A creamy, pudding-like sweet potato oatmeal casserole with a crunchy topping.
Oooh, it’s nearly that time of year again! Some call it Fall, some call it Autumn – and others call it Spring. For me, there’s only way to describe it: Pumpkin Domination Season!
Oh boy, just thinking about it makes my hands feel as wobbly as Pumpkin Spice Jell-O!
Golly, the excitement!
That being said, this recipe doesn’t have any pumpkin in it. But it does have one of pumpkin’s closest relatives: the sweet potato. I’ve always thought of sweet potato and pumpkin’s heartier cousin.
I won’t be surprised if some people look at these photos and just think, “Uh, what is that?” Truth be told, it’s a little mysterious – it’s not a “normal” baked oatmeal, but then it’s not a pie either. So what is it?
- On the top we have a streusel or crumble-like topping – except there’s no flour and no butter!
- Underneath it’s almost like a pumpkin pie. Just a little fudgier. Like a cross between a pudding and a blondie.
I realize just how random that sounded. So you’ll just have to believe me: It’s good. Seriously good. Good in a “I can’t stop eating spoonfuls straight from the fridge” kind of a way.
This breakfast also happens to be vegan and is easily made gluten-free, if you use gluten-free certified oats and gluten-free cornflakes.
Yes, there’s cornflakes in this recipe. But for good reason! I recently discovered that one of my most disliked cold cereals – cornflakes – works surprisingly well in streusels, crisp/crumble toppings and granola. When it’s baked, it’s all crispy and crunchy and just fantastic. Nothing like the sad bowl of flavorless, soggy cereal that many of us had to endure as children.
The other slightly unusual ingredient is marshmallows. If you’re used to marshmallow-topped sweet potato casseroles for Thanksgiving, then this should all make perfect sense. If not, the marshmallows may seem a little… random?
Leave them off if you must, but I’m telling you that there’s nothing better in the morning (or at any time of the day) than some ooey-gooey warm marshmallows. Add in the crunchy oaty topping and the spiced sweet potato underneath, and it’s just wowzah!
And yes, I did just use the world “wowzah”.
For this recipe I used vegan marshmallows. I actually found strawberry-flavored vegan marshmallows that were imported from Belgium! I can also recommend Sweet & Sara marshmallows (their Smores are out-of-this-world). Dandies are another brand of vegan marshmallows, although I’ve never tried them.
While I’m sure that canned sweet potato would work, it really is best if you go with fresh. I highly recommend that you roast your sweet potatoes (whole and in their skins) for a loooong time – at least 45 minutes. By this time, the skins should almost burst open, and the delicious insides will be super-duper soft.
The three large sweet potatoes that I roasted for an hour actually exploded. Not in the “Oh no, the oven’s covered with sweet potato s***!” kind of way, but in the “There’s a bunch of goo all over my baking pan!” kind of way.
Last but not least, if you make this oatmeal casserole (and I hope you do!), just remember that it’s not like a cake or giant muffin – it’s not dry in the center, so don’t bother getting out the skewers or toothpicks. Instead, it’s super moist and fudgy!
Question of the Day
Are you excited for Pumpkin Domination Season (otherwise known as Fall)? Or is it too early to think about it?
- For the casserole:
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ cups mashed/pureed sweet potato
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup raisins
For the crunchy topping:
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup cornflakes
- ¼ cup (toasted) almond meal
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons applesauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 - 3 tablespoons light molasses (golden syrup)
- Marshmallows (vegan or otherwise)
- Grease a casserole or pie dish (I used a 9.5-inch pie dish). Preheat the oven to 350°C (180°C).
- For the casserole: In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, applesauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix in the almond milk.
- Add the rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until completely combined. Stir in the raisins.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole/pie dish.
- For the crunchy topping: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the rolled oats, cornflakes, almond meal, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, cinnamon and cloves. If desired, crush the cornflakes while mixing. Add the applesauce, maple syrup and light molasses, and mix until completely combined. Taste, and add more light molasses if necessary.
- Scatter the topping over the casserole filling.
- Bake the casserole for 40 - 45 minutes, or until browned (but not burnt!). Top with as many marshmallows as you would like, and then bake for 5 - 15 more minutes (depending on how toasted you’d like the marshmallows).
- Serve the casserole with fruit, milk or ice cream, or really anything else! Enjoy!
For vegan marshmallows, try Sweet & Sara or Dandies. Or look around in health food/specialty stores - I managed to find some vegan marshmallows from Belgium!
"Almond meal" is also known as "almond flour" or "ground almonds". If possible, use toasted/roasted almond meal (although this isn't completely necessary).