Using a few simple ingredients and 1 bowl, throw these healthy apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups in the oven. They’re ready in about 30 minutes. The whole family, kids included, love them. Try the other flavors listed, too!
These Baked Oatmeal Cups Are:
- Refined-sugar free (no added refined sugar)
- Definitely healthy
- Easy & quick
- Soft-baked & moist in the center
- Chewy on top
- Garnished with crunchy coarse sugar
- Dairy free if using dairy-free milk
- Gluten free if using certified GF oats
The fall season may mean saying GOODBYE to pool days, but it also means giving a big HELLO to favorite seasonal flavors like apple cinnamon bread and comforting snacks like pumpkin oatmeal bars. And of course, plenty of pie crust and Thanksgiving pies! With fall flavors on my mind, I tested out a muffin version of my baked oatmeal. These oatmeal cups are a little more solid and sturdy than the creamy baked oatmeal, so they’re awesome as a portable breakfast or snack. And if you’re still in summer mode (I totally am!), swap the apples for blueberries or strawberries. These were so good!
Are They Oatmeal? Are They Muffins?
Yes and yes. More solid than oatmeal, but not as cakey as blueberry oatmeal muffins. If you are in the mood for a more traditional muffin, try these healthy apple muffins instead.
Ingredients in Baked Oatmeal Cups
You need 11 simple ingredients for my baked oatmeal cups. Each is important!
- Milk: Milk softens the oats and keeps the centers moist. I reduced the amount from my baked oatmeal so the oatmeal muffins are a little more solid.
- Eggs: Eggs provide protein and structure.
- Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup sweetens and flavors these baked oatmeal cups. If needed, honey is a wonderful substitute.
- Unsweetened Applesauce: Applesauce adds flavor and takes the place of butter or oil. I love using applesauce to replace all or some oil in certain baked goods, like my morning glory muffins.
- Oats: Unlike applesauce muffins where oats are simply part of the dry ingredients, here the oats are the entire base of the recipe. Old-fashioned whole rolled oats are the best and also what I recommend for oatmeal raisin cookies. Quick oats work, but the centers of the oatmeal cups aren’t as moist. Steel cut oats require extra prep, see recipe note.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder prevents the oatmeal cups from tasting dense.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Can you eat an apple baked good without either?! If you have any in the house, feel free to use apple pie spice instead.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor.
- Salt: Salt adds flavor.
- Apples: Grab your favorite apple variety, peel it, and chop it into bite-size pieces. I usually use Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. Any variety works. No need to pre-cook the apples before adding to the oat mixture.
Baker’s Tip: The batter is liquid-y. When you’re dividing the batter between the muffin cups, make sure you have both liquid AND oats/apples in each. Spoon batter all the way to the top of each. The recipe yields 12 apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups.
1 Bowl, No Mixer Recipe
Besides taking approximately 2 seconds to prep, these oatmeal cups only require 1 bowl. No need to break out your mixer; instead, fold the mixture together by hand. They’re done in about 25 minutes. It’s practically shocking how easy these are.
Little work → big reward.
I usually prep these or regular baked oatmeal in the beginning of the week, then refrigerate for quick breakfasts or snacks. Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up. They freeze and thaw beautifully, too!
Who doesn’t crave a little variety?! Instead of apple, try any of these flavors.
Flavors & Add-Ins
- Pumpkin: See my pumpkin baked oatmeal cups. I swapped applesauce for pumpkin and reduced the milk to make up for extra pumpkin.
- Blueberry: Leave out the nutmeg, reduce cinnamon to 1 teaspoon, and swap apples for fresh or frozen blueberries. No need to thaw.
- Banana: Swap the applesauce for mashed banana.
- Chocolate Chip: Swap apples for chocolate chips. If desired, leave out the nutmeg.
- Peanut Butter / Nut Butter: Reduce applesauce to 1/3 cup. Add 1/2 cup nut butter. Leave out apples and nutmeg, if desired.
Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cups
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12 cups
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Using a few simple ingredients and 1 bowl, throw together these healthy apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups. They’re soft and moist inside with chewy tops and plenty of flavor. Make them ahead and enjoy all week long!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) milk (dairy or nondairy)
- 2 large eggs*
- 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup*
- 1/2 cup (120g) unsweetened applesauce
- 3 cups (255g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping cup (120g) peeled chopped apple*
- optional: 1/2 cup (50g) chopped walnuts or pecans
- optional: coarse sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray. If using muffin liners, spray them with nonstick spray. The oatmeal cups stick to the liners a bit regardless, so I recommend skipping them.
- Whisk all of the ingredients together, except for the apples (and nuts and coarse sugar), in 1 large bowl. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the apples and nuts (if using). Batter will be a little liquid-y. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, making sure both the oats/apples and liquid are in each. Fill all the way to the top. See photo above. If desired, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and top appears set. If the tops appear to brown very quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil on top.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Cover leftover oatmeal cups tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Bake the oatmeal cups, cool completely, and store in the refrigerator all week for easy breakfasts. Reheat in the microwave or bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 5-6 minutes. To freeze, bake and cool oatmeal cups. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Warm to your liking.
- Don’t: Do not make oatmeal batter ahead of time. The oats will soak up all the liquid! Whisk it all together, then bake right away. See make ahead instructions above for alternative.
- Eggs: Eggs bind the ingredients and add wonderful flavor. If needed, you can replace the eggs with 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
- Sugar: I recommend pure maple syrup because the flavor is outstanding and the baked oatmeal is extra moist! Instead, you can use packed brown sugar, coconut sugar, or honey.
- Oats: Whole oats give you the best texture. You can use quick oats instead, but they soak up more moisture so the centers won’t be as moist. If using steel-cut oats, soak the oats in the milk for 30 minutes, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add a few extra minutes to the bake time. The oatmeal cups are best with whole oats.
- Apples: Use your favorite variety such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Honeycrisp. You need about 1 medium apple.
- Nutrition Information Per Oatmeal Cup (with unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened almond milk using Spark Recipe Calculator): Calories 138, Total Fat 3g, Carbohydrate 26g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 11g, Protein 4g.
Reader Comments & Reviews
Will these taste great not heated? I’m wondering if they could be an option for my child’s school lunch!
Yes, they can be eaten at room temperature too!
Do you think I could add chia seeds?
Hi Mackenzie, a teaspoon or two of chia seeds should be just fine here. Enjoy!
I made this recipe 3x in the past year and they’ve all been delicious. Never had an issue. I let them cool and freeze them for quick breakfasts. Pop in the microwave to reheat.
I never peel the apples and always put a little more than 1 cup (no walnuts). I’ve tried applesauce and mashed bananas. Both work wonderfully. Yum!
Thank you for the awesome recipe! Just wondering if I can substitute milk with soy or almond milk?
Yes, you can use nondairy milk in these.
These are a new go-to for me. I love them! I made mine with almond milk, and I made them sugar-free by swapping out the maple syrup and using only applesauce as the sweetener.
I serve them by making a puddle of Greek yogurt in a bowl, nestling in the muffin, and adding a handful of fresh berries. Perfectly delish!
What do the asterisks after some of the ingredients mean?
Hi Anya! The asterisks indicate that there is a corresponding note about the ingredient in the recipe’s Notes section. They can be found below the written recipe instructions.
Insides of muffins never cooked even after adding 20 minutes. Maybe because I used oat milk? I really wanted to love this
Mine fell apart when I tried to take them out of the muffin tin. What did I do wrong?
Hi Jenica, did you let them cool? They are quite fragile when very warm.
These were delicious! My kids enjoyed them as well which is a plus. The only thing I would do differently next time is finely chop the apple (or use a bit more) so that there are more apple pieces in each muffin. I substituted the eggs for the applesauce as noted and they turned out just as great!
My kids LOVE these oatmeal cups – we’ve tried the apple cinnamon and blueberry varieties so far (my son has requested the peanut butter ones next). I highly recommend silicone muffin liners – no need for nonstick cooking spray and makes cleanup easier.
Great recipe. Added some ground ginger and used pure ground vanilla powder instead of vanilla extract. I also used oat milk.
I loved this recipe! I only made half the recipe and swapped the applesauce for greek yogurt, used a whole apple (double the required amount), and increased the number of oats by 25% which ultimately made eight delicious oatmeal cups. To be honest, I couldn’t really tell whether or not they were done baking but I went with 30 minutes in the end and it worked fine. I will definitely be making this recipe again for a great meal-prepped breakfast!
Made this scrumptious recipe as a whole cake yesterday for after dinner dessert ✅
I gave it an extra 15 minutes baking , perfect✅
I swapped the maple syrup for HM apple sauce to keep it, for me, calorie friendly✅
I can’t wait to try this recipe! If I substitute another natural sweetener like the ones suggested here, does the sugar content be lower than 11 grams for each muffin? I’m trying to limit my sugar intake to no more than 25 grams a day.
Followed this to a tee but they completely fall apart – I added 10 more minutes and the oats are just getting burnt and it’s not forming a muffin. Not sure what I did wrong!
Hi Virginia, how strange! How did you measure the oats? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too many oats into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.
I love these! Have made them several times now. Would it be possible to bake the batter in a cake tin to make “regular” baked oatmeal that I can scoop out / cut into squares? Or would the center not cook properly?
Hi Annika, Sure can. 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking pan would be best. The bake time will be similar to our baked oatmeal recipe.
Can honey substitute for maple syrup?
If you use brown sugar instead of maple syrup do you have to add more liquid?
Simply replace the maple syrup with the same amount of brown sugar — no other changes necessary.