Make the easiest Carrot Cake Oatmeal and serve up a dose of veggies for breakfast in a kid-friendly form everyone will love. This is such a great way to start the day with a nutritious breakfast that’s packed with favorite flavors from carrot cake.


Carrot Cake Oatmeal

We have oatmeal twice a week because it’s quick and easy, and this carrot version has been in regular rotation lately. I love how tender the carrots are when they’re cooked in the oatmeal mixture, and that it’s really easy for the kids to eat.

And while my little guy doesn’t always want cooked carrots served as a side for dinner, he loves them this way.

This oatmeal also has shredded apple for some natural sweetness in the mix, plus a little vanilla and cinnamon. You can add in other flavor options including raisins and chopped walnuts, too, if you’d like.

It’s also easy to adjust this for a dairy intolerance by simply using nondairy milk. We love this toddler breakfast to share with the entire family. I sometimes even make it ahead to warm up throughout the week. (Our Chia Seed Oatmeal is also a big hit.)

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Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand.

ingredients in carrot cake oatmeal
  • Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned oats” at the store. You can use regular ones or gluten-free oats as needed.
  • Carrots: I usually start with a whole carrot since they’re easiest to grate into pieces that cook quickly. You could use pre-shredded carrot from the store if you prefer, though.
  • Apple: Any kind of apple you like to eat fresh will work here.
  • Cinnamon and pure vanilla extract: These add flavor to the oatmeal as it cooks.
  • Milk: Any type of milk works here to add creaminess and help the oats reach the desired consistency.
  • Honey, maple syrup, raisins, chopped walnuts; optional to top each bowl.

TIP: I prefer to grate carrots on my own box grater so they have a finer texture than the ones you can buy pre-shredded, but take that shortcut as needed!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this easy oatmeal recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the full details of the amounts and timing.

how to make carrot cake oatmeal step by step
  1. Grate the carrot and apple with a box grater. Bring the water to a boil in the pot and reduce to a simmer. Add the ingredients to the pot (except the milk and the optional toppings).
  2. Stir the ingredients in the pot and simmer.
  3. Add the milk and cook a little more until everything is soft.
  4. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

TIP: We like to serve this with additional milk and a little brown sugar or maple syrup. Raisins are also nice in the mix!


Can I make this oatmeal with other vegetables?

You can try subbing in grated zucchini (squeezed dry) or grated sweet potato (peeled) for the carrot. And shredded pear would work for the apple if you want to try another fruit option.

How to Store

Store leftovers or made-ahead oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat for 30-60 seconds, stirring halfway through for even heating, and serve warm. You may want to stir in additional milk if it’s very thick when reheating.


Best Tips for Success

  • I prefer to grate carrots on my own box grater so they have a finer texture than the ones you can buy pre-shredded, but take that shortcut if needed.
  • Stir once or twice during cooking to make sure the oats don’t stick to the pot.
  • Use any nondairy milk your family prefers (such as almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk) to make this dairy-free.
  • Use gluten-free oats to make this gluten-free.
  • Stir in any optional toppings as you like, such as finely chopped or slivered almonds or pecans, shredded coconut, sweetener such as honey (for kids over age 1) or maple syrup, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, or even chia seeds.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!


Easy Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This is a nice breakfast option to share with the kids starting around 9/10 months and up.
4.95 from 20 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 221kcal
Servings 4


  • 2 cups rolled oats (also called "old-fashioned oats")
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • Maple syrup, honey, raisins, or sliced nuts (optional)


  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat.
  • Reduce to medium heat and add the oats, carrot, apple, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir and simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the mixture is soft and the liquid is absorbed.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the milk, and cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes and serve with desired toppings.


  • Store leftovers (or make ahead) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve.
  • I prefer to grate carrots on a box grater so they have a finer texture than the ones you can buy pre-shredded, but take that shortcut if needed.
  • Stir once or twice during cooking to make sure the oats don’t stick to the pot.
  • Stir in any optional toppings you like. You can stir in additional milk to your bowl, too.
  • If making for a child under age 1, use unsweetened nondairy milk and avoid honey.


Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 51mg, Potassium: 364mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5462IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published January 2021.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious! And after a solid tantrum and screams of “I want plain oatmeal,” my 3-year old daughter ate two bowls and said she wants it again tomorrow.

  2. 4 stars
    Doesn’t taste bad but If someone gave me this blindfolded, I would have no idea there were carrots and apples in it lol. Don’t taste them whatsoever. I was hoping they gave a unique flavor to the oatmeal. Tastes bland..I added a lot of syrup on mine haha.

  3. 5 stars
    We made this twice this week. Added sprinkles to make it special for Valentine’s Day after it was a hit over the weekend. Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious!! My LO isn’t loving the texture of mushy oatmeal right now. Could these be baked into a bar?

  5. So excited to try this recipe tomorrow! Have you tried it with quick oats? Would it turn out the same?

    1. You can totally use them, though they cook faster and need a little less liquid so you’d want to adjust accordingly.

  6. My 1 yr old and I eat oatmeal a lot. I usually make it with milk, add berries and hemp hearts to make it a meal; but adding veggies for breakfast was genius! Thank you so much for all your meals that you post for FREE! It helps us moms soo much. I can’t thank you enough.

    I usually make it each morning, so having a batch for the week is also great! My LO needs a bit more calories and fat to keep on her growth curve. Can I make this with all milk and no water? Wasn’t sure if it would turn out the same with the apples and carrots being soft?

    1. Hi- Yes, you can do all milk. Just make sure the heat doesn’t get too hot or the mixture might stick to the pot. But it should work really similarly. And thank you for the kind words!

  7. 5 stars
    Easy and yummy! My 1.5 year old wouldn’t eat but then I figured out how to cook into pancakes (1/4 of oatmeal, 1 egg, 1/4tsp baking powder) and she LOVED IT!!!! I’ll make this again into oatmeal pancakes 😊

  8. 5 stars
    YUM YUM YUM!!! This oatmeal has literally become a breakfast staple for us, I make a large batch so we can have it multiple times a week. The entire family enjoys this one and it has veggies, carbs and we add yogurt for some healthy fat- what more could you want in a breakfast!?

  9. 5 stars
    My son is OBSESSED with this! It’s such a good problem to have, but sometimes he doesn’t even go through it all in the few days- so my question is probably dumb but… you can’t freeze this can you? Thanks again for this recipe- it’s in our meal prep rotations for him all the time 🙂

    1. I’m so glad! I worry a little about the milk separating when it’s thawed from frozen. You could totally freeze it if you don’t add the milk to the whole batch (and it might be okay with the milk) or maybe next time cut the recipe in half?

  10. I love your recipes. More importantly my 13 month old loves them more !
    Any ideas on how increase protein content? Maybe add some nuts like softened almonds?
    And what do you serve this with? Or is it a meal on its own?

    1. You can stir in nut butter, sprinkle with finely chopped nuts, add some hemp seeds…and yes, I serve this as a meal on its own.

  11. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for my 14 and 22 month old kiddos this morning- both loved it! Appreciate a breakfast that includes veggies!

  12. We always soak our oatmeal overnight to make the oats nice and creamy, and get breakfast going faster… but the carrots didn’t get enough cooking time and are still crunchy. Ideas? Could we microwave the carrots a bit before tossing them into the pot?

    1. Sure, you could shred them and add to a bowl with a little water. Then microwave for maybe 1-2 minutes to soften a bit!

  13. Thank you so very much for this recipe my 1 year old loved it. Didn’t expect him to eat the whole bowl we served but he did! ??

  14. Though my lil guy is not an oatmeal fan but he loved this version , I added some nuts on the top for extra crunchiness ❤️ Thanks g th is the yummy recipe!