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If you’re looking for more ways to eat oatmeal for breakfast, these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cups are a great solution! They are similar to making baked oatmeal, but instead of baking everything in one large dish, you’ll use a muffin tin to make individual servings.
What do you need to make oatmeal cups?
- Oats: This makes up the bulk of the recipe. Just like making overnight oats, I definitely recommend using old fashioned oats when making these oatmeal cups because the consistency of quick oats will be more dry.
- Milk: You can use full fat, 2% or low-fat milk. You can also use plant-based milk like almond milk (which is what I used), coconut milk, cashew milk or oat milk.
- Applesauce: This has two uses in this recipe: it provides moisture without having to use oil, and it also helps to bind so we don’t have to use eggs. I recommend unsweetened so you can control the level of sweetness.
- Maple Syrup: This helps to sweeten the oatmeal cups naturally, and the stickiness of the syrup also helps to bind the oatmeal cups. You can substitute with honey or agave syrup.
- Cinnamon: 1 and half teaspoons may look like a lot, but trust me on this one! You can also substitute some of that for other warm spices like nutmeg, ginger and/or ground cloves.
- Baking Powder: This makes them feel light and airy.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract is always added for flavor, but you can use lemon juice if you prefer.
- Apples: You can use any type of apples you’d like, peeled or unpeeled. I recommend chopping them up really small so they mix easier into the batter.
- Pecans: They add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to the oatmeal cups. You can substitute with other nuts like walnuts, or you can leave them out.
How to make oatmeal cups
Start with a medium bowl and mix the dry ingredients. Then, mix the wet ingredients together and pour them on top of the dry ingredients
Next you’ll add chopped apples and chopped pecans. I like to keep everything chopped as small as possible so they’re evenly distributed and you don’t get one large bite of just apples. Also, some people prefer to peel the apples, but I leave the peel on mine, so it comes down to preference.
And then you can divide up the batter into a muffin tin. It should fit perfectly into 12 muffin cups. Then bake until they’re golden and set. They will be soft and moist with irresistible flavor.
Tips for making oatmeal cups:
- Don’t use quick oats. Quick oats are chopped into finer pieces, which makes them faster to cook. Although they taste the same as rolled oats, the texture of quick oats is much finer, so they soak up more moisture and can dry out the baked oatmeal.
- Do not mix the oats with milk ahead of time. If you want to prep the recipe halfway before baking, you can mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another bowl. Just don’t combine them until you’re ready to bake. Otherwise the oats will soak up all the liquid and yield a dry texture.
- Spoon batter equally between the muffin tins. You’ll notice that the liquid doesn’t perfectly mix with the oats, and the battery is a bit chunky with some liquid. Make sure to evenly distribute the liquid into the muffin cups for best results.
- Skip the muffin liners. As long as you spray the muffin tin with cooking spray, the oatmeal cups will come right out using a spoon. In fact, they tend to stick more to muffin liners than to the pan in my experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between oatmeal cups and muffins?
The difference is in the lack of flour in oatmeal cups. So you’ll notice that the batter for oatmeal cups looks different than that of muffins. Essentially this recipe is baked oatmeal made into individual portions by using a muffin tin.
Can these be baked in a dish?
Yes, you can bake these in a casserole dish or half sheet pans and then just cut them into the size of bars you’d like. Depending on the size of pan you use, the baking time will vary. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, it should take 20-25 minutes.
Can you freeze baked oatmeal cups?
Yes and these are very freezer-friendly! Just place them in an airtight container or ziplock bag, and you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw them in the fridge overnight, then place in the microwave or oven to warm through.
These apple cinnamon oatmeal cups recipe is easy to make, super versatile with added fruit and toppings, and makes for a healthy portable breakfast or snack. They’re vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free, and most importantly they’re kid friendly!
For more oatmeal recipes:
For more muffins recipes:
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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cups
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
- Place all the ingredients, except for the apples and pecans, together in a large bowl and mix to combine until well blended. Fold in the chopped apples and pecans. Then transfer batter into prepared muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. The batter will seem like it has too much liquid, but this is normal.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and top is set. If you notice the tops brown too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil.
- Cool oatmeal cups on wire rack for 5 minutes, then enjoy.
- You can use any kind of milk you like, dairy or non-dairy
- You can replace the maple syrup with any other liquid sweetener like honey or agave syrup.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.