Carrot Cake Baked Oats Recipe

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Written by Cambria Glosz
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Cambria Glosz

Cambria Glosz, MS, RD
Nutritional Reviewer

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Despite having a vegetable in its name, carrot cake is still cake—which typically means it’s loaded with sugar.

Although we love desserts here at The Nutrition Insider, we also love making healthier versions of sweet treats—including the classic carrot cake.

With warm and earthy spices, sweet carrots, hearty oats, and a bit of creaminess, this carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe gives you all the flavors of carrot cake for a fraction of the calories, sugar, and time.

How to Make Single-Serve Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

If you live alone, don’t have much storage space, or simply don’t want to make a dessert fit to feed an army, single-serve recipes are the way to go.

And when you swap out the hour-long bake times in the oven for a microwave and a few button pushes, you’ll have a dessert ready faster than you can say “carrot cake.”

But that doesn’t mean that this dessert isn’t nutritious—with carrots, rolled oats, cottage cheese, and a few spices and baking staples, you could eat this carrot cake-inspired recipe for a healthy breakfast or a post-meal sweet treat. 

With just two tablespoons of maple syrup, this recipe is much lower in calories and sugar than a typical carrot cake, which can clock in at 650 calories and 50 grams of sugar per slice—plus, we’re adding fiber, protein, and healthy fats from the oats, cottage cheese, and walnuts.

All you need to do is blend the ingredients (except the cream cheese) and place three-quarters of the mixture in a microwave-safe ramekin.

Then, add a layer of cream cheese and top with the rest of the carrot cake and oat mixture. Microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, top with cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself a healthy and delicious carrot-cake-inspired snack, breakfast, or dessert.

Healthy Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Ingredients

As you could probably guess, you definitely need carrots and oats to make a carrot cake baked oatmeal—but some of the other ingredients might surprise you.

  • Carrots: Carrots are the star of the show in this recipe—but you can’t throw baby carrots in; you need shredded or grated carrots. These smaller shreds ensure that no bite is too carrot-loaded and that they cook through enough. You can buy pre-grated carrots at any grocery store or shred them yourself at home with a cheese grater (and a lot of elbow grease). If you shred them at home, be sure to wash and peel your carrots first.
  • Rolled Oats: Of course, we also need oats to make baked oatmeal. We used rolled oats in this recipe as they have a better texture, size, and shape than steel-cut oats or quick oats. Also known as old-fashioned rolled oats, this type is flatter, flakier, and absorbs more water, thereby cooking faster than steel-cut oats. If you’re in a pinch, quick oats would also work, but steel-cut oats will not. Bob’s Red Mill Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats are a great option, as they are certified gluten-free oats.
  • Spices and Flavorings: Cinnamon and vanilla extract add warmth to carrot cake—and all cozy fall and winter recipes—and we definitely do not recommend skipping them. Plus, cinnamon and vanilla make your home smell amazing—no candles or air fresheners required. 
  • Oat Milk: Three-quarters of a cup of oat milk is needed to add creaminess and a liquid for the oats to absorb. However, you could use another milk if you prefer, like unsweetened almond milk or regular cow’s milk. While oat milk is extra creamy, it can also include unwanted ingredients like excessive sugar or seed oils. One of our favorites is Minor Figures Oat Milk Barista Blend, as it doesn’t contain added sugar or canola oil. 
  • Maple Syrup: Just two tablespoons of maple syrup goes into this carrot cake baked oatmeal. Compared to brown sugar or honey, maple syrup is best for this recipe because it lends a deeper and more complex flavor. If you want to cut the sugar even more, try a monk fruit-based maple syrup, like this one from Lakanto
  • Baking Powder: Although ½ teaspoon of baking powder seems so minor that you could omit it, we wouldn’t recommend doing so. Baking powder is a raising agent that helps to lighten the texture of a baked good—in this case, baking powder prevents the baked oatmeal from becoming too dense and heavy.
  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is having a moment for a reason! In this baked oatmeal recipe, cottage cheese adds extra protein and a creaminess that can’t be beaten.
  • Cream Cheese: In just about every carrot cake recipe, you’ll find a delicious cream cheese frosting. With this dish, we added two tablespoons of softened cream cheese (layered in at the top of the ramekin before microwaving) to emulate that cream cheese frosting. We used softened cream cheese (simply leave it out on the counter for a bit) to improve the workability and texture of it, but whipped cream cheese would also work well.
  • Walnuts: This ingredient is optional, but we love the additional crunch that walnuts add to this recipe. Walnuts are a traditional ingredient in carrot cake, and they add healthy fat, fiber, and loads of flavor and texture. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, other chopped nuts (like almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts) might work well, too. 

Want more oatmeal recipes and carrot cake flavors? Try our Best Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe and our favorite healthy dessert brand, Honey Mama’s, for their Carrot Cake Blonde Truffle Bar.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Recipe

This hearty, yet surprisingly nutritious take on carrot caked baked oatmeal is super easy to make (no long bake times) and perfect for a little well-earned dessert action!

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Servings 1 serving
Calories 514 kcal

Ingredients

  

  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • ¾ cup oat milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese

Optional:

  • top with crushed walnuts

Instructions

 

  • Blend all the components, excluding the cream cheese, in a blender until a smooth consistency is achieved.
  • Transfer 75% of the mixture into a 14-ounce ramekin that has been lightly greased.
  • Introduce the cream cheese and layer it with the remaining 25% of the mixture.
  • Microwave the ramekin for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Finish by sprinkling a dash of cinnamon on top, and savor your creation!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 514kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 19gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 704mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 10gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 11475IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 505mgIron: 5mg

Keyword carrot cake, oatmeal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal FAQs

Can You Put Oats In Carrot Cake?

Although oats are not an ingredient found in traditional carrot cakes, you can definitely include them in a carrot cake recipe if you desire. Rolled oats can add a hearty texture and chewy bite, similar to dried fruit or chopped nuts.

Can You Make Carrot Cake Oatmeal Vegan?

Yes, you can easily make carrot cake oatmeal vegan, as the key ingredients are already plant-based (oats and carrots). Simply use dairy-free milk (like oat or unsweetened vanilla almond milk) and dairy-free cream cheese if desired. Many people also use plant-based protein powder in vegan baked oatmeal. If a recipe calls for eggs, you can use flax eggs as a vegan substitute. Instead of butter, try melted coconut oil.

How Do You Store Baked Oatmeal Recipes?

You should store baked oatmeal covered in the fridge for three to four days or in the freezer indefinitely. You can freeze an oatmeal bake by cutting it into individual servings before separating the pieces with parchment paper. Alternatively, store the individual squares in separate freezer-safe bags for easier reheating. Another option is to make carrot cake oatmeal cups, which would entail baking the mixture in lined cupcake tins (instead of a baking dish) and refrigerating or freezing the cups.

What’s the Difference Between Baked Oatmeal and Oatmeal?

Baked oatmeal and oatmeal have the same starting ingredient: oats. The difference is that baked oats are typically baked in the oven with several other ingredients, forming more of a solid cake or bar-like texture. Oatmeal is often cooked on a stovetop or in the microwave and is more liquidy or has a porridge-like texture. You can usually cut baked oatmeal into squares with a knife, while oatmeal is consumed with a spoon.



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