How does apple pie for breakfast sound to you? This next-level apple pie oatmeal will be your new favourite fall and winter breakfast! The secret is the caramelized maple apple chunks on top of your bowl of oatmeal, they taste so good you might be making these apples for dessert too!
This warm oatmeal bowl is healthy, delicious, full of fibre and can easily be made vegan. And best of all, you only need 1 saucepan and 10 minutes of your time! You’ll end up with a comforting bowl of warm oats that’s creamy, sweet and full of autumn and winter spices.
Types of oats
Before we start making this breakfast bowl, let’s talk oats. There are several types of oats out there, each with its own pros and cons. Here are the most popular types of oats:
Quick Oats - Quick oats or Instant oats are the most processed. They cook the quickest (they only need one minute), but the downside is they create mushier oatmeal (there’s less bite). These oats have already been pre-cooked and are more finely chopped.
Old Fashioned / Rolled Oats - These oats are flat and flakey. They have usually been steamed and flattened, which gives them a shorter cook time. They need about 5 minutes of cooking. Rolled oats are my favourite type that I use to make oatmeal, overnight oats and add to sweet bakes like cookies and crumbles.
Steel Cut Oats - These rough-looking oats are the least processed. They also take the longest to prepare and need to be cooked for about 20-30 minutes.
What’s in this oatmeal?
Apple - Any type of apple will work just fine. I usually leave the skin on, this saves time and also adds some fibre and nutrients. Dice the apple into small chunks (about 1 cm or ½ inch).
Oats - Oats are the base of this recipe. Old fashioned rolled oats are my favourite variety.
Water or milk - Water works just fine to make a bowl of oatmeal, but you can substitute it for regular milk or plant-based milk if you want your oats to have a creamier consistency.
Maple syrup - Maple syrup doesn't just add sweetness but also a caramel toffee flavour to your oatmeal. It’s my favourite type of natural sugar alternative to get that perfect apple pie flavour without adding processed sugar.
Raisins - Raisins are a staple ingredient in my apple pies. They also add some sweetness and extra fibre. Cooking them in the oats makes them plump and delicious. They can easily be left out if you’re not a fan of raisins.
Salt - Don’t skip on the salt. Yes, this is a sweet recipe but a pinch of salt helps to bring out the flavours. Salt acts like a flavour enhancer. You won’t taste the salt, but without it, your oats would be a bit bland.
Cinnamon - Is there a more quintessential fall and winter type of spice than cinnamon? Personally, I love cinnamon so I’ll add it to both the baked apples and the cooked oats. Use as much or as little as you like.
Allspice - Allspice is a dried berry with a flavour profile that’s almost like a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. A little bit of allspice powder adds that typical autumn apple pie spice flavour.
Pecans - Pecans add a crunchy texture to the topping. They are also a good source of healthy fats and add calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Butter - By baking your apple pieces in a bit of butter you get that rich, decadent flavour. If you want to keep this recipe vegan you can substitute the butter for some coconut oil. I’ve used this on occasion and it tastes just as delicious!
Buttery maple cinnamon baked apple topping
These buttery baked apples with maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon are divine! They are sticky, sweet and rich in flavour, these apples are the secret to this apple pie oatmeal. They are super fast and easy to make, you’ll have them ready within 5 minutes!
This spiced apple topping is also delicious on top of a yoghurt bowl or serve it with some vanilla ice cream for an easy winter dessert!
Depending on the size of the apples I usually use ½ an apple per person or 1 whole apple if they are very small. If you’ve got some leftover apple topping then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to make maple and cinnamon-flavoured baked apples
- Cut your apples in 4 quarters and remove the core. Now cut the apple quarters into small chunks of about 1 cm (½ inch). You can leave the skin on.
- Heat up a saucepan that’s also big enough to cook your oatmeal in, we’re only going to use one pot for this recipe.
- Melt a knob of butter (or a tablespoon of coconut oil) in your saucepan on medium heat. Once it’s melted add your diced apple chunks and stir them so they are all covered in butter. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it cook for a couple of minutes until the apples become a bit softer.
- Add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of maple syrup and stir it all together. Let the mixture cook for another minute or two until the maple sauce becomes a bit thicker and your apples are soft and fragrant.
- Put the baked apples aside in a small bowl while you prepare the oatmeal.
How to make the best Apple Pie Oatmeal
Prep your ingredients before you start
A bowl of oatmeal is probably one of the simplest and easiest breakfasts out there. To make your life even simpler always lay out your ingredients and utensils before you start so you’re not running to your pantry to look for a bag of raisins while your oatmeal is burning itself into your pan. Trust me, I’ve been there and trying to remove a rock-solid burned layer of oats from your pan is not fun.
Making a bowl of oatmeal is super simple. For the sake of this recipe I’ve weighed out all my ingredients to give you an indication of the weight, but in reality, this recipe is very forgiving and you can easily eyeball the measurements or use a cup to measure them out.
Start by putting all your ingredients out on your counter. Next, make the baked apple topping and put it aside while you cook the oats. You can use the same saucepan and you don’t have to rinse it in between. The leftover cinnamon maple sauce that’s in the pan after cooking the apples will already start to flavour your oats, but we’re going to add some extra oomph to make these oats your all-time favourite winter breakfast!
Tips to make the perfect bowl of oats
The perfect oats-to-liquid ratio is 1:2 so for each 1 cup of oats you add 2 cups of liquid. ½ cup of oats is enough for one regular portion of oatmeal. Make sure to bring the water or (plant-based) milk to a boil before adding the oats. Then turn the heat down to a simmer while you cook the oatmeal until it’s creamy and thick. You can always add an extra splash of water or milk if the consistency becomes too thick. Don’t forget to stir your oats while it is cooking. Cooking oatmeal on low heat and stirring it frequently will help prevent your oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
Add a pinch of salt to your oats while you are cooking them to help bring out all the flavours and sweetness of the other ingredients. After adding the oats to the liquid you can also immediately add the raisins, cinnamon, allspice and maple syrup. By cooking the raisins in the oats they will absorb some of the liquid and become thick and plump.
Tips & Alternatives
Keep it vegan: If you want to keep this breakfast vegan, substitute the butter for coconut oil when baking the apples. Also, make sure you use water or plant-based milk to cook the oats.
Water or milk: You can use both water or milk (or a combination) to make a bowl of oatmeal. Plant-based milk like oat milk and almond milk can also be used. I always use water to make my oats, but some people prefer a (plant)milk base.
Creamy tip: If you want your oatmeal to be more creamy without adding cream you can also add a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt once your oats are cooked. Stir it through your cooked oats and the end result will be extra thick and creamy.
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