This vegan carrot cake baked oatmeal with cream cheese drizzle is the perfect healthy gluten free meal prep breakfast to make on the weekend and eat all week!
It’s officially Spring and that means a whole new grocery shopping list as new produce finally becomes available! Carrots are in season right now, and while they’re pretty much available all year round here in Canada, I tend to really gravitate towards carrot-based dishes in the Spring. I was actually inspired to make this recipe from my Carrot Cake Protein Parfait from Mindful Glow. The combination of sweet carrots, California raisins, walnuts and cream cheese is heavenly to say the least.
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Why This Recipe Works
This vegan carrot cake baked oatmeal has very quickly become a staple because you can make a big batch for the week and rewarm it on busy mornings, or serve it as a special family meal for a spring brunch (like Easter!) I also love this recipe because its:
- Completely vegan
- Gluten free
- Family friendly
- Relies on pantry staple ingredients
- ANY excuse to make a cream cheese frosting drizzle is a great reason to cook. RIGHT?!
Oats- I do prefer to use rolled large flake oats for this, and also you can buy gluten free if you have any guests avoiding gluten.
Carrots- Obviously you need carrots to make carrot cake flavoured oatmeal. I prefer to use the pretty orange heirloom carrots (compared to the super huge ones) as I do find they’re more flavourful and sweet.
California Raisins- Raisins are such a versatile ingredient for baking and cooking, and are such a great way to add some natural sweetness to oats. Like a lot of produce, the best raisins definitely come from California, so as the weather warms up, I’m definitely hoping to channel a little sunshine with this recipe.
Walnuts –Walnuts are rich in plant based omega 3 fats, making them a nutrient rich, crunchy addition that is traditional in carrot cake.
Ripe bananas – I love the natural sweetness that ripe banana brings to recipes. It’s a great way to cut back on the added sugars in recipes without losing out on flavour.
Vegan Cream Cheese – This is really the key to getting that characteristic cream cheese glaze on top of this baked oatmeal. I really don’t think carrot cake anything is worth eating without the cream cheese frosting glaze.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Mix together the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
Step 2: In another, mix the almond milk, maple, flax eggs, vegan butter, vanilla, banana, ginger, and carrots.
Step 3: Mix wet mixture into the dry ingredients.
Step 4: Fold in the walnuts, raisins, 3 tbsp hemp hearts, and candied ginger.
Step 5: Transfer the mixture to the baking dishes. Sprinkle with hemp hearts. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the outsides and firm to the touch.
Step 6: Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and drizzle on top of the baked oatmeal.
I am a big brunch entertainer so I have my usual brunch menu staples, and this is definitely one of them. For a nice spring brunch, I would serve this with a light salad topped with radishes, strawberries and goats cheese (if you’re not vegan). I would also likely do a nice fruit salad, and then have some yogurt (dairy and non-dairy) on the side.
I’ve been making a lot of baked oatmeal and I have found that adding bananas really does help moisten the filling, without making it fall apart. The flax eggs (or regular eggs, if you’re not vegan) are also really important for holding this all together.
The instructions otherwise are pretty straightforward – you basically are going to want to mix everything together in a bowl until well incorporated, transfer to a 13×9″ pan and bake until you see nice browning around the edges. It still may be moist and soft in the centre, but it will firm up as it sits over time.
Because of the nuts and raisins, I would avoid giving brand new eaters this baked oatmeal. Toddlers however can absolutely enjoy this (just mince up the walnuts very fine), and kids will love it too.
If you’re entertaining, of course, you’re going to hope for leftovers, but whenever I make this on a Sunday for the week, I tend to get about 4-5 days out of it.
Yes! If you know you can’t finish this in a few days, I would cut it into squares and wrap each individually in plastic wrap before putting in a freezer safe container or bag in the fridge.
Absolutely. Feel free to use regular cream cheese, eggs and milk if that’s what you have on hand. I do love the added omega 3s that flax eggs offer, but there are already heart-healthy walnuts in here to provide that if you want.
More Recipes You Might Like
Obviously- I am clearly obsessed with that Spring-time flavour profile (but also cream cheese is life). Take a look at this round up of some of my favourite carrot cake themed goodies!
- CARROT CAKE WAFFLES
- CARROT CAKE SMOOTHIE
- VEGAN CARROT CAKE COOKIES
- CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES WITH YOGURT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
What are you going to be baking for Easter brunch or spring breakfasts? Leave me a comment below!
Vegan Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal | Gluten Free Meal Prep Breakfast
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or less for babies
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs 2 tbsp ground flax + 1/4 cup water set in fridge 1 hour
- 3 tbsp melted vegan butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups lightly packed grated peeled carrots squeezed lightly
- 1/2 cup walnuts finely minced
- 1/2 cup California Raisins
- 3 tbsp hemp hearts plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp Candied ginger finely minced (optional)
- ¼ cup non-dairy plain yogurt
- ½ cup cream cheese
- Juice from a ¼ of a lemon
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease two 9″ square baking dishes.
- Mix together the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
- In another, mix the almond milk, maple, flax eggs, vegan butter, vanilla, banana, ginger, and carrots. Mix into the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the walnuts, raisins, 3 tbsp hemp hearts and candied ginger.
- Transfer mixture to the two baking dishes. Sprinkle with hemp hearts. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the outsides and firm to the touch. Allow to cool before cutting into pieces.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and drizzle on top of the baked oatmeal. Enjoy at room temperature.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.