This easy Apple Baked Oatmeal is moist, flavorful, and packed with whole grains and fruit. Plus, it has a texture that’s soft enough for even the littlest eaters, can be eaten in slices or scooped into a bowl, and stores well in the fridge for days.
Apple Baked Oatmeal
With an easy method and a nutritious ingredients list, this quick baked oatmeal is such a great option for easy breakfasts and snacks. The batter comes together quickly so you don’t have to spend hours getting it ready to bake, and the apple flavor comes from both applesauce and fresh apples. It’s kind of like an oatmeal apple bread as far as flavor and texture goes.
It’s moist, fresh, and loaded with delicious flavors!
This bread is the kind of snack or mini meal that I crave during most of the year—which works out nicely since this stores well in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. (Hooray, breakfast all week!)
It’s also made with pantry staples, so I can usually make a batch even when I’m short on groceries. It has a nicely balanced mix of whole grains, fruit, protein, and fiber, and is a perfect way to use up apples you have lingering in the fridge.
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Ingredients You Need
This recipe contains pantry staples including:
- Rolled oats: This forms the base of the recipe. Look for “old-fashioned” rolled oats.
- Flaxseed: This helps the batter hold together. If you don’t have this ingredient, use additional oats.
- Apple: You can use any type of apple you prefer. I usually use Pink Lady or Fuji.
- Applesauce: Use store-bought or homemade applesauce.
- Milk: Any type of milk works. I usually bake with whole milk.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter in my baking, though you can use coconut or avocado oil here, too, if you prefer.
- Sugar: A little sweetness adds flavor to the finished dish. Feel free to leave this out or swap in honey or maple syrup if you prefer.
- Eggs: Eggs help the batter hold together. Use a favorite egg replacer instead if needed.
- Baking powder: This helps the mixture bake through and rise a little while baking.
- Vanilla extract and cinnamon for flavor.
TIP: The apple oatmeal bread is just lightly sweetened, and we love it with a little yogurt on top.
Here’s a look at how to make this quick bread recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the full recipe.
- Dice the apple. (I usually leave the peel on.)
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine
- Pour into the prepared baking sheet and smooth until even with a spatula. Bake!
- Place on a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.
What are the best apples to use?
Most apples work well in this recipe though I tend to use Granny Smith, Cortland, or Pink Lady, which are typical baking apples. And know that the bread definitely has texture, so if you think that your little one won’t love the chunks of apple or will be distracted by trying to pick them out, peel the skin off and/or chop the pieces of apple smaller.
What pairs well with this Apple Oatmeal?
We like this apple oatmeal recipe with milk (or coffee or tea) and a side of extra apple sticks. (Shown above plated for my then 1-year-old.) It’s nice since it can be sliced into squares to pick up and eat—like a bread—or you can add to a bowl and eat with a spoon or a fork.
You can drizzle a little honey on top (for kids over age 1) or some nut or seed butter. It’s also delicious with a smear of cream cheese, which totally makes it taste like Apple Cake, or a simple yogurt frosting.
(See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for the info.)
How to Store
You can store this baked oatmeal in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve it chilled or slightly warmed through. You can also store it in a zip-top freezer bag (slice it first to make it easier to package) for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight or in short 15 to 30-second increments in the microwave until warmed through.
Best Tips for Success
- Use whichever apples you prefer, though I like Granny Smith, Cortland, or Pink Lady. Dice the apple small.
- To make this gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats.
- To make dairy-free Apple Baked Oatmeal, use coconut oil instead of butter and nondairy milk.
- Use smooth, unsweetened applesauce.
- Serve this oatmeal chilled straight out of the fridge or slightly warmed.
- Top with Cinnamon Apples or Sliced Baked Apples for extra apple yumminess.
Mini Applesauce Muffins
Instant Pot Applesauce
Easy Stewed Apples
I’d love to know what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!
Favorite Apple Baked Oatmeal
- 2 cups instant oats (or rolled oats ground lightly in a food processor or blender)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup; optional)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseeds (or flaxseed meal or chia seeds)
- 1 cup applesauce
- ½ cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 1 cup finely diced apple (skin on or off, according to your preference; I leave it on)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan. (I like to line the pan with parchment paper so I can lift the baked oatmeal out and slice it, but you can also just slice it in the pan.)
- Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are lightly golden brown.
- Place pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or at room temperature for 3 days. We prefer it chilled, but it works either way.
- I prefer the final texture of this when made with instant oats or rolled oats ground up briefly in the food processor or blender. You can use regular rolled oats if you prefer.
- Yogurt Icing: Stir together ¼ cup plain whole milk Greek or regular yogurt with 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup. Spoon into a plastic storage bag. Seal, then cut off one bottom corner. Drizzle over the cooled bread.
- Egg-Free: Omit the eggs and increase the milk to ¾ cup. Soak 3 tablespoons chia seeds in the milk before adding to the batter. Decrease baking time to 30 minutes.
- Gluten-Free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
- Dairy-Free: Use coconut oil instead of butter and nondairy milk.
- Use maple syrup instead of sugar if you prefer. Or omit it.
- Use whichever apples you prefer, though I like Granny Smith, Cortland, or Pink Lady. Dice them into small pieces.
- Serve this chilled straight out of the fridge or slightly warmed.
This post was first published August 2019.
So delicious! I added some additional cinnamon to the icing but I tried it before icing it and it was perfect on its own. I just have a big sweet tooth.
I made this the night before adding a little more milk and then put in the oven in the morning! So good!!
Hello! I made this bread and it looks great! My question is if I do the yogurt/ maple icing, will it get hard? I ask because my plan is to freeze most of the batch. I want to ice the whole thing but I’m scared it will all get smeared when I put it in the freezer bag. Thank you!
It doesn’t get as firm as regular icing so maybe wait until you take it out of the freezer to do that part?
So excited to make this recipe! Just wondering, what’s the drizzle/glaze you used in the photos?
It’s a little yogurt with powdered sugar to thicken it a bit. Enjoy!
I’ve made these at least 5 times in the past month. The entire fam devours them, even the toddler 😉 The apple flavor really shines and we just can’t stop eating them! I love using cinnamon applesauce to spice it up even more. YUM!
Can you double this recipe? Would you use a 9×13 pan?
Yes, you could. It will likely take a little longer to bake through in the middle. If the edges are browning and the middle isn’t cooked through or firm, you can cover with foil to help lower the browning a little.
My super picky 15 month old loved this and so do I! Making a second batch now to freeze. Followed the recipe exactly except used maple syrup instead of sugar and 1/8 cup of chia instead of 1/4!
Thank you for this recipe! Both my 14 mo son and husband loves this!
Easy and delicious! I use half all purpose flour just to lighten them a bit.
If substituting chia for the flaxseeds, do you still need to grind them first? Thank you!
Nope, just add them in whole
Have you ever tried preparing it the night before and baking in the morning?
I am sure that would work similarly
Both my kids loved it! Such an easy make ahead breakfast. We popped in the oven in the AM and now have leftovers for the rest of week. Big hit with my little picky eater – huge win!
Hi! Can I make it without sugar or use dates instead? I’m trying to do no sugar until 2. Thank you!
Sure, either are fine.
I am excited to try this recipe for my one year old! If I used maple syrup to replace the sugar, how much maple syrup would I add instead? Thanks!
You can do the same amount. Enjoy them!
Hi! Do you need the flax seed or can I omit it? If so can i substitute it for something else?
You can use additional oats in place of it. It may be a little softer but will still work.
My 14 month old loves dairy and carby food and hates egg, meat, fruit and veg. He devours this! He will eat it 3 days in a row with no issues. He is unsure about textures so I blended down the apple pieces, and he loved it.
I got a bit teary when he first ate it because I have been so worried about him not getting enough vitamins or protein. Thank you so much for this, Amy!
I’m so glad that he enjoys this!
Love ALL your recipes, Amy! (My husband does, too, and frequently sneaks our toddler’s snacks when I’m not looking 😉
This one is delish—though I *am* wondering if I cooked it enough. The insides are gooey, quite a lot like oatmeal and not at all like bread (which I guess makes sense, given oats are the primary ingredient?). What texture should I expect it to be? Should it be truly bread-y, or does baked oatmeal sound about right?
Thanks for your help!
Hi- Yes, it’s sort of like a cross between a quick bread and baked oatmeal so it should be firm and easy to cut but it is very moist and soft.
Thanks so much for your reply! Sounds like I was right on track. Never had quick bread before, but this makes sense now.
I had such high hopes for the apple bread. It was very wet in the middle, took significantly longer to bake, and when I cut it the pieces were so sticky and glutenous. I’d like to try it again without processing the rolled oats. There was so much moisture that I’m hoping it will come out more like apple baked oatmeal.
I don’t have a food processor. Is this a necessary step for the bread to come together?
If you used quick oats and shredded the apples on a box grater, it would perhaps hold together well enough without one. Let me know if you try it!
Thanks for the great recipes- this is out new favorite recipe source. I baked this bread today, and it seemed as though it wouldn’t cook completely- The top and sides were brown, but the insides seemed wet, even though I probably cooked it for 45 minutes in total. Is this how it’s supposed to be?
Hi! No, it shouldn’t be wet, but it’s definitely moister than a traditional bread due to the oats. Did you make any changes to the recipe?
My whole family loves these! A breakfast staple in our house. Easy for my 2 and 5 year old to eat on the go as well.
I am so glad!
I love your recipes and noticed a lot of them call for oats. My little one does not like the texture of oats. If I blend 2 cups of oatS into flour, do I need to make any adjustments to the amount of oats or otherwise?
Loved this bread! Made mini muffins for my son and a loaf of bread for us. I added pecans as topping for us and we really liked it, next time I’ll add it at the beginning for everyone. Looking forward to trying a lot of your recipes! 🙂
I was skeptical this would be delicious, oats and flax.., but I had apples to use and wanted to bake. But dang, this is so so good! Make it!!
I’m so glad!
I made this with my 2-year old and our whole family really enjoyed it. It was so delicious – lightly sweet and a nice apple flavour, and great for a snack or a bread alternative at lunch.
I’m so glad!
Just the right amount of sweetness!!, i used brown sugar instead of regular and they came out so good! My toddler had it with some creme cheese and sprinkles on but it tastes really good on its own. Also I didnt have flax and the texture was still great.
I’m so glad to hear that!
I made some variations to this recipe purely because of what’s in my pantry. 2 eggs instead of 3 (i now realise i should’ve used 3), no flax – added a tbsp of flour instead, and used honey instead of sugar/maple syrup. Maybe it was all the changes (esp egg) but it took forever to cook through – 55min vs the 34 advised. Its also really dense.
I’d like to make this again following the recipe to a t to give it another chance, cause I can see its potential, especially considering its reasonably healthy. Thank you Amy for all the yummy recipes!!
Anytime you omit an ingredient the texture will likely change so I would think it was the butter omission that did it. Next time sub in melted coconut oil or another oil to make sure the ratios (and fat) stays the same.
Can I use brown sugar instead?
And how about if I don’t have applesauce? Can I just omit it?
Yes, brown sugar should be fine but you’d need to keep the applesauce since it’s a full cup. There wouldn’t be enough moisture without it.
This was exceptional! Everybody enjoyed it. Made it over the weekend and ate it for breakfast during the week. I omitted the eggs and did 3 flax “eggs”. Worked perfectly.
I’m so happy to hear that!
Do you use unsweetened apple sauce?
I do! (Technically, either would work though.)
Made this for the first time today. It was delicious! My 5 year old, 3 year old and I all loved it! I’m a working mother so I’m going to freeze the rest in slices for quick breakfasts for when we are on the go during the work week.
I’m so glad to hear that and yes, it makes a great on the go meal!
I don’t generally have flax seeds on hand…Could I use chia seeds instead? Or just skip it?
You can use additional oats instead!
Can you completely omit the flaxseed from the recipe? I just don’t have any in the pantry
Also – thank you so much for all your recipes! They have been a lifesaver especially when we need an easy breakfast option during the week
You can omit it and use extra oats instead. It will be a touch more delicate so be sure to let it cool before slicing.
I accidentally left out the butter but the loaf was very moist anyway. I did find it a bit sticky and hard to slice without it breaking and a fair bit sticking to the knife but it wasn’t fatal. If I made it again I’d add another teaspoon of cinnamon and maybe some raisins or chopped dates to make it a bit sweeter as even though I don’t eat a lot of sugar or sweet things I think it would have been nicer if it was a little bit sweeter. My two children (17 months and 4) both gobbled it up and asked for more though.
Thanks for the feedback Judith—those sound like they’d be nice additions—and I’m glad that the kids enjoyed it!
I subed chia seeds for flax seeds, but used only half of what the recipe calls for. Hopefully it works out! It’s in the oven now! Thanks for sharing!
Is there an alternative for sugar?
You can try using honey!
Could I use oat flour instead? Would it be the same amount?
Yes, that should work!
looks great! Would it work to shred the apples or do they need to be cubed to keep the moisture in?
They can totally be shredded–I actually did that when I made a batch last week!
If I wanted to do this in a muffin tin how long do you think I should bake it for?
In a standard size muffin tin I would start checking it with a cake tester (it should come out clean) at 26-28 minutes.