Tender, fluffy, and perfectly spiced, Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal is the ultimate, upgraded year-round comfort food.
The holidays may be over but the love for gingerbread spice runs strong in our family all year long. It's cozy, comforting, and a classic combination of spices that always stirs up memories of time spent with family. This Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal combines nutrient-rich oats with holiday spices and the right touch of sweetness to make it one breakfast we always look forward to. We hope you love this family favorite as much as we do!
Why You Should Make Baked Oatmeal
Baked oatmeal makes a cozy, comforting, nutritious breakfast option for home or on-the-go. It also appeals to those who don't enjoy the standard "soggy" or "mushy" consistency of regular oatmeal. Baked oatmeal has a texture that can be described as a mix between oatmeal and a muffin. Not too wet, and not too dry.
They're a pinch to make and totally customizable
Baked oats are incredibly easy to make. Simply mix everything together, bake, and enjoy! They are also extremely versatile! From varying fruits, nuts, seeds, spiced - even vegetables!- there are so many ways to love them.
Oats are rich in vitamins, minerals, and protective antioxidants. Oats also contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber credited with helping to support healthy cholesterol levels and the beneficial bacteria in the gut. We upgrade these oats even further with nutrient rich ingredients like zucchini and chia seeds which add fiber, phytochemicals, and important vitamins and minerals.
They're the ultimate comfort food.
If you've never tried baked oatmeal you are in for a treat! It is cozy, comforting, and these gingerbread spices will remind you of the happiest holiday memories any time of year.
What You'll Need
Old-fashioned, rolled oats work best for baked oatmeal. Quick-cook oats can substituted, however there will be a slight difference in texture.
We've made baked oatmeal dozens of times and with nearly as many kinds of milk. Both dairy and non-dairy milk works wonderfully.
Ok, zucchini isn't totally necessary to make these oats, but we say, why not? Zucchini adds moisture, fiber and nutrients. If you don't have zucchini on hand or just don't love it, simply omit. We recommend adding ¼ cup extra milk to compensate.
Eggs bind and "set" the oatmeal and give it structure for slicing. You can replace eggs for flax eggs, with some difference in texture - be sure to reduce your milk too! Flax eggs use 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoon warm water for each egg needed. Let the flax/water mixture sit for several minutes (to become thickened and viscous) before adding to the rest of your recipe.
You can't have gingerbread without spices! Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice add just the right mix to this blend. Out of allspice? Ground cloves can be substituted with a similar end result.
Another important component to achieving that classic gingerbread flavor is molasses. Blackstrap molasses in particular offers a rich, intense flavor and host of nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. To add a touch more sweetness we add maple syrup to balance the flavors.
Chia seeds add fiber, essential nutrients, and also help bind the oatmeal together. You can swap with ground flax or leave out altogether if you don't have.
A simple sugar icing adds that "cherry on top" to our oats. You can swap the icing for a dollop of yogurt, your favorite nut butter, or mascarpone cheese for delicious alternatives.
How To Make
Baked oatmeal is incredibly easy to make. To start, we shred our zucchini and pat to remove excess moisture. It is important to press out as much water as possible to avoid "soggy oats".
Next, we combine our zucchini along with all other remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.
While the oats bake it's time to whip together our 3-ingredient icing. You can make your frosting as thick or thin as desired by adjusting the ratio of powdered sugar to milk.
Finally, it's time to ice our oatmeal! For best results we recommend letting the oatmeal cool slightly before applying. You can also prepare your frosting and wait to apply just prior to serving.
The only thing left to do is enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Baked Oatmeal
Can I prep baked oatmeal ahead of time?
Baked oats can absolutely be baked and frozen for future meals. We recommend keeping the icing separate and applying just before serving. It's also helpful to freeze the oats in individual portions for ease and convenience later on. For those wondering if the mixture can be prepared and then baked the following day, the answer is NO. Oats and chia seeds soak up much of the liquid and baking after sitting overnight can lead to a dried out, sad end product.
Another option is to prepare your mixture and bake in two separate, smaller batches. That way you can immediately freeze half and enjoy the other half throughout the week.
How long does baked oatmeal last?
For best results, we recommend storing baked oatmeal in the refrigerator and consuming within 3-4 days after baking. Freeze any uneaten portions as soon as you realize you may not finish it in time. Baked oatmeal can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Can I add more protein?
Absolutely. To beef up the protein in our oatmeal we like adding several scoops of collagen peptides or a favorite protein powder.
Can baked oats be made vegan?
Yes! Plant milk can be used in place of dairy and flax or chia "eggs" can be swapped in for eggs. Flax/chia eggs don't give the same structure but the end result will be just as tasty! We also recommend doubling your baking powder to help give it some lift.
Is baked oatmeal gluten free?
Yes! As long as you are utilizing certified gluten free oats you can rest assured that your oatmeal is gluten free.
Help! My oats ended up a bit mushy.
Oats that don't fully set may have too much liquid or have not been baked long enough. In recipes like this that use a water-rich vegetable like zucchini, it is important to drain and pat dry fully before adding to the dry mixture. If using any especially juicy zucchini you may opt to increase your cooking time another 5-7 minutes as well.
Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 ½ cups milk of choice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup finely shredded zucchini approx. 1 medium
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice can sub with ground cloves
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Finely grate zucchini and place between paper towels or cheese cloth to remove excess moisture.
- Add zucchini and all other oatmeal ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until top is lightly golden and oats are "set".
- To a mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until completely smooth. NOTE: for a thicker icing, reduce milk.
- Once oatmeal has cooled slightly, drizzle icing over the top.