Recipe Connection: Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

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Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal - a super easy make ahead breakfast. No work for you the morning of!

What smell will fill your house on Easter morning?

Between hunting for eggs (we hide…ahem, I mean, the Easter Bunny hides…the real hard-boiled eggs), getting dressed up pretty, and going to Mass and making sure we get there an hour early to get a seat, breakfast needs to be simple.

One of our favorite breakfasts ever (other than anything with bacon, a rarer treat now than it used to be when we ate a Standard American Diet with $1.88/lb. junk bacon!) has got to be soaked baked oatmeal. It takes two full days to make it, but mom loves it too because the morning it needs to be served, it just goes into the oven and takes zero prep.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why my family loves it so much – mommy is never running around stressed in her pajamas wondering when she’ll have time to get dressed between the pancake flipping and lunch packing and diaper changing! (To the organized people who are about to comment on the efficiency of packing a lunch the night before – I know. I usually do, but there are those days when the goal is missed…and then I just pray that the baby doesn’t wake up until breakfast is served!)

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal - a super easy make ahead breakfast. No work for you the morning of!

All the props for this base recipe go to Kelly the Kitchen Kop and her friend Sue, whose daughter was actually my mother’s helper last year. I’m telling you – this is a real food recipe that anyone loves and can make. My brother and his wife even prepare it for dinner sometimes.

Soaking oatmeal is a simple procedure, and when it’s incorporated right into the recipe like this, folks won’t even wonder why they’re doing it – they’ll just get more minerals without even knowing why.

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Come to think of it, I should give oatmeal to the food pantries, along with some easy soaking guides or at least a “how to cook oats” for those who have never done it without a packet. (Did you see yesterday’s Monday Mission to give real food away, and the handy real food donation printables I provided?)

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal - a super easy make ahead breakfast. No work for you the morning of!

4.3 from 3 reviews
Original Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Note: Ingredients often use affiliate links to Amazon, but obviously you should shop for the best price and try to keep your dollars local when you can.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
  1. Two nights before you want to eat baked oatmeal at breakfast: Mix the oats, flour, and liquid together. If you have a 9×13 glass pan with a lid, I recommend mixing the oats right in there to save a dish. Allow to rest at room temperature, covered, for 24 hours.
  2. The night before you need the quick breakfast: Beat oil, sweetener and eggs until glossy (I use my KitchenAid mixer). The cold eggs generally made the coconut oil solidify a bit, but don’t worry about it. Just beat.
  3. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat in the oats mixture, then add raisins and fruit, stirring to combine.
  4. Pour back into that 9×13 glass dish, put a lid on it, and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have a lid, try one of these methods to avoid using plastic wrap.
  5. In the morning, put the pan (uncovered) right from the fridge into a cold oven and turn on to 350F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the oatmeal is not mushy to the touch.
  6. Serve warm with milk and extra syrup if you prefer. Store covered, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It’s pretty doggone good cold, too…I might be the type of person to buzz by a dish and snitch a bite here and there throughout the day!
  7. *For the liquid, choose from buttermilk, plain homemade yogurt (or store bought), raw milk, half milk/half yogurt, half water/yogurt, half whey/yogurt – good if you have whey to use up. If you don’t have raw milk, as long you mix it with half yogurt or cultured dairy, it should be fine for the soak overnight, but don’t use 100% pasteurized milk as the only liquid.
  8. **For the sweetener, just about anything goes, including cutting it in half or more, since you can always add maple syrup to the top when you serve the dish if it turns out a bit not-sweet-enough. I prefer maple syrup or honey, but I’ve used sorghum, sucanat, brown sugar and date sugar and various combinations of the above.

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal - a super easy make ahead breakfast. No work for you the morning of!Cook’s Notes:

  • Why add flour? Freshly ground whole wheat, spelt, and buckwheat are added to oats for soaking purposes and phytase only. If you’re not soaking, skip the flour.
  • How to make it faster: Just soak the oats overnight or for 24 hours (breakfast to breakfast) and mix up all the other ingredients in the morning when you’re going to serve it. The overnight refrigeration is not necessary; it’s only for the morning convenience of having everything done.
  • How to make it with fewer dishes: Honestly, I’ve taken to mixing everything up in the 9×13 dish. How lazy is that? But no one has noticed any difference in the end result, so I highly recommend it. Just mix up the oats and liquid, then the next day, push that to one side and whisk the eggs, oil and sweetener on the other half of the pan. Start mixing everything up well at this point (a potato masher or super strong whisk may come in handy to incorporate everything well. Make sure you sprinkle things like salt and baking powder evenly over the whole mixture.
  • Plan to Eat can help the real foodie plan out all this prep – each time you drag your baked oatmeal to your weekly menu, just drag the “soak oats” and “put dish together” icons that you’ve created one and two days before the oatmeal breakfast target. (To make those possible, just create a new recipes called “soak oats” with nothing in it – or maybe a reminder of how much whey (1 Tbs. per cup) and how much flour (10%, so about a generous Tbs. per cup will do) to help you if you forget. I also have them for “soak beans” and “thaw meat.”) Plan to Eat has a 30-day free trial if you want to take it for a spin!

Variation: Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal - a super easy make ahead breakfast. No work for you the morning of!

I’ve been experimenting lately with different flavors, and this is the ultimate favorite (so far) for both my husband and me.


2 1/2 c. whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)
1/4 c. whole wheat or buckwheat flour (optional)
1 3/4 c. liquid

1/2 c. melted coconut oil (or butter)
4 whole eggs
1/2 c. sweetener (I used maple syrup, but honey is probably even better)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3+ tsp. cinnamon
1-2 tsp. almond extract
1 c. dried cherries
optional: 1/2-1 cup chopped or slivered almonds

Follow the same directions as above.

Coming in the fall…soaked pumpkin pie baked oatmeal!!

Plan to Eat is mentioned because they are a sponsor of KS. I am also a partner with GNOWFGLINS and will receive a kickback if you purchase there. See my full disclosure statement here.

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54 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    After hearing people recommend Kelly’s recipe over and over again, I finally tried it a couple of weeks ago… OH MY GOSH IT IS SO GOOD! Seriously. Try it if you haven’t.

    I used half steel-cut and half rolled oats, which gave it a great chewy texture. I’d recommend freezing the leftovers as individual portions wrapped in plastic wrap (or a green alternative, of course). Just heat ’em up with some milk later for quick breakfast!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I’ve never tried it myself, but I’m about 99.9% sure that coconut milk or ANYthing would be great, since it’s been so versatile and successful with all the combos I have tried. You’ll love it! :) Katie

    • Traci G. says

      I’ve never soaked my oats with dairy – always water and apple cider vinegar (2 C oats, 2 C water, 1/4 C ACV for overnight soak. Then add 2 more C water and 1 tsp salt and cook to desired consistency). Now, I have not tried this recipe, but plan to soon. So you’ll probably need to tweak the proportions a bit (less liquid? more salt b/c of vinegar?), but I’m sure it would work out just fine. Good luck :-)

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Hmmmm…my DH won’t do steel cut oats (makes me sad) so I’ve never tried it. I wonder if the soaking would make it so that you don’t have to modify? I see a commenter above did half and half with no problem. worth trying an 8×8 pan to see what would happen, I’d think – I’d love to know the answer now!
      :) Katie
      *waves at floormate*

      • Juliana says

        Steel cut oats takes roughly twice as much liquid as rolled oats, so I think the logical thing to do would be to cut the amount of oats in half if you are going to use all steel cut. I just made this recipe with almost all steel cut oats (I only had about half a cup of rolled oats in the pantry), and it seemed to work out well–nice resulting texture and moisture.

  2. Leigh says

    KATIE! Are you on PTE? Can I add you as my friend? Or you add me? I would love to have access to these recipes on PTE… my user name is ” lmilla “…

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I am, sort of, but I’m bad at it! I don’t always import my recipes – but you can use that little import bookmarklet and pop this right in there in about 30 seconds….

      Someday I’ll get around to it on my PTE (kitchenstewardship is my user name) but for now, this recipe’s on a scrap of grease-stained paper! 😉 Katie
      :) Katie

      • Leigh says

        OK! I’ll import it in, and then you can use it as my friend! I have an obscene amount of recipes in there – 600+! – and all the real food recipes are tagged “real food” (so you don’t have to wade through my Weight Watchers recipes and other eating fads that I’ve gone through!) – I also have Nourishing Traditions and grain-free recipes as well, if anyone else would like to add me as a friend to share recipes!

  3. Amy S. says

    Our family LOVES this recipe. I first found it, possibly through one of your links, a year or so ago. I can’t wait for the pumpkin pie variation.

    I always use 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of the full 1/2 cup of oil and we really love it this way. Also I always use honey for the sweetener, sometimes even less than half a cup. I can’t imagine adding any extra sweetener because it is so perfectly sweet already!

    I think it’s great that you recommend a cherry almond variation. I hadn’t thought of cherries, but we have tried the same variation with craisins and almond extract instead and it is excellent too!

  4. says

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe! I want to try it but am dairy-free, is there a good substitute I can use? Thanks again!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I can only imagine that coconut or almond milk would work just great, and I wonder if just water would do okay as well…it’s been so flexible with everything I tried, I think it will be super versatile for dairy-free, too. :) Katie

      • Traci G. says

        Sounds yummy, but the coconut milk would not do anything to break down the phytic acid in the oats?? See above comment to Rebecca about using apple cider vinegar for a dairy free version that will still make nutrients more available.

  5. stacy says

    This looks delicious. Wondering if you think I could use goat milk kefir for the liquid or is that too thick?


    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I usually use straight plain yogurt, as thick as it gets, so I’m sure you’d be golden! :) Katie

  6. Amy says

    Hey Katie,
    If I don’t have time to soak it, will it change the taste of it? Can I just mix it all together the night before and not change the taste?

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I’ve never tried it, but my guess is that you’d be just fine. In fact, that may be the way my brother and his wife make it. :) Katie

  7. Melissa says

    I made this recipe this morning with all steel cut oats. Tasted delicious, but was a little crumbly. Looking at the picture I was expecting a brownie like texture and slightly chewy, but mine was not. Tasted good though and will be making it again and experimenting with different flavors.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I wonder if steel but oats require more liquid – how many cups liquid do they take when cooking normally? I’m glad it worked out, flavorwise! :) Katie

  8. Louise Baker says

    Thanks for this lovely recipe. Have you ever tried to adapt it to use up leftover cooked porridge? I soaked a big batch of oatmeal last night, since the entire family said they wanted porridge for breakfast. But when the time came, everyone’s plans had changed, so I was left with 2Cups uneaten (soaked) porridge. I’ve just made it up anyway, and added 1/2C coconut flour to soak up some of the extra cooking liquid. Fingers crossed (it’s baking now)…

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Interested to hear how it goes! That’s not something I’ve tried… :) Katie

  9. Jaime says

    Hi. Trying this recipe, but just wondering how its ok that the yogurt/milk stays out for 24 hours. Can you explain? Thanks!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      As a cultured product, yogurt is a lot more stable at room temp than many people think. Don’t use store milk alone to soak, but raw milk will only sour, or “clabber” at room temp and is still safe to eat. If you’re uncomfortable with the soaking part, the recipe will taste the same if you just skip it. :) Katie

  10. Nancy says

    Hi, I’m just discovering this recipe now and have a question. I notice that you specify to cover the dish before putting it in the fridge the night before you bake it. Does that mean you leave it uncovered as the oats are soaking the day before? Would there be any reason not to cover it during that time? Thanks!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Eek, I lost your comment for a while here! I cover both times, just didn’t mention it in the soaking step of the recipe, I guess. :) Katie

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Yes, absolutely! I forget to include that on the list because I don’t make it, but kefir is perfect for soaking. :) Katie

  11. Jodi says

    I was wondering if anyone has tried to double this recipe in a 9 by 13 pan. The unsoaked baked oatmeal my family loves uses twice as much oatmeal, is much thicker and lasts for many more meals. It’s just easier to make the oatmeal once a week (to use for 4 meals) than twice a week.

    We like bananas (for sweetness…cut down on some sweetner) and blueberries (fzn), with a handful of raspberries thrown in. Yummy combination!

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I bet it would work fine! It is rather a thin serving, hmmmm… I should use bananas to cut down on sweetener more often – and this recipe is SUPER sweet! 😉 Katie

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I’ve never tried that, but i can’t imagine it wouldn’t turn out. Super fun idea! :) Katie

  12. Galadriel says

    I love reading your recipes, but have a son allergic to eggs and dairy. He would love baked oatmeal. Any ideas what to sub for the eggs?

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      For this purpose, I am guessing the flax replacer would do fine, and use coconut milk or water for the liquid. :) Katie

  13. Juliana says

    I was surprised by how sweet this recipe turned out. Man!
    I only used 1/4 c sweetener (maple syrup), and I cut the raisins to 1/2 c. I used home canned (unsweetened) applesauce (1 c). And the result was so sweet my husband would barely eat it (and he is not a picky guy, generally–I’m pretty sure he still eats donuts at work when they are available).
    So… I was bummed. I will try cutting the applesauce by two thirds and cutting the sweetener all together next time, maybe adding more yogurt to give it more moisture?
    Has anyone tried this? I just can’t handle sugar, even natural sugars, in the morning.

    • says

      It is a lot of sweetener for the oats – maybe you’d prefer chopped apples instead of applesauce? I don’t know if you’d even need more yogurt since it’s pretty soupy anyway. Good for you to have a well-trained palate that doesn’t like sugars! :) Katie

  14. Bethany says

    I made this today and it was yummy! I used half homemade yogurt/half water for the liquid, half pears/half apples for the fruit, and maple syrup for the sweetener. I did not have raisins on hand, so I omitted them and this was plenty sweet and delicious.

  15. Heidi says

    So, to make this gluten-free, I need to leave out the wheat or buckwheat. But that also leaves out the phytases, which are the reason why we soak the oatmeal in the first place, right? And any flour I use, even if it’s gluten-free, needs to be freshly ground, which is not possible in my kitchen. What would you suggest doing? Just leaving out the flour altogether?

    • says

      Buckwheat is gluten-free, so you’re good there – I always hope that some is better than none even if not freshly ground, but many are now saying that soaking is just fine in plain water – so, as long as your tummy doesn’t hurt when you eat oats, soak them however it works for your family!! :) Katie

  16. Bailey says

    This looks wonderful! I absolutely love your site and started making my own bone broth thanks to you (:

    I’m planning on making these oats for breakfast tomorrow morning so I soaked the oats last night. I only had sweetened vanilla yogurt (store bought) so I mixed that with pasteurized whole milk. A little less than half the liquid was yogurt, and it smells fine this morning but I am so nervous about it making myself or my husband sick. Is it safe that I soaked with pasteurized milk and sweetened yogurt? Does the grain soaking effect work in the refrigerator or only at room temperature?

    Thank you!!!

  17. Nicole says

    I made a half qty to try this morning after soaking overnight. I made it in silicone muffin cups and they took about 25 mins and came out really well. I didn’t add raisins, just 2 peeled, diced apples and a handful of slivered almonds and they were sweet enough. Made 12 smallish muffins. I might try blueberries next time – or even chocolate chips. Thank you.

  18. Erin says

    So how should this smell after sitting out the counter? I soaked oats in a covered dish in raw milk and my kitchen is about 79 degrees now in warm georgia. It smells kind of yeasty… Is this okay?

    • says

      I so often make it with yogurt that I can’t remember “just” raw milk. If it’s yeasty but not turning your nose, I’d think it’s ok? Raw milk is truly fine at room temp – if not mixed with the oats, it would curdle and make a sort of cream cheesey stuff and whey. Trust your nose though! If it smells like you don’t want to eat it, don’t do it. I find that even if it smells really sour after the soak, adding all the other ingredients and baking it always ends up turning out awesome!!
      :) Katie

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