally sweetened, but they’re also great for customizing with fun add-ins. First, here’s what you’ll need:
- Shredded carrots: you’ll need to shred about 2 medium carrots to get all of the carrot cake goodness, but make sure you measure 1 cup of shredded carrots!
- Unsweetened applesauce: a bit of unsweetened applesauce adds the perfect amount of moisture to the oatmeal cups. If you don’t have applesauce, then 1 ripe mashed banana should do the trick.
- Eggs: for some extra protein and help these oatmeal cups stay together. I haven’t tried flax eggs, but let me know if you do in the comments.
- Dairy free milk: I used almond milk, but coconut milk would also be delicious. Just know you can use any milk you’d like.
- Maple syrup: for a delicious, natural sweetness.
- Coconut oil: you’ll just need a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil for some additional moisture in these baked oatmeal cups.
- Rolled oats: feel free to use gluten free rolled oats if you’d like! I would not recommend steel cut or quick oats.
- Baking powder: to help these oatmeal cups rise a bit.
- Cinnamon: adds a cozy flavor to these oatmeal cups and gives them that carrot cake goodness.
- Salt: to bring the flavors all together.
- Shredded coconut: is there anything better than carrot cake with coconut? YUM.
- Yummy mix-ins: I used raisins and chopped pecans in these, but feel free to use walnuts or other dried fruit.
- For the glaze: cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and a splash of almond or coconut milk.
Easy ingredient swaps
Here are a few ingredient substitutions I can recommend for these carrot cake baked oatmeal cups:
- Swap the applesauce. If you’re out of applesauce you can actually use 1 ripe mashed banana instead. YUM.
- Choose the oil. If you don’t have coconut oil, butter, vegan butter, olive oil and avocado oil will all work well in the recipe. You can also choose an oil like walnut or hazelnut oil.
- Use any milk. I like to use almond or coconut milk in this recipe, but feel free to use any milk you’d like.
- Keep them dairy free. Simply use your favorite dairy free cream cheese for the glaze, or omit the glaze entirely. They will still be delicious!
Can I use steel cut or quick oats?
I would not recommend using steel cut or quick oats in these carrot cake baked oatmeal cups because it will change the texture.
Can I make these vegan?
I think a flax egg or a chia egg will work well in this recipe but haven’t tested it to be sure. Let me know in the comments if you give it a try.
How to make carrot cake baked oatmeal cups
The best part about these oatmeal cups is that they’re easily made in just one bowl. So easy! Here’s how to make them:
- Prep your pan. Preheat the oven and line a muffin tin with muffin liners. I recommend spraying your liners with cooking spray to prevent sticking. See notes to make it in a 9×9 inch pan instead!
- Mix the wet ingredients. Mix together the carrots, applesauce, eggs, almond milk, maple syrup and melted coconut oil.
- Stir in the dry. Then add in the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Finally, gently fold in your shredded coconut, pecans and raisins.
- Baking them up. Evenly distribute your carrot cake oatmeal mixture into the lined muffin tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until they’re set and longer look “wet.”
- Add the glaze and enjoy! Make your glaze by mixing the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond milk, and then drizzle or pipe it onto each baked oatmeal cup.
Tips for storing & reheating baked oatmeal cups
- In the fridge: bake these carrot cake baked oatmeal cups ahead of time and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Once ready to eat, just reheat them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Freezer-friendly carrot cake baked oatmeal cups: allow them to cool completely after baking, then place them in an airtight container or reusable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, you can microwave them for 45 seconds-1 minute or until warm. I suggest freezing them without the the glaze and simply adding the glaze when you’re ready to enjoy them.
Don’t forget to check out all of our favorite kitchen essentials.
More carrot cake recipes you’ll love
- Healthier Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies (made with coconut oil + dairy free!)
- The Best Healthy Carrot Cake You’ll Ever Eat (gluten free & paleo-friendly!)
- Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze
Get all of our amazing Easter recipes here!
I hope you love these delicious, easy carrot cake baked oatmeal cups! If you make them I’d love for you to leave a comment and a rating letting me know how you liked them. I greatly appreciate it – xoxo!
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Cups
Delicious, healthy carrot cake baked oatmeal cups with raisins, pecans and shredded coconut. These easy carrot cake baked oatmeal cups are naturally sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and topped with a light cream cheese glaze. A wonderful on-the-go or meal prep breakfast for your week!
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium carrots)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted and cooled coconut oil
- Dry ingredients:
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if desired
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- For the cream cheese glaze:
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, to thin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent oatmeal cups from sticking.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded carrots, applesauce, eggs, almond milk, maple syrup and coconut oil until smooth and well combined.
- Next stir in dry ingredients: oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; stir well to combine. Fold in shredded coconut, chopped pecans and raisins.
Evenly distribute oatmeal batter between muffin liners and bake for 25-30 minutes or until oatmeal cups are set.
- To make the cream cheese glaze: in a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and almond milk. Drizzle or pipe over the oatmeal cups. Makes 12 oatmeal cups.
Oatmeal cups should be stored in the fridge and will stay good for 4-5 days.
Even better: freezing baked oatmeal cups is easy. Just allow them to cool completely after baking, then place them in an airtight container or reusable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, you can microwave them for 45 seconds-1 minute or until warm.
If you don't have applesauce, then 1 large ripe mashed banana should do the trick.
How to bake these in a pan: make this an oatmeal bake by pouring batter into a 9x9 inch pan and baking for 40-50 minutes until slightly golden brown on the edges and the center is set.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats