Start your day off with a healthy dose of vegetables with this carrot cake oatmeal – combining carrot, cinnamon, walnuts (or pecans) and hearty oats for a delicious and nutritious plant-based breakfast. Plus, we’ve included options for stovetop, baked, and carrot cake overnight oats!
Delicious and Nutritious Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Here at Plant-Based on a Budget, we love oatmeal (aka porridge) and overnight oats! Oats are incredibly budget-friendly and packed with healthful benefits. More so, with options like this carrot cake oatmeal, you get to eat ‘cake’ for breakfast (on days when you want an even healthier version of these carrot cake muffins) – and we’ll never say no to that!
This carrot cake oatmeal recipe not only packs in a portion of veggies into your breakfast, but it’s packed with texture, will satisfy your sweet tooth, and keep you full until lunch. Plus, this recipe requires just a handful of low-budget ingredients and pantry staples – including carrots, nuts, the sweetener of your choice, and milk or water.
With the combination of oats, carrots, and nuts – this carrot cake oatmeal recipe is jam-packed with nutrients too. Oats are a great source of gut-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1, manganese, phosphorous, copper, and iron. This combination makes them great for aiding in lowering cholesterol levels and improving blood sugar levels.
Meanwhile, carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin K1, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants – which are beneficial for blood cholesterol levels, eye health, and a reduced risk of several cancers! Topping that off with brain/heart-healthy nuts leads to a super satisfying and healthful year-round breakfast.
Best of all, this carrot cake porridge takes under 15 minutes to prepare, and can be prepared as stovetop oatmeal, carrot cake overnight oats, or even carrot cake baked oatmeal! Meaning that it’s also wonderfully meal-preppable, for days of delicious carrot cake goodness! Looking for more ways to enjoy carrots? You might like spicy carrot soup, glazed carrots, and/or nacho cheese sauce.
The Ingredients and Substitutes
Oats: I recommend using old-fashion oats (Rolled oats). Use gluten-free certified if necessary. Steel-cut requires different cooking times.
Milk: Use the plant-based milk of your choice or even water.
Maple syrup: (Optional) Or agave or any other sweetener (liquid, granulate, or sugar-free sweetener) of your choice.
Carrot: You’ll need shredded carrots – I like to use no-peel carrots to save time. Just rinse them well.
Nuts: (Optional) You can use raw pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or any combination of them. For a nut-free carrot cake porridge, then use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Lightly crush the nuts for the best texture.
Cinnamon: Adjust the amount to personal taste.
Optional Add-ins and Variations:
Dried fruit: Raisins/ sultanas/craisins are not only usually low budget, but they are a classic addition to carrot cake and will add some texture and sweetness.
Chia/Flaxseed: Adding some chia/flax seed will not only increase the protein in the recipe, but they pack in a ton of other benefits too. I recommend adding 1 tbsp. Add them in the beginning if you don’t mind them becoming gelatinous within the mixture, or just before serving if you’d prefer them to be crunchier.
Nutmeg/ginger: A small pinch of one or both is all you need for extra flavor. Plus, it costs practically nothing if it’s already in your pantry! Allspice would also work.
Yogurt: I like to finish off this bowl of carrot cake oatmeal with a big dollop of vegan yogurt (like the frosting on the cake).
Vegan cream cheese: Alternatively, you can combine some plain vegan cream cheese with a bit of maple and vanilla to swirl into the top of the carrot cake oatmeal.
Salt: Just a tiny pinch of salt will enhance the flavors in this carrot oatmeal.
Vanilla: Just a little will enhance the overall flavor in the carrot cake oatmeal and make it feel more like dessert.
Coconut: Raw or lightly toasted unsweetened shredded coconut will add texture, flavor, and healthy fats to the carrot cake oatmeal recipe. I prefer mine lightly toasted (in a dry pan for several minutes) then sprinkled over the oats for some crunch.
How to Make Carrot Cake Oatmeal?
Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions, as well as how to make carrot cake overnight oats and carrot cake baked oatmeal.
First, add the milk (or water) to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, add the oats, mix, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cover for 3-5 minutes.
Once the oats are tender, stir in the cinnamon, sweetener, and shredded carrots. Then mix for 2-3 minutes to remove the last of the excess liquid in the pan.
Finally, add the nuts into the carrot cake oatmeal mixture or crumble over the top and serve while warm- enjoy!
Enjoy the carrot porridge as-is or top off with some additional nuts, sweetener, or vegan yogurt! You could even add a few dairy-free white chocolate chips.
How to Make-Ahead and Store?
You can prepare the carrot cake oatmeal up to 2 days in advance. Then, store any leftovers in the fridge and make sure to add an extra splash (or more) of liquid when reheating to bring them back to their creamy consistency.
How to Make Carrot Cake Overnight Oats?
Combine 1 cup rolled oats, ½ cup of finely grated carrots, the spices, nuts, and optionally 1tbsp chia/ flax seed in a large bowl.
Then add in the wet ingredients; 1 ½ cups milk and the sweetener – and mix well.
Place the carrot cake overnight oats in the fridge, cover, and leave to soak for at least 4 hours or up to 4-5 days.
This makes two portions that can be split into separate bowls or jars and topped with a layer of sweetened or unsweetened yogurt.
Top Recipe Tips and FAQs
If you prefer looser oatmeal: You can add a little additional milk/water towards the end of the cooking and stir in until you reach your desired consistency.
Adjust the carrot texture: I like to use the medium setting on a grater for texture. However, you can use finely shredded carrot if preferred.
For carrot cake baked oatmeal: Combine all the ingredients and bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350F/175C.
Grate the carrots in seconds: You can use the grating disk on your food processor.
For more tender carrots: You can allow the carrot to boil with the water/milk for several minutes before adding any other ingredients. I recommend boiling for 3-4 minutes.
To use an Instant Pot: Using an Instant Pot for regular oatmeal isn’t a great idea as it will go mushy. However, if you want to cook steel-cut oats without standing over the stove for half an hour, then Instant Pot carrot cake oatmeal it is! Combine all the ingredients into the Instant pot, stir, and cook on high for 10 minutes. Then allow the pressure to naturally release (between 12-15 minutes) before releasing the valve. Stir it, add in a little extra liquid if preferred, and then serve!
My name is Lauren Bossi; I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I've got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I'm not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.