Prep this easy and colorful Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal in the evening, then bake it in the morning for a hands-off, deliciously aromatic, warm breakfast! With maple syrup, cinnamon, apples, cranberries, walnuts, and a hint of ginger. Vegan, WFPB, and free from oil, refined-sugar, gluten, and soy; nut-free option.
Is there a lovelier aroma to wake up to than warm apple-cinnamon? I think not. Okay, maybe cinnamon rolls. I'm noticing a common denominator. But if you're in the mood for a healthier breakfast, this Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal is the clear winner every time!
With festive and bright cranberries, chopped apple, crunchy walnuts, and soft, creamy oats, I can't imagine anyone turning up their nose to this baked oatmeal.
In addition to the irresistible aroma and nutritious benefits, baked oatmeal is a breeze to throw together!
Spend about 15 minutes assembling everything in a baking dish before going to bed, pop it into the fridge, and when you wake up simply crumble walnuts on top and bake.
So much reward for so little effort!
Another great thing about this recipe is that you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. And if you bought too many cranberries for your Thanksgiving or Christmas cranberry sauce, this is a perfect way to use them!
Here's a quick look at what you'll need.
- old fashioned rolled oats
- apples - choose a sweet variety like honeycrisp
- cranberries - either fresh or frozen
- raw walnuts - they add great crunch but can be omitted if you're trying to reduce overall fat intake.
- raw almond butter - adds moisture and makes the baked oatmeal more satisfying.
- unsweetened almond milk - or your favorite plain non-dairy milk
- arrowroot or corn starch - thickens the liquid mixture and gives the oatmeal
- spices - cinnamon and ginger are delicious paired with the apple, cranberries, and maple.
- maple syrup - this is the main sweetener in the recipe.
- coconut sugar or brown sugar, optional
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Apple Baked Oatmeal
I'm not exaggerating when I say this baked oatmeal is ridiculously easy. Literally the only part that requires "work" is the chopping of two apples. That's it!
Otherwise, you're essentially just combining ingredients. Here's a glance at the basic process:
- Place the oats in a 9-inch square baking dish and set aside.
- To combine the liquid ingredients you have options. Either whisk together by hand in a medium-size bowl, or blend until smooth.
- Wash the cranberries, and wash, core, and chop the apples.
- Layer the apples and cranberries on top of the oats, and pour the wet ingredients on top.
- If assembling at night, cover and refrigerate.
- Just before baking, sprinkle with chopped walnuts (or pecans).
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
So simple, right? Sweet and tender apples, tart cranberries, warm and creamy oats mildly sweetened with maple, all tied together with a hint of cinnamon and ginger.
This is the perfect breakfast to share with family on Christmas day or really any holiday or leisurely morning spent with family.
Healthy Baked Oatmeal - Options and Substitutions
Have fun with this recipe, and try a variety of fruits, nuts and spices. Here are some examples:
- Need a nut-free version of baked oatmeal? Use a different non-dairy milk, such as soy or oat, replace the almond butter with another fat of your choice (like coconut butter), and omit the nuts on top or replace them with pumpkin seeds.
- Not a big fan of tart cranberries? Swap them out for blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
- Try pears instead of apples...or both!
- Go for a more heavily spiced oatmeal by increasing the ginger and adding a dash of clove.
- For strong ginger flavor, infuse the milk with fresh ginger before using.
- Add your favorite dried fruits for variety, like raisins, currants, or apricots.
Aren't cranberries beautiful? I've been known to gush about them before! Like in these recipe posts:
- Apple-Cranberry Compote
- Cranberry Oat Gelato
- No-Bake Cranberry Cheesecake
- Cranberry Cream Pie
- Cranberry and Citrus Tart
- Easy Vegan Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Salsa
Prep baked oatmeal at night or in the morning?
I tested this recipe a few different times and ended up going with the version captured in the photo above. Maybe you can tell that it's a bit more moist than the other photos.
They're very similar, but for the final recipe I ended up increasing the milk slightly and opting for more maple syrup and less dry sweetener.
I also made the recipe multiple times because I wanted to see how much difference it makes whether you bake it immediately or refrigerate it overnight.
They're both delicious, but I did prefer the one that sat overnight. The oats were more tender, and I liked the way the pieces of apple hugged the oats while the cranberries rose above.
More healthy breakfast recipes:
- Oat Flour Mug Muffin
- Fluffy Oat Flour Pancakes
- Easy Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal
- 1-Bowl Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Millet Breakfast Bake With Berries
- Quick Yogurt Oats
And don't miss this collection of Vegan Breakfast Ideas!
I hope you enjoy this super easy Vegan Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal! As always, if you try it I would love to hear from you.
Leave a comment and a star rating below to let everyone know how it turned out, and if you share a photo on instagram, be sure to tag me with @myquietkitchen.
Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal (Vegan)
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats, GF certified, if needed
- 2 apples, any sweet variety, cored and chopped
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (3.5 oz) - See Notes re: frozen cranberries
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ⅓ cup unsalted almond butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar - Or sub light brown sugar or additional maple syrup, to taste.
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot or corn starch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans (2 oz.)
- If baking now, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- In a medium-size bowl or in a blender combine the milk, almond butter, maple syrup, sugar, starch, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Whisk or blend until smooth.
- Add the oats to a 9-inch square baking pan. Arrange the chopped apple in an even layer on top of the oats, followed by the cranberries. Pour the wet ingredients on top.
- If baking now, sprinkle nuts on top and transfer to oven. If assembling in the evening and baking in the morning, don't add walnuts yet. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and sprinkle nuts on top. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.