Breakfast. They say it’s the most important meal of the day. True or not, I am definitely not a pleasant person if I skip it.

For years I’ve been all about the make-ahead breakfast that can get us through an entire week. A typical Sunday in our house means that I’m in the kitchen making that week’s batch of egg muffins or an egg based casserole of some sort.

Weekday mornings can be hectic enough without adding in the task of making breakfast, so those staples have become lifesavers. Pop ’em into the microwave a piece at a time, and you’re out the door in a flash!

Of course, now that we have a little one in the house, it’s even more chaotic than it was before. Changing diapers, having play time, packing lunch for school, getting him dressed…. not to mention getting myself ready to get out the door…it’s a lot to get done in a short time frame. And while a piece of egg casserole works great for him some days, he loves oatmeal, so I wanted to figure out a make-ahead solution for it too.

(I also don’t want to spend my precious minutes cleaning the slimy stuff off the walls, floor and him. Coming up with a kid-friendly, toddler-can-feed-himself version was essential)

Enter Baked Oatmeal. I thought I remembered seeing a recipe for something like this somewhere in the past, but wasn’t completely sure where or even exactly what it was. Turns out there are lots of different recipes out there, but after reading through several, a Cooking Light version seemed to be pretty close to what I was looking for.



I’m happy to report that Archer absolutely LOVES this stuff! Of course I’m thrilled because it’s super easy to throw together, and something that even I enjoy eating a piece of every now and then with my coffee.

There are so many flavor options too – you can can add a number of different fruits, nuts, and spices. I just happened to have a can of pumpkin and some cranberries in the pantry, so that’s what I went with. How about applesauce instead of pumpkin? Maybe throw in some chopped apples and pecans? Blueberries and almonds? Bananas, raisins, pineapple, peaches…the list goes on and on.

Give it a shot and let me know what flavor combos you come up with!



Baked Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal

Makes 9 servings*

Adapted from Cooking Light


2 cups uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, vanilla, pumpkin, and egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes.

Note: We only eat 1 or 2 pieces of the Baked Oatmeal each day, so I keep the rest stored in the casserole dish in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. So far the longest I’ve kept it is 10 days, and it was still great up to the last day.

*If you have a tiny little one that will be eating this, you may be able to get 12 pieces out of it, as that’s how many I portioned when Archer first began eating it at 11 months old. After a month or so, I started cutting into 9 squares, and now he eats a whole square, sometimes even 1.5!

20 Responses to “Baked Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal ….or Blueberry, Apple, Peach, Pineapple, Etc!”

  1. 1

    danielle — January 21, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    I make a baked banana oatmeal a lot! I love love pumpkin so I may give this one a try next.

    • Beth replied: — January 21st, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

      Oh yes, I meant to say in the post that you could easily sub banana in place of the pumpkin. We always have bananas around the house these days, so that’ll probably be my next batch!

  2. 2

    Barbara Bearden — January 21, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

    Sounds great. Just curious: Is this chewy or crunchy? I’m going to try making a vegan version….

    • Beth replied: — January 21st, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

      Definitely more on the chewy side, not crunchy at all. The longer you bake it, the more cake-like the texture.

  3. 3

    Cheryl Sachan — January 22, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    This looks so good! I’m for sure going to make it…maybe today. It’s so cold, a perfect day to turn on the oven.

  4. 4

    ErinsFoodFiles — January 22, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Cold raw oats are my standard breakfast, as weird as that sounds. It’s just so easy for me to assemble the night before, or that morning. I just do oats, dried fruit, nuts, then add just enough milk to barely cover, and a dash of honey. By the time I arrive at work to eat it (about 45min later), the oats have absorbed most of the milk. I don’t know how I discovered I like this, but I know I tried overnight oats once and they were just too mushy. Anyways, lately I have been craving a WARM oat breakfast, but ever since Elliott came along there is just NO TIME for that in my morning. I really need to try this baked version!!

  5. 5

    amy @ fearless homemaker — January 23, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    Would you believe that I’ve still never tried baked oatmeal? I’ve seen tons of amazing-looking recipes all over the blog world + in cooking magazines, but for whatever reason, I’ve still never tried it. I do love oats + frequently eat oatmeal for breakfast, so it’s definitely time to try it. I’d love a version with pumpkin + maybe a few chocolate chips. Or apple with cinnamon. Or in the summer, with fresh peaches + honey. Mmmmmm!

  6. 6

    Lesley Eats — January 23, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

    Isn’t it just the BEST feeling to make something your kid will actually eat? It feels like winning a prize! Luckily Mini Eats likes oatmeal (shew!). This looks tasty and no more work and time than I put into making a pot of steel cut oats for the week!

  7. 7

    danielle — January 26, 2013 @ 8:06 am

    Good Morning Beth! I wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post stop by and see. I’m a sucker for a good oatmeal recipe.

  8. 8

    Laura — January 28, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    Love baked oatmeal. And I love the addition of pumpkin.

  9. 9

    Jen — March 18, 2013 @ 12:49 am

    Yum. I’m going to try this tomorrow as my munchkin and I adore oatmeal. Curiously, what do you do with your leftover pumpkin?

    • Beth replied: — March 26th, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

      Hi Jen,
      so sorry I am just now responding to this. I somehow overlooked your comment! I just froze the rest of the pumpkin and used it for another batch later.

      Since posting this recipe I’ve made a new batch every single week using various combinations – pureed peaches, pineapple, apples, bananas…

      So far my fave has been a banana pineapple combo. The little guy seems to like them all!

  10. 10

    Nicole W — March 18, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    I made them this morning using fresh diced strawberries and apples. They smell delicious in the oven right now!

  11. 11

    Baked Elvis oatmeal « One Particular Kitchen — March 18, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    […] not a stranger to baked oatmeal, but I love how Beth of Eat. Drink. Smile upped the ante with the addition of all her yummy fruit! I adapted her recipe a bit to use up what […]

  12. 12

    Kate — March 26, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    Hi there! I’m new to your site – but found it on a pinterest trail :)

    I tried this and had to cook it much longer than stated (but then again, I was using a toaster oven!) I didn’t have pumpkin so I skinned an apple, cored and chopped it into tiny pieces and added some applesauce to add most moisture. So, in the end I had a cinnamon apple oatmeal. Really delightful! :)

    • Beth replied: — March 26th, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      Hi Kate!
      Glad you found me :-)

      I bet it was your toaster oven that caused the issue with the bake time. I’ve used all sorts of fruits and fruit purees since writing this original blog post, and never had to bake any of them longer than 25-30 minutes. The last batch I did, I actually used a whole cup of pear puree, plus some mashed up banana. It was a little softer than normal, but still had a cake-like texture that didn’t fall apart.

      FYI – my favorite combo so far has been banana pineapple!

  13. 13

    Kate — March 29, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

    Quick question – should you stick this in the fridge or can it live on the counter? Thanks for your help, Beth!

    • Beth replied: — March 29th, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

      Hi Kate,
      I keep mine in the fridge. I don’t know if it’s necessary, but feel safer keeping it there since it usually takes us 7-8 days to get through a whole pan. I just pop a piece in the microwave for about 15 seconds in the morning before feeding to my little guy!


  14. 14

    Cecelia — April 1, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    This was delicious – I cut the pan into 9 pieces and Nathan ate about a piece and a half for breakfast and LOVED it. I forgot all I had was steel cut oats so I used those instead and just increased the cooking time to about 50 minutes.

  15. 15

    @txmere — April 28, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    Kate, I learn these things so you don’t have to: it will NOT keep on the counter longer than four days. After my first experience with that (yuck), I started cutting up into squares, wrapping separately, and freezing them.

    It’s good to know they’d keep in the fridge for a week but I can still vividly remember the smell, so… I’m not taking any chances.

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