Lest you think I’ve been giving pumpkin all the love so far this fall, let me set the record straight.  Both pumpkin and apples have been seeing plenty of action in my kitchen in the last few weeks in many forms.  Surprisingly the leading apple dish so far is not a dessert at all.  It’s this apple cinnamon baked oatmeal.  This rendition of baked oatmeal arose when I signed up to bring in breakfast for my coworkers.  Per my usual, I waited until the last minute to decide what to make and then I was scrambling.  The pumpkin cream cheese muffins have long been a coworker favorite so that was a no-brainer, but as much as I wish cupcakes disguised as muffins could pass for a well-rounded breakfast, I know that’s not the case.

A bit of brainstorming and scrounging through our pantry led to this variation on one of our other favorite breakfasts, baked pumpkin oatmeal.  Bananas are replaced with cooked cinnamon apples, applesauce is subbed for pumpkin, and dried cranberries and/or raisins are tossed in for good measure.  I knew this was bound to turn out well, but I made a very, very large batch to bring in to work and after seeing it come out of the oven, I worried only a small fraction would get eaten.  I mean, this doesn’t exactly win in a beauty contest against those sassy little muffins.  But there was no need to worry.  The dish was fully devoured and many people were asking for the recipe.  So here we have it!  Keep in mind that a good amount of prep for this dish can be done in advance.  I cooked the apples, mixed up the dry ingredients, and whisked the wet ingredients together the night before baking.  The next morning all that was required was soaking the steel cut oats, mixing everything together, and baking.  This is breakfast comfort food in my book.


For the cooked apples:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large apples, peeled and sliced (your favorite variety)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. brown sugar

For the oatmeal:  
1 cup steel cut oats
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups hot water
3 cups old-fashioned oats
6 tbsp. brown sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 cup dried fruit, such as cranberries or raisins
½ cup milk
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Place the steel cut oats in a large bowl with the butter.  Pour the hot water over the oats and cover the bowl.  Let stand for 20 minutes.

  • 03

    After the steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the old fashioned oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in the dried fruit.  In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Stir the liquid mixture into the oat mixture.

  • 04

    Spread the cooked apples over the bottom of a lightly greased 2 quart-ish baking dish.  Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the apples.  Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

  • This looks like the perfect fall breakfast!

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    Oh, I’m excited about trying these!

  • This sounds lovely! And I love how many servings it makes! I would totally eat this all week :)

  • I’m all for breakfast that doubles as dessert. Yum!

  • So that second photo of the apple totally has a Tartelette-esque quality to it, and yet it’s still uniquely Annie. You’re really crazy good.

  • Caroline L.

    It certainly does seem like the perfect breakfast comfort food!!

  • annieseats

    Aw, thank you so much Ellen.

  • Aussie Cook

    Your original fruit baked oatmeal revolutionised breakfast in my house! I’ve tried variations but the kids cannot go past bananas and blueberries. I’m keen to try caramelised apples, though!

  • Kate

    Looks super yummy! Can you substitute old fashioned oats for the steel cut oats? Sorry if it’s a silly question…I’ve just started making oatmeal and have only used the old fashioned oats here at home. Thanks! :)

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried so you would need to experiment. I highly recommend the steel cut though, I think they are the best kind of oats ever!

  • Kate

    Okay, thanks! :)

  • leslie

    Nothing better than a big ol bowl of delicious oatmeal!

  • I actually thought of Helene’s photos when I saw that photo too! I really love this set of pictures. :) And those bowls are so cute!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    Oatmeal is my favorite breakfast! Love the fall twist on it :)

  • Stella Chang

    Mmm… this is exactly what I need for the upcoming cold, fall mornings!

  • sweettoothduo

    Steel cut oats are much heartier and tougher (almost like barley) so I wouldn’t sub. them. They have a nice chewy texture. Old fashioned oats are flattened out so they would cook quicker.

  • Justin

    This looks yummy!

    This would be great to make on Sunday night and have it for breakfast through out the week.

    Just reheat in a small pot with a little milk to loosen it up some.

  • That oatmeal looks absolutely delicious. The massive apple wedges would be such a welcome addition.

  • annieseats

    Yep, that’s what I do. It works wonderfully!

  • Guest

    I baked this earlier today. Absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try the pumpkin version. Thanks Annie ♥

  • Agreed! Love the bowls.

  • This looks absolutely yummy and comforting. perfect for this weather. I’ll have to make a quick version of this for breakfast tomorrow!

  • Jenny

    Hi Annie,
    You mentioned that you made a large batch. Did you double this recipe here, and did it affect the baking time? Thank you!


  • annieseats

    Yes, I doubled it from what you see here. I may have bake it slightly longer but not by much. I just took it out when it looked done. Enjoy!

  • Looks delicious. I love apples with oatmeal!

  • I like that you use steel cut oats and old fashioned oats together in this recipe. I bet the cooked apple mixture would be good as a pancake or waffle topping too.

  • Erin@TheLawStudentsWife

    I adore oatmeal in all its iterations and am always looking for new ways to mix it up. What a fun way to serve to a crowd. Thanks Annie!

  • Sounds yummy~ (Think you meant “until,” not [under] in first paragraph of directions?)

  • annieseats

    Corrected. Thanks!

  • Rachel Kirby

    Just made this last night and it is so wonderful! Thank you for another great recipe!!

  • Brittanys Pantry

    I particularly love your styling in this post! Very nice!

  • Annie, your recipes are always PERFECT! I made this last night, and OMG. Not only was it easy to put together, but it made the house smell wonderfully fall-like as well. And it was so delicious!! I will definitely be making this again.

  • Silly question – but are you supposed to drain the hot water from the steel cut oats prior to adding the old-fashioned oats, etc?

  • annieseats

    Nope :)

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it this morning for a pot luck brunch and it was quite popular. The apples and cranberries go well together. When I make it again I will cut back on the sugar a bit, as it really tastes more like a dessert than a breakfast for me (but I really like oatmeal with just a few mix ins). It was really simple to prep the night before and just stir together everything in the AM. Also, my leftovers reheated well in the microwave with a splash of milk on top.

    One tip: the recipe totally fills my 2 qt pyrex with a little bit left over. I’d suggest a slightly bigger baking dish.

    Thanks again for the yummy breakfast.

  • Mel

    This looks so good. I’m baking it now but for future reference, I’m wondering if this can be made/prepped the night before and placed in the fridge. Then, baked in the morning. The prep and bake time is 1 hour, 10 minutes… too long for my family to wait for breakfast (even on a weekend). ;) Thx for the great recipes! Love your blog. I’ve recommended it to all my friends.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that myself. You’ll have to experiment. Good luck!

  • I love this recipe I have made it several times now It is so good!! I make it in muffin tins 2 dozen I keep 6 in the fridge and freeze the rest after I’ve baked them, quick micro instant breakfast so so great! Thanks for a great recipe.