A breakfast loosely based on caramel apples: soft apple and date baked oatmeal topped with caramel sauce.
To be completely honest, I don’t even like caramel apples or candy apples. The heat of the caramel tends to ruin the crispiness of the apple skin (my favorite part). But then middle of the apple is still crunchy, so it’s not like a baked apple or apple pie, both of which I love.
Then there’s the matter of how you eat them: unless you chop them up – which is virtually impossible with candy apples – you pretty much have to eat the outside first, followed by the middle. So you end up with a face full of extreme sweetness, followed by a pretty sour apple.
Or, at least, that’s been my experience. In fairness, I haven’t eaten many caramel or candy apples in my time (gosh, I wonder why).
However, I do love the combination of caramel and apples. A sliced apple with caramel sauce? Delicious. Caramel apple pies, cakes, smoothies and waffles? Even more delicious. And – as you would’ve guessed – I love the combination of caramel and apples in baked oatmeal.
Caramel and apples are in this baked oatmeal in three ways: (1) there’s grated apple and chopped dates in the oatmeal; (2) sliced apples are baked into the top of the oatmeal; and (3) the whole thing is topped with salted caramel sauce.
I topped my oatmeal with Lightened Up Salted Caramel Sauce, but you could use either store-bought caramel sauce or date caramel. Alternatively, top the baked oatmeal with a spoonful of sweet ‘n’ spicy pumpkin butter.
All this talk about oatmeal toppings brings me to the recipe theme for this month. At the beginning of the year I decided (on a whim) that each month of the blog would have a particular theme. Last month it was berries, and this month’s theme is toppings!
So don’t be surprised if you see maple syrup, sauces, chocolate chips, granola and other fun toppings around here during February.
Baked oatmeal can vary in textures, ranging from solid and muffin-like to soft and gooey (like an under-baked brownie). This Caramel Apple Baked Oatmeal is somewhere in between. It’s a little more soft and moist in the middle than my other big batch baked oatmeal recipes. But, as you can see, it’s firm enough to cut into pieces.
So I guess the texture’s almost like a brownie, since it’s slightly doughy in the middle, while the edges are more muffin-esque. Not that ‘muffin-esque’ is ever going to be a word.
As usual, I enjoyed eating this oatmeal with some warm almond milk. Although I imagine a scoop of caramel ice cream would be darn delicious…
P.S. If you have any bets (involving money or not) riding on the Super Bowl, then good luck. I know absolutely nothing about football – or virtually any kind of sports – but I do know the joy of saying ‘I told you so!’ when you win a bet.
- Baked oatmeal
- 1 egg
- 1 medium apple, grated
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (205g) rolled oats
- ¼ cup (35g) chopped dates
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
- 1 small or medium apple, cored
- Salted caramel sauce
- Pumpkin butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Add the grated apple, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla extract, blackstrap molasses, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- Mix in the rolled oats, chopped dates, baking powder and baking soda. Add the milk, and mix well.
- Transfer the oatmeal batter to the prepared baking dish. Slice the cored apple into relatively thin rings, and press the rings into the top of the batter.
- Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the oatmeal is golden brown and the middle is set.
- Let the oatmeal cool in the dish for 5 minutes before serving, if possible. Enjoy the oatmeal with a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce and/or a spoonful of pumpkin butter.
I used Lightened Up Caramel Sauce, which is made without cream or butter.
To make this breakfast gluten-free, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.