Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please! This vegan carrot cake oatmeal makes for such a warm and cozy start to the morning. It's super filling, full of flavor, and not to mention pretty healthy, too! Taking less than 20 minutes to make, this vegan carrot cake oatmeal is great for busy mornings or an evening snack!
While I love making this recipe in the fall, you can make it any time of year! The flavors taste good no matter what, and you don't have to be vegan to enjoy this oatmeal.
Ingredients to make the carrot cake oatmeal
Something great about this vegan carrot cake oatmeal is it includes a bunch of healthy, whole-food ingredients. Most of them you'll already have in your kitchen, which makes things even easier!
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk: You can use any non-dairy milk you like, but unsweetened almond milk is a great neutral flavor to cook the oats.
¼ cup grated carrots: The main ingredient here! It wouldn't be carrot cake oatmeal without the carrots. This ingredient adds a lot of fiber that makes the oatmeal so filling.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon: Cinnamon adds such a cozy flavor to the oats and really gives it that "carrot cake" feeling!
1 teaspoon allspice: Optional, but another spice that pairs well with the cinnamon and adds some extra flavor. You can use ½ teaspoon if you want cinnamon to be the stronger flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract: Adds a touch of sweetness and yummy flavor.
1 teaspoon maple extract: This is optional too, but adds some extra maple flavor if you want that strong, cozy, "carrot cake" taste.
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup: This is the sweetener used for the oatmeal and makes this recipe refined sugar-free!
⅛ teaspoon salt: helps to balance the flavors and bring out the key tastes, complementing the sweetness of the recipe
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats: It's not oatmeal without the oats! Old fashioned oats are the best option for this recipe because they are thicker and coarser than quick oats, which makes the carrot cake oatmeal super thick and creamy.
2 tablespoons crushed and drained pineapple: this might seem odd, but it adds sweetness, flavor, and complements the carrot flavors in the recipe. It also keeps the oatmeal moist and creamy.
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts: Adds some crunch, protein, and healthy fats to this recipe.
1 tablespoon raisins: A classic carrot cake staple item! Not all of us are raisin fans, though, so you may omit them if you prefer.
how to make vegan carrot cake oatmeal
It doesn't require much to make this vegan carrot cake oatmeal. Taking less than 20 minutes, you can have a warm, cozy bowl of oatmeal ready in no time.
Step 1: Simmer milk, carrot, spices, vanilla, and syrup
Add the milk, grated carrot, spices, vanilla and maple extract, and maple syrup to a medium saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium-high heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, coming to a slight boil. This cooks the carrots and makes them soft, so you don't bite into a bunch of raw carrots in the oats. The spices, maple syrup, vanilla, and maple extract are able to blend with the almond milk and provides a flavorful base for the oats.
Step 2: add the oats, pineapple, walnuts, and raisins
Once the milky mixture has simmered for a few minutes, reduce to low-medium heat and add in the oats, crushed pineapple, walnuts, and raisins. Stir thoroughly to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the oats have thickened as desired. Be sure to stir occasionally every few minutes to keep the flavors incorporated.
Step 3: transfer to bowl and serve
Once the oats have reached the desired thickness, turn off the stove and transfer the cooked oats to a small bowl. Top with additional grated carrot, walnuts, and raisins if you'd like. You can add a drizzle of maple syrup, too, if you prefer more sweetness. I think the oats are plenty sweet without the extra syrup, but it depends on your personal preference!
extra tips for making the oatmeal
What can I use instead of crushed pineapple? You can use unsweetened applesauce in place of the crushed pineapple if you prefer!
I don't like my oatmeal very sweet. That's okay! You can omit all the maple syrup in the recipe if you prefer a natural, more savory flavor. The carrot, raisins, and pineapple add some natural sweetness, so the maple syrup might not be necessary for everyone!
How many carrots do I need? It takes about 6-8 baby carrots to get ¼ cup grated carrot. Depending on how big or small the carrots are, you may need a couple more or less!
I'm not vegan, can I use real milk? Absolutely! This recipe tastes great with non-dairy milk like almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, and oat milk, but you are welcome to use cow's milk. It will be creamy and delicious either way!
What can I use instead of raisins? I get it, not everyone loves raisins like I do! You can leave the raisins out completely, or replace them with dried cranberries, additional walnuts, or coconut flakes.
Can I use steel-cut oats instead? Yes, you can! It will take a lot longer to cook steel-cut oats (20-25 minutes instead of 8-10), but if you prefer the thick texture of steel-cut oats, this recipe works just fine that way!
If you make this vegan carrot cake oatmeal, please let me know by leaving a review below! I'd love to hear how you liked it. Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram, @savorthespoonful, and I'll check out what you made!
Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- Medium Saucepan
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- ¼ cup grated carrots (about 6-8 baby carrots)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup old fashioned oats (or quick oats)
- 2 tablespoon crushed and drained pineapple (or substitute unsweeteend applesauce)
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
- 1 tablespoon grated carrot
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (for a sweeter taste)
- Add almond milk, grated carrot, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, maple extract, maple syrup, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat on the stove for about 3 minutes or until a light boil begins. Stir occasionaly.
- Once warm, reduce to low-medium heat and add the oats, pineapple, walnuts, and raisins. Stir to combine. Let the oatmeal simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until desired thickness is achieved.
- Transfer the cooked oatmeal to a small bowl. Serve plain, or top with additional carrot, walnuts, and raisins. For a sweeter taste, add an additional drizzle of maple syrup. Serve and enjoy immediately.