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

The fall season may mean saying GOODBYE to pool days, but it also means giving a big HELLO to 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. 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

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.
Print
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

158 Comments

  1. Russell Tanenbaum says:

    Hi! I’m making the pumpkin variety for my daughter’s class and was wondering if the apples were still needed (it doesn’t say to remove them…). Thanks!!

    1. Hi Russell! That’s up to you. Feel free to leave in the apples if you like the flavor with pumpkin. I usually leave them out.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. Can you use monk fruit sweetener instead of maple syrup? Thank you! You are my “go to” site for desserts:)

    1. Hi Mary! I haven’t tested it. Let me know if you do!

  5. 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’m so happy you enjoyed them, Liesl!

      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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!!

  10. Hello,
    This seems like a really good recipe.
    Do you have a breakdown of calories per muffin?

    1. I hope you get a chance to try them, Lesley! I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  11. 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.

  12. Would soy milk work well in this recipe?

    1. Definitely!

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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

  19. These are beautiful.

    I was wondering could you turn this into a tray bake for easier transportation for when work starts back up?

    1. Absolutely. Here’s my larger baked oatmeal. You can skip the berries and sub in apples and cinnamon, just as you do with these oatmeal cups.

  20. Made this recipe last week using the recommendation for blueberries. Used a 9×13 pan and baked about 10 mins longer. My 2 year old and I DEVOURED them!

  21. I made these using pumpkin instead of applesauce. I did not have syrup, so I used 1/2 molasses/1/2 brown sugar where it called for syrup in the recipe. I added a few small amounts of spices and folded in blueberries. I sprinkled sugar on top. Really good–I love how you offer so many substitutions and suggestions. I am a celiac and my brother is diabetic, so I am always looking for good stuff to bake that can be altered for different diets.

  22. Polly L McFadden says:

    Hi Sally. I have made these muffins twice and they are outstanding. However, the second time I made them I put them in an air-tight container and stored them at room temperature. The second day I ate one and it was fine. The third day I went to eat one and every muffin was raw in the middle. I am right now trying to bake them more but they are still raw after another 20 minutes. Any helpful ideas? Can storing them this way make them “break down”? I’ve never seen this before. Thanks. I love your recipes and use your website all the time. Your tip for using a parchment round in the air fryer has saved me a lot of clean up. Thanks!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them, Polly! You can cover leftover oatmeal cups tightly and store them in the refrigerate for up to 1 week. I don’t recommend storing them at room temperature.

  23. Kids are asking for more even as their plates are full! Amazing! Used 1/4 cup or a little less of the maple syrup and a little more applesauce. Thanks for this recipe! My kids LOVE oats!!

  24. I made these today and they were amazing!

  25. Susan Robbins says:

    I made these with the peanut butter variation instead of apples. I did leave in the nutmeg because I remember you saying in another post that nutmeg gives “that bakery taste.” It was a bit of a challenge getting them out of the pan, but it was worth it! The flavor was spot on, and they were moist inside and crusty outside. My husband requested chocolate chips next time, so clearly this will be a repeat recipe!

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