I must really love baked oatmeal, because this is the third variation of it that I’ve posted. It’s great because it’s make ahead friendly, and with two young kids at home, I probably wouldn’t cook at all if it weren’t for make-ahead cooking. I take the time to make this Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal when the Little Guy is napping, then I put it in the fridge or cut it up and freeze it for breakfasts to come.
But before I tell you more about this healthy, morning friendly version of carrot cake, let me tell you a little about what I did last weekend. I bought a minivan! Yes, we are now a proud, minivan driving family. We started looking at them about 8 months ago, and decided pretty quickly that we wanted the new Chrysler Pacifica. To save a little money, we decided to wait and find one that was “gently used”, and we came across one on the weekend. I really didn’t expect to be driving two vehicles home from the small town we drove to to check it out, but here we are – a two vehicle family.
I used to be anti-minivan, but now being the always practical mom that I am can see how great they are. We’ll actually be able to drive with our out-of-town guests in one vehicle, tote our bikes around and even put a sheet of plywood in the back! It’s going to make our summer camping and road trips much more comfortable.
Enough about my new car, lets talk some more about this delicious dessert…I mean breakfast. Okay, I’ll be honest, there’s not enough sugar in this carrot cake baked oatmeal that you’d actually mistake it for dessert, but it’s still a really great breakfast. I followed my basic baked oatmeal recipe and added toasted pecans, carrots and spices to give it the flavors of a great carrot cake.
Now, carrot cake just isn’t carrot cake without cream cheese icing, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the oatmeal version. I did that with a cream cheese topping, which is super simple to make. Just beat some light cream cheese together with some plain Greek yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla, and you’re good to go. It makes the carrot cake for breakfast experience that much more authentic.
Carrot cake baked oatmeal with cream cheese topping is an easy breakfast that can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge to give you breakfast all week long.
- 1/2 cup pecans pieces or halves
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 medium carrots grated
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup Neufchatel or light cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9x9" baking dish or similar size casserole dish.
Heat pecans in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, tossing or stirring frequently until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to cool. Chop coarse.
Stir together oats, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Fold in pecans and grated carrots. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla.
Pour egg mixture into oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and spread evenly into the dish.
Bake for about 35 minutes until set. Cool slightly before serving. Can be refrigerated for several days and reheated in microwave. Serve with the cream cheese topping.
Add Greek yogurt and Neufchatel to a medium bowl. Mix with and electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix on low until incorporated.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition info is for a recipe using 2% milk. Using a milk (either cow’s milk or alternative milk) that is lower in fat will result in a recipe that is slightly lower in fat and calories. Conversely, using whole milk will increase fat and calories. One serving is one eighth of the oatmeal recipe with approximately 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese topping.