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

168 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. I made these today and they were amazing!

  7. 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!

  8. Thanks for sharing this healthy yummy recipe!

  9. I loved these! I was afraid they wouldn’t be sweet enough and while they are on the lighter side of sweet, they definitely hit the spot. I felt so healthy eating them for breakfast. Question- can I double this or will it be too liquidy?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can double this recipe. So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. These were delicious! If you have parchment paper muffin liners, there is no need to spray anything. Can’t wait to try the other variations!

  11. I am a regular! These have become a staple for me. Love all the variations, too!

  12. These are definitely more of a baked oatmeal than a muffin. Which is great for the kiddo for breakfast when we are on the go. As others have said, they are not very sweet which is also great for kiddos.
    However when I took them out of the oven at 30 minutes and let them sit a bit and then tried to get them out of the pan they totally fell apart and weren’t cooked enough. I had to bake them for almost 15 more minutes for them to hold there shape.

  13. Yummm! So moist, tasty, easy & versatile. Makes me eager for Fall & Winter!! Thanks for another great recipe

  14. Had a great baking weekend
    Made the Apple Cider Donuts and they are better then the donuts we always buy when we go apple picking .
    The Salted Carmel Apple Pie was wonderful . It had such a different taste and made the house smell like a country fair .
    I had to make the Carmel twice because I felt the first Attempt tasted burnt ( it had a funny after taste )
    But the second was lighter in color and so good .
    Thank you Sally
    Stay well

  15. Hi Sally! Can I make this recipe in a single cake container rather than muffin cups? Would it rise well? And I must add, that I have made so many of your recipes in the past months, much to the delight of family and friends. The chocolate moist cake is our all time favourite! The pineapple upside down cake also turned out beautiful as did the cinnamon swirl choco chip loaf. Love your recipes! And you look lovely in your videos!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pooja, We are so happy to hear you have been enjoying the recipes! Yes, you can bake this in a pan and cut into bars. Enjoy!

  16. These are really good for a healthy breakfast or snack! I love the no added sugar for a healthier option during the week. Thanks Sally 🙂

  17. Made this recipe using date syrup instead of maple syrup. Came out great! I will try adding a bit of shredded coconut next time.

  18. Another winning recipe. I made this today and they are fantastic. I was 2/3 of the way thru prep when I realized I had no applesauce (and I hadn’t read the above comment to sub mashed banana) so I subbed 1:1 with plain greek yogurt. The end result is really moist and delicious, but now I’ll have to make them again as written for comparison. 🙂 I left the skin on the Granny Smith for flavor and texture, wasn’t sure about that but it worked well. Thanks!

  19. These were tasty with a nice the apple cinnamon flavor, but my family didn’t like the texture. You bite in thinking it’s going to be a muffin, but it’s really more of a hot oatmeal cup. The texture is not bready, it’s gummy and oatmeally. These would go over better I think if you prepare people that they are NOT muffins, lol.

    1. Hi Jane! Glad you tried these. They are definitely called oatmeal cups for a reason– just muffin shaped 🙂

  20. Vickie Koehler says:

    Wow, these are so delicious! I deceased the sweetener a bit and added mini cinnamon chips, so good!

  21. Just made these and WOW. So delicious. Husband loves them. I do have to say that I only had quick oats but turned out soooo good! Since I made a double batch for family, it would have called for 3 cups of milk. Instead, I put in 2 cups and one cup of kefir. I also added about 4 teaspoons of melted butter because I had read that quick oats might make them a little dry.
    I added 1/2 cup of raisins per each recipe and topped the muffins with walnuts and a sprinkle of coconut sugar (you could use Demerara brown sugar too) My kitchen smelled like cozy heaven! Thank you, this recipe is so versatile and forgiving… and healthy! This one’s a keeper!

  22. I just made these. They are so easy and delicious. I didn’t add as much honey as I’m watching my sugar intake. Eager to try some of the other variations.

  23. Hi Sally, thanks for this amazing recipe. Question about the moistness of the cupcake- I found that even after an hour of baking, if I poke it with a toothpick it will some come out as moist. So I usually have to bake it for about 90 min at least, usually longer. Is there a normal amount of moistness I should expect given this is oatmeal based, or should I continue with the toothpick test? Thanks.

  24. This was absolutely delightful and satisfies my pregnancy sweet-snack cravings! I sprinkled the top with a bit of brown sugar and baked it in a 9×9 baking dish for just over 30 minutes – it came out absolutely perfect. This will definitely become a weekly staple!

  25. My husband had to leave for the airport early this morning. So I whipped these us last night. He loved the healthy, grab and go and eat in the car option. (He always feels better if he eats healthy while traveling)

    We love bake oatmeal and this recipe is perfect. Thanks.

  26. I love this recipe! I just has a baby so getting a quick breakfast is important to me. I added fresh cranberries the last time I made them and I love it so much. This recipe is so versatile and forgiving, you can make a variety of substitutions and they are perfect. Thanks again for another perfect recipe!

  27. I put almonds instead of walnuts. I’m also thinking of swapping Apple for cranberries.

  28. The pumpkin oatmeal cups turned out so good last week, I did these today – delicious!!

  29. I just substituted more apple for the apple sauce, and it came out great so in total i used one and a half apples.

  30. I love how versatile this recipe is! I’ve done the pumpkin ones before, and then I used this base for a strawberry version, as well as a pear version. I can see myself trying endless combinations, and for that I love this recipe. I hate regular oatmeal, but this adds enough structure that it’s tasty enough for me. Thanks, Sally!

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