Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups

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. My whole family, toddler included, loves them. Try the other flavors listed, too!

apple cinnamon baked oatmeal muffins

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

Even though Noelle isn’t in school yet, we’re gearing up for a new routine. The fall season may mean saying GOODBYE to our pool days, but it also means giving a big HELLO to our favorite seasonal flavors and comforting healthy snacks. (Whole wheat mini pumpkin muffins!) 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!

apple cinnamon oatmeal muffins

Are They Oatmeal? Are They Muffins?

Yes and yes. More solid than oatmeal, but not as cakey as blueberry oatmeal muffins. 🙂

Ingredients in Baked Oatmeal Cups

You need 11 simple ingredients for my baked oatmeal cups. Each is important!

  1. 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.
  2. Eggs: Eggs provide protein and structure.
  3. Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup sweetens and flavors these baked oatmeal cups. If needed, honey is a wonderful substitute.
  4. Unsweetened Applesauce: Applesauce adds flavor and takes the place of butter or oil.
  5. Oats: Oats are the base of the entire 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.
  6. Baking Powder: Baking powder prevents the oatmeal cups from tasting dense.
  7. 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.
  8. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor.
  9. Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  10. 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.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cups batter

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.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cups batter

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 workbig 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!

healthy apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups

apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups

Who doesn’t crave a little variety?! Instead of apple, try any of these flavors. 🙂

Flavors & Add-Ins

  1. Pumpkin: Swap the applesauce for pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling). Leave out nutmeg. Leave in cinnamon. Add 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Blueberry: Leave out the nutmeg, reduce cinnamon to 1 teaspoon, and swap apples for fresh or frozen blueberries. No need to thaw.
  3. Banana: Swap the applesauce for mashed banana.
  4. Chocolate Chip: Swap apples for chocolate chips. If desired, leave out the nutmeg.
  5. Peanut Butter / Nut Butter: Reduce applesauce to 1/3 cup. Add 1/2 cup nut butter. Leave out apples and nutmeg, if desired.
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apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cups

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 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 (240g) old-fashioned whole 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 peeled chopped apple*
  • optional: 1/2 cup (50g) chopped walnuts or pecans
  • optional: coarse sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Cover leftover oatmeal cups tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Apples: Use your favorite variety such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Honeycrisp. You need about 1 medium apple.
  7. 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.

Keywords: oatmeal

101 Comments

      1. Sally, is the 1/3 cup applesauce a replacement for a single egg or for both? Will be making these egg free for my son

  1. These look so delicious, Sally! Plus, I LOVE finding a recipe that is RSF, DF and GF without any weird ingredients….our family has a lot of intolerances, so recipes like these are genius! Thank you❤

  2. I love this! Ever since you posted your baked oatmeal I’ve made it almost every week, except for when it was too hot to bake or eat warm food. But two weeks ago I started the “weekly tradition” again because it’s just so good, healthy, and filling!

    I love that you created a portable version now as well. Somewhere this fall, my boyfriend and I will be going on holiday and we usually travel by train. These will be perfect to take with us for the trip!

    1. I love reading this, Tessa! Thrilled you enjoy my baked oatmeal recipe, and I hope these oatmeal cups will also make it into your regular rotation 🙂

  3. Hi Sally! These look amazing and I’m looking forward to making them soon. You mention in your post other flavors besides apple that would work well with this recipe. What are the other flavors? You mentioned banana and blueberries and I would like to know how much to add for each flavor.

    Thanks!

  4. Those look delicious! I usually take overnight oats to work, but the oatmeal cups sound like a perfect alternative! Will bake them asap!

      1. Hi Sally, just reporting back after baking them yesterday: every bit as good as I expected! I used dried cranberries instead of the apples and I’m already looking forward to my second breakfasts next week! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us!

      1. Reporting back. I made these on the weeked. They are super tasty, even if I forgot to add the vanilla – oops. They are crumblier than I expected them to be though, and I ended up dishing the “muffins” in a bowl to eat with a spoon. Which made me wonder if I would be better to just bake in a 9×9 pan instead (and skip having to clean the muffin tin)?

  5. Hello! Do you think cherries would work in these? Could I follow the instructions for substituting blueberries, but use cherries instead of blueberries? (I have some that I’m trying to use up!)

  6. These look wonderful! My five year old son has about 15 food allergies. I’m going to try to make these with oat milk and mashed banana instead of eggs. I think he’ll love them! And I know my two year old son will love them too. He loves muffins and carbs!

  7. I have never baked and I usually make pan cakes. But this looks so tempting that I have to try. Can I use this batter in a silicone cake mould instead of a muffin pan? And how much time would you think it needs to be inside an MCG. Microwave Convection grill
    Thanks!

    1. You can use silicone muffin cups – I’m unsure of how they would turn out in a cake pan. I have never used a microwave convection grill but let me know if you try this.

  8. These are great! Thank you for another great breakfast recipe for my four year old daughter and I. She helped me make them today and we’re currently eating them warm! They are great! I ran out of maple syrup and honey last week so I used only 1 tbsp agave instead and used 1/3 cup mashed banana instead of the eggs as you mentioned in the notes. They’re not too sweet at all. I try to keep sugar out of her breaky so the banana is a perfect sub for some of the honey/maple syrup. Thanks again! We love all your recipes and this one will be perfect for travelling.

  9. I was dying to try these but the bottoms of mine are soggy, the tops were beautifully crisp, tips on how to tell when the bottoms are done?

    1. Hi Kait! Sounds like they weren’t baked through. Try baking closer to 30 minutes. If the tops appear to be browning too quickly, loosely tent a piece of aluminum foil on top.

  10. As the school year starts, I have been on a hunt for easy, healthy, make-ahead breakfasts for my kids that they can grab and I can feel good about as they head out the door. This recipe checks all the boxes. I made these yesterday and my kids had them this morning and gave them two big thumbs up. Thanks so much! (I made mini muffins and they still took almost 25 minutes too bake through (but maybe that’s my oven?).)

  11. Oh my God, these are amazing. One bowl? No mixer needed?? A million different flavors?! Wowowow it’s impossible to go wrong with this recipe! Made some apple/banana ones yesterday and I can’t believe how quickly they disappeared… The hardest part is choosing which add-ins to use! Thanks for another awesome recipe Sally

    1. Thank you so much for your positive feedback! I’m absolutely thrilled you enjoyed these oatmeal cups- the flavor possibilities are truly endless 🙂

  12. You are awesome. Just going zero processed and zero sugar. Love to bake and I was sad not now… thank you

    1. Not totally necessary for this recipe, but you certainly could bring the milk to room temperature if desired. (I usually don’t.)

      1. Thanks Sally! I didn’t bring it to room temperature as it was too late and it worked. They taste pretty good and I am especially happy they don’t contain any refined sugars. Thanks

  13. I love all of your recipes and these are no different! Made these tonight and loved everything about them. And only one bowl & one spoon, doesn’t get better than that! I didn’t have apples on hand so I used the triple berry frozen mixture I had in the freezer, worked quite well. I also calculated the WW points, they’re 4 points per one muffin. These are going into the healthy sweets rotation for sure for those sweet tooth cravings. Thanks Sally!

    1. I’m so happy these were a hit! Thrilled you enjoyed them and am glad they’ll be part of your healthy sweets rotation 🙂 Thanks for your positive feedback, Candace!

  14. Loved it .. turned out beautiful and yummy .. replaced eggs by applesauce as suggested . However , the inside was little gooey and wet ? What can be the reason ?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Try baking them a minute or two longer next time to make sure the inside is fully baked.

  15. I love a good, healthy and easy breakfast/snack to have on hand throughout the week. These oatmeal cups totally fit that description. They’re so good and easy to make. Almost feels like you’re eating a mix of oatmeal and apple pie! I’ll be making them again and again 🙂

  16. Thank you, for this & other oatmeal recipes! I have had high cholesterol for 20+ years & was told by my doctor, to only use Skim (Fat Free) Milk. Could you please specify what kind of milk to be used in the recipes. I know the fat content (or lack of) can make a difference with how recipes turn out.

  17. These were a wonderful breakfast treat. Not terribly sweet. I’ve made them 2x now. The oats have a very “soft” taste (feeling) which is why it doesn’t get a 5. But they’re good nonetheless.

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