Oats need help. I am forever on the lookout for ways to make breakfast oatmeal more interesting. Despite how nutritious and filling it can be, preparing the same oatmeal every day is a recipe for tedium, and that’s not how I like to eat. Along with fried oatmeal squares, risotto-style oatmeal, and grated apple overnight oats, you should add a cake to your morning oat rotation.
Baked oats have been enjoying time in TikTok’s spotlight for good reason–it’s like having an indulgent, fluffy cake for breakfast, but without any of the butter, refined flours, and sugars found in a typical dessert cake. The ingredients in baked oats are mostly what you’d find in your average bowl of hot oatmeal, so your cake has the same nutritious profile. Think of it as an oat flour quick bread. Baked oats only require a few ingredients and use a simple mixing method, and you can make it fun with the same mix-ins you’d sprinkle on oatmeal. As a bonus, this breakfast cake is naturally gluten-free. (Those with acute gluten sensitivities should check the rolled oat’s packaging to ensure it’s not processed with other flours that may contain gluten.)
The method is simple, and — other than optional flavourings — you only need four ingredients: oats, eggs, a sweetener, and baking powder. Many recipes I’ve come across include a ripe banana, which acts as a flavoring, sweetener, and binder, and I recommend including one unless you absolutely hate bananas. If that’s the case, use a banana-free recipe (the egg serves well enough as a binder).
My favourite thing about this recipe is that you make it in a blender. Less clean up, more horsepower. What a way to start the day. The oats are gluten-free, so there’s no concern about over-mixing, and you can pulse the batter until completely smooth, or stop early to leave some little knobby bits.
Start by adding all of the ingredients to the blender vessel. I added the oats first and regretted it because the eggs couldn’t get down to the blade without my assistance, so I suggest starting with the eggs to help the machine catch all of the ingredients easily. Pulse until everything is thoroughly combined and the oats have been ground down to your liking. I leave it a little chunky because I enjoy the texture. If you’d like to mix in chocolate chips, coconut, fruit, or nuts, you can fold them in with a spoon after blending. Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Depending on the batch size, you can use a cake pan, ramekin, loaf pan, or cupcake pan to make individual muffins. Bake in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
The baked oats will become puffy and light, but don’t expect much in the form of browning. Since most baked oats recipes skip out on the ingredients that brown readily–butter and sugar–the cake top will look pale even though it’s completely cooked. Gently press the top of the cake at the end of the baking time to make sure it bounces back. Remove it from the oven.
This recipe includes ingredients like peanut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon, but you can omit them if you’re looking for something simpler. Alternatively, you can add a sprinkle of other ingredients for extra flavour and texture. Stir in a quarter cup of mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or blueberries. If you can drop it on your bowl of hot oatmeal, odds are good that you can mix it into this batter, or sprinkle it on top.
Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oats
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 medium banana
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. This recipe makes enough for 6 cupcakes, or a 6-inch circular cake. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or with a thin coating of butter or oil; if using a cake pan, prepare with a spray of cooking oil and line it with a circle of parchment.
Add all of the ingredients to a blender container. Pulse until well blended and you’ve reached your desired smoothness for the oats. If any peanut butter sticks to the walls, use a rubber spatula to scrape it down.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the centre bounces back when gently pressed.
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