Starting the day by eating a cookie or leftover slice of pie for breakfast always feels like you’re getting away with something. A well-rounded breakfast is so often thought of as a bowl of oatmeal or plate of eggs. That can be delicious too, but pairing last night’s dessert with your morning coffee always feels really special. It can also be just as nutrient-rich as classic breakfast foods—it all comes down to what ingredients you use.
Case in point is the carrot cake baked oats in the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp. It has all the components of the classic dessert—including the all-important cream cheese frosting—but it’s nutrient-rich, and low-sugar.
“It’s full of carrots and oats, so lots of fiber to keep you full and satisfied for most of the morning,” baker, nutrition coach, and fitness instructor Sashah Handal says in the episode, adding that the recipe also calls for pecans, which are full of heart-healthy fats. Those aren’t the only nutrient-rich ingredients in the recipe either. Others you’ll see on the ingredients list are cashews, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
The first step is making the “cake” component by combining the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (Minus the shredded carrots—hold off on that for now.) Handal likes to add oat bran to the mix, which she says gives the baked oats a nice, chewy texture. Then, she uses a separate bowl to combine the wet ingredients. This is the bowl Handal says to add the carrots to because the wetness hydrates them—key if your shredded carrots have been hanging out in the fridge for a while. The last step in prepping the batter is combining the two bowls together, pouring it into a baking pan, and popping it in the oven.
Every good carrot cake calls for cream cheese frosting and this baked oats take is no different. Here, the frosting is made with cashews and dates, which are soaked in a jar of hot water for an hour prior to being used in the recipe. Then, they’re blended up until they take on a gritty texture. Add coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and it will magically transform into a sweet, luscious protein-filled frosting.
“Every bite is just filled with so much joy,” Handal says, as she takes a bite of the frosting-topped baked oats. Ready to add some joy to your own morning? Watch the episode to see exactly how to make it and get the recipe below.
Carrot cake baked oats with cream cheese frosting
For the baked oats:
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp oat bran
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup carrots, shredded
For the cashew cream cheese frosting:
3/4 cup cashews and 3 to 5 dates, soaked
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 Tbsp water, as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.Prepare and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients, except for the shredded carrots. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add in the shredded carrots. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and ensure that all of the oats are completely submerged in liquid. Add the remaining pecans and raisins. Bake for 60 minutes, rotating halfway through.
2. For the cashew cream cheese frosting, blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Freeze for 30 minutes minimum. Dollop generously on top of the baked oats. Slice and enjoy!
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