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. The whole family, kids included, love them. Try the other flavors listed, too!

stack of 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

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. 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. I love using applesauce to replace all or some oil in certain baked goods, like my morning glory muffins.
  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 in a glass bowl

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 in a muffin pan

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 in a muffin pan

stack of 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: See my pumpkin baked oatmeal cups. I swapped applesauce for pumpkin and reduced the milk to make up for extra pumpkin.
  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.
Print
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stack of 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

165 Comments

  1. Hi Sally. I would like to replace the applesauce with apple butter. I found an organic brand with just two ingredients….apples and a bit of apple juice concentrate. I made your Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal cookies which were a hit even though they were flat and sticky which I’m sure was a result of the applesauce I used. Can the apple butter be substituted in both recipes?

    1. Hi Ann! Happy to help. You can use some apple butter in the two recipes, but be careful because apple butter is sweet. You may need to adjust the sugar in the cookies and these oatmeal cups.

      1. Thank you Sally. I didn’t think of reducing the sugar. I’m going to try to make the cups this week and will let you know how they turn out. Thanks again for all your great recipes and sharing your knowledge with us.

      2. Hi Sally. I made these yesterday using the apple butter and dried apples. They’re delicious. My son-in-law is taking some to work for breakfast. I did not adjust the sugar in the cups but plan to when I make the oatmeal cookies. Thank you so much for this great recipe.

  2. My new fav breakfast! I’ve made blueberry and apple so far and both are great! Question though, I was looking at your baked oatmeal recipe and it uses 1/4c (60g) of applesauce and this recipe used 1/2c (60g) applesauce. Which is correct for this recipe – the 1/2 cup or 60g?

    1. Hi Carly! This requires 1/2 cup applesauce which is 120g– sorry about that!

  3. I made this to take on our annual girls weekend. I made the blueberry version. Very, very good. Not a muffin, but actually baked oatmeal in a cup version. Traveled well. I am going to make these again to eat in my morning commute.

  4. Just whip these up, they’re fantastic!! My husband is sensitive to eggs, dairy and flour, I used coconut milk and mashed banana they turned out perfect. Can’t wait to try your baked oatmeal recipe!!

  5. Can you use homemade applesauce? Or do you need the binders that are in store bought? Thank you!

    1. Hi Tina, You can use homemade! Enjoy!

  6. These are so good! They’re now in direct competition with your one-bowl baked oatmeal recipe in my health breakfast rotation :-). Thanks for the recipe!

  7. These are delicious! I made exactly as written. They are great warmed in the microwave and topped with berries. Can’t wait to try other variations!

  8. I needed these in my life. I made the recipe as directed for apple and added pecans. I never have time to eat in the morning, but now a warm breakfast is ready to go from the fridge with just a few seconds in the microwave, and it’s healthy! Mine took a little longer to bake, but I think that was more my oven than the recipe. Thank you so much for this one!

  9. I made these the other day, great little breakfast treat and so easy to make. I added a half a cup of raisins to the recipe-so happy I did. Will definitely make these again.

  10. How much honey should we use when replacing the maple sugar?

    1. Same amount as maple syrup (1/2 cup).

  11. These were very easy to make and took a little longer to bake. Texture good and happy to have a healthy fast breakfast option. However we found the taste to be a little bland. I double checked the spices and was spot on. Do you have any suggestions for adding more flavor? Can I just double the spices?

    1. Hi Julie, You can certainly increase the spices to suit your taste!

  12. These are fantastic. I love on the go breakfast. I am preggo and these have been fantastic. I usually reheat them in the morning and add some banana on top. These are perfect =]

  13. Big fan of these as a healthy breakfast for my 18 month old (and myself!). I added Trader Joe’s mixed nut butter and they are prefect. I only used half the syrup and they are still plenty sweet. I let the whole mixture sit for about 20 minutes before I put them in the pan so that the oats would soak up the milk and I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to get the right ratio of dry to wet ingredients in each cup. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. These are so delicious! I’ve made them many times and every time they are a hit. Thank you for such a delicious recipe! For the different varieties, you mention replacing the applesauce. Should I take out the apples, too, or did you keep them in when you were testing the different flavors. Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad these have been such a hit! It’s really up to you if you want to keep the chopped apples or not – this recipe is so versatile. In the pink box above with flavor ideas I did not keep the apples in most of them, but they could certainly work in some, especially the banana and blueberry (use half apple half blueberries)… the combinations are endless 🙂

  15. I made this recipe this morning. Very easy to make, but unfortunately the insides of my cups are super soggy and undefined! Do you think it would be a matter of cooking them for longer, or should I reduce the amount of wet ingredients?

    1. It sounds like they just weren’t cooked long enough. Try adding a couple of minutes to your bake time and that should help!

  16. Do you think I could make this into an oatmeal bake in a 8 by 8 pan?

    1. Hi Kate! Sure can. 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan would be best. This is similar to my baked oatmeal recipe.

  17. Thank you, Sally, for your great recipes! I’m new to your site, and am far from an expert baker, but everything I’ve tried has worked out beautifully and been so well-received!

    I have a question about the non-stick spray. Could you please let me know which one you use? And if there is an alternative approach? Could I, for example, grease the muffin tins with coconut oil or some other fat? For some reason, the spray I used left what seems like a mild burned smell/flavor, if that makes sense.

    I can’t wait to try some of the recommended variations of this recipe! Maybe pumpkin for a quick and easy breakfast as we approach Thanksgiving….

    1. Hi Maria! I’m so happy you have been enjoying my blog so far- thank you for your readership 🙂 I use Pam nonstick spray for most of my baking. Melted coconut oil should work perfectly fine with these baked oatmeal cups. Let me know how it goes!

      1. Thank you for your quick response and advice, Sally! It’s wonderful of you to get back to me (and so quickly!) on this question. I think it shows how much you care about all of us who are making delicious treats with Sally’s Baking Addiction!

  18. I made these overnight & AGAIN, your recipes are GREAT! While “I’d” prefer a sweeter muffin, my boys, husband & sons RAVED over them. I have VERY old bakeware( my parents were chefs) & I was worried about them sticking so I used paper liners & ALOT of oil spray. It worked out GREAT, no sticking. In fact, the paper was off them muffins a few hours later. They are great for breakfast & snacks. Noel is so BLESSED to have a mother like you. How I wish I could see when she is helping you while cooking. I have sons & they are a mess but we have fun. Merry Christmas to you & your family!

  19. Instead of non stick spray I used coconut oil to coat the muffin tin. These turned out delicious! Topped with a little nut butter for extra protein!

    1. I just made the pumpkin version and added craisins in place of the apple and pepitas in place of the nuts. Fantastic!!!! I think I’ll try it another time using orange juice as the liquid with orange zest and craisins. Not sure how that would turn out, though.

  20. These were very good, but I would like to make them sweeter. Should I add brown sugar in place of maple syrup, or should I use maple syrup and brown sugar? I don’t want to mess up the consistency. Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy! Feel free to keep the recipe as written, but add 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar.

  21. Can butter be used instead of applesauce, and if so, how much?

    1. Hi Peggy! You can try using 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) of melted butter instead of the applesauce– that may be a little too much, so you could even reduce down to 5 or 6 Tablespoons.

  22. Hi Sally
    I don’t currently have honey / maple syrup in my pantry. If I were to use brown sugar as a substitute – what amount should I use?

    Thanks – looking forward to making these delicious looking oatmeal cups

    1. Hi Gabrielle, I recommend an even swap – so a half cup of brown sugar. Enjoy!

  23. These “muffins” are my great find for 2020. They are packed with good things and satisfy my craving for sweets. I added the walnuts, cranberries instead of apple, and a 1/2 cup of mini dark chocolate chips. I have several bottles of flavored syrups on hand, so when the maple syrup ran out, I used blackberry or raspberry syrup instead. Wow!!! I am sorry to post these changes, but these have been my lifesaver. I started a new diet and these muffins have been a terrific thing to satisfy my sweet craving while loosing a lot of weight. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

  24. I really enjoy it! I’ve never baked a muffin without flour. I used the unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened almond milk to keep my calories at the 138 so I ate 2. For less 300 calories I had a big desert that was healthier than a piece of cake. Thank you for this recipe and a blessing to come across this cause I gave up ice cream and cake for lent.

  25. Yum!! I’m having mine with coffee now. I added 1/2 cups choc. chips & I sprinkled the tops with granulated sugar before baking. Next time I will bake for 5 more min. because the centre is a tad mushy

  26. Made these this morning.
    Came out perfectly. I added blueberries.
    I used the silicone muffin cups. Easy clean up afterwards with muffins keeping their shape.
    Love your recipes Sally.

  27. The recipe was tasty, but somehow the muffins were still mostly uncooked, even after an additional 10 minutes in the oven! I don’t know how the other reviewers managed to get them cooked through. Not sure what went wrong here. I followed the recipe as written! Help!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Did you alter the recipe at all or swap out/in any ingredients? These aren’t supposed to be “set” like traditional muffins; they’ll be extra soft inside. Like baked oatmeal, but in a muffin shape. Feel free to bake them longer until you reach the texture you desire. Hope this helps!

  28. Hi! These look really great and I can’t wait to try them! But I live in the UK and we don’t get applesauce (or at least easily) – is there anything you recommend I use to substitute? Thank you!

    1. Yes, you can swap the applesauce for mashed banana.

  29. Absolutely the best recipe! I have made a lot of oatmeal cup recipes but yours is the best. Thanks Sally

  30. Would love to make them but only have quick oats on hand will it still work out?

    1. You can use quick oats instead, but they soak up more moisture so the centers won’t be as moist

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