How to Make Baked Oats
If you’re on the lookout for a breakfast that’s both hearty and healthy, with a delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors, look no further than baked oats. Though it has recently gained popularity on TikTok, baked oats are by no means a new creation. Fans of this delectable dish, also known as baked oatmeal, have been experimenting with various versions for years, and it’s time for you to join in the fun too. Whether you’re making it for your family, yourself (to prepare ahead for a busy work week), or your brunch guests, baked oats are a scrumptious option that resembles a healthy take on cake – a morning treat that everyone adores.
What are Baked Oats?
Baked oats come to life by combining oats with liquid (typically milk or water), a sweetener (like maple syrup, agave, honey, or brown sugar), eggs for setting, and additional ingredients to add variety and flavor (think berries, apples, dried fruits, and more). The resulting breakfast dish has a cake-like texture, which is the secret behind its surging popularity. “The trend of baked oats started because people marketed it as ‘cake for breakfast,'” says Justine Doiron, a recipe developer who runs the renowned TikTok channel @Justine_Snacks. “So to me, that’s always been the main benefit. We all love oats, but who doesn’t love cake for breakfast?”
Baked Oats vs. Overnight Oats
While overnight oats rest in the fridge without being cooked, baked oats go straight from the mixing bowl to the oven. Like overnight oats, baked oats are easy to prepare for a crowd, but they are ready faster. “Also, baked oats are less creamy and more set. You’ll scoop them from the pan, which makes them great for drizzling with cold milk or cream,” explains Lukas Volger, a cookbook author, recipe developer, and food stylist.
The Best Type of Oats to Use
Among the various types of oats found in grocery stores, rolled oats are the best choice for baked oats. Steel-cut oats take longer to cook due to their choppy texture, while instant oats may result in a mushy texture that doesn’t quite hit the mark for baked oats.
Tips for Baked Oats Recipe
Having a baking dish is essential for baked oats, with the size depending on your desired quantity. Butter the dish and preheat the oven, as you would when baking a cake. The proportions of ingredients, especially the oats-to-liquid ratio, are crucial for achieving rich and moist baked oats. Be precise in your measurements, as there’s no room for adjustments once it’s in the oven.
Including eggs in your baked oats will give them a delightful rise and a cakey texture. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately before combining them, and feel free to add fruits directly to the batter or as toppings right before baking. Allow baked oats to cool before serving, and they pair wonderfully with yogurt, cream, or maple syrup.
Baked Oats Variations
Once you’ve mastered the basic formula for baked oats, the possibilities are endless. You can add your favorite fruits, nut butter, dried fruits, seeds, and more. Additionally, baked oats don’t have to be solely sweet; they can incorporate savory elements like cooked greens, sautéed vegetables, and roasted sweet potatoes. Play with flavor pairings using condiments like hot sauce, soy sauce, and tahini, and don’t forget to experiment with various textures by adding toasted nuts, frizzled shallots, fried garlic, dukkah, zaatar, or everything bagel seasoning.
Get creative, and dive into the world of baked oats to enjoy a breakfast that’s not only satisfying but also bursting with flavors that will leave you eager for the next morning’s delight.
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