Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal (vegan, gf)

If you think Vegan Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal sounds too good to be true, you are wrong! It is as amazing as it sounds. And it’s also soy-free and gluten-free!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this was the first recipe I tried from Kathy Hester’s cookbook called The Vegan Slow Cooker. I love love love Carrot Cake. And I’m a fan of Zucchini Bread, too (check out this Vegan Zucchini Bread Cookie recipe). So why not have both in my oatmeal, right?!

I made this last weekend while my parents were visiting. Everyone had gone to bed when I remembered I wanted to make this recipe in the slow cooker (a.k.a. crock pot) for the next morning. It was late and there was zero natural light left, so there are no step-by-step photos for this recipe – only end result glamour shots. Although, beyond grating the carrot and zucchini, all you really do is throw everything in the slow cooker and turn it on. Doesn’t get much easier, folks.

After letting it cook overnight, it smelled amazing the next morning. When I told my dad what I made, he made a face that said “Gross!” I had no idea that he HATES carrot cake! What the heck?! Who HATES carrot cake? And he doesn’t really like zucchini bread either. I’m not even sure this guy is my dad now. I made him try a bite anyway and guess what – he LIKED it! He even had a bowl of it! Mom and Hubs liked it, too. The steel-cut oats kept us all full for a long time.

If you currently use the flavored instant oatmeal packets (like I used to), let me just tell you that you can get way more bang for your buck (calorically, nutritionally, financially) by making it yourself. Typically, I mix ½ cup of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats with 1 cup of water and microwave it for about 1½ minutes. I top it off with a swirl of maple-flavored agave nectar, sliced bananas and chopped pecans. This beats the pre-packaged instant stuff any day – and it’s just as quick. Other great toppings are chopped dates or figs, date honey (so easy, so delicious), chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, raisins, dried cherries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, etc.

Using a slow cooker to prepare breakfast the night before is an efficient, hassle-free way to get your kids off to a great start before heading to school. So, about that recipe…

SERVES 2-4 (2 large portions, 3 medium portions or 4 small portions)



½ cup steel-cut oats (use gluten-free, if desired)
1½ cups vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk (such as coconut, almond, rice, etc. – I used coconut milk)
1 small carrot, grated
¼ small zucchini, peeled and grated (I used a little more, maybe ½ small zucchini)
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup or agave nectar
¼ cup chopped pecans

I also added 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract.

Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Combine all of the ingredients, except pecans, in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Stir the oatmeal, taste and adjust the seasonings, and add more milk, if needed. Top with chopped pecans.

Easy peasy!

p.s. Here’s another tempting oatmeal post from Shelby at Everyday Vegan Girl that you will enjoy!

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  1. Amber says

    Sounds amazing!! I love oatmeal!!! One much is a pinch? A little pinch or big pinch? Less than 1/4 tsp? :)

  2. Jodi Miller says

    Good Morning! I just had this for breakfast and it was so yummy! I followed your directions, I used almond milk, last night and put in in my small crock pot. I woke this morning to a kitchen filled with the aroma of baking zucchini bread…for real :) The only thing I will do different the next time is find steel-cut oats that my husband can eat, he is now gluten free!

    Thanks Livvy…this was a winner!!!

  3. says

    Hey, this recipe rocks! Cannot believe breakfast can be ready for me when I roll out of bed in the morning. Who would have thought? Thank you so much and will be following your blog for more fantastic food!

  4. Melody says

    Just made this last night for breakfast this morning and it was DELICIOUS! I sweetened with a little agave and the oatmeal had a molasses like taste, so next time I may put a little molasses in instead. I failed to oil the crockpot and some of the oatmeal did scorch on the bottom and sides, so I won’t forget to do that next time. Also, I added about two extra cups of water to the crock at the beginning because it seemed like it needed more liquid. I’ve tried making breakfast porridge in the crockpot before, and it seemed like even after only cooking for 6-7 hours the porridge would get too thick and begin to scorch. So, I added the extra liquid and figured I could turn it up to high in the morning to cook it off if there was too much liquid. It ended up being perfect. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  5. Mary says

    Excellent recipe! Will definitely make again. I used 1/8 t. where it said pinch (for a doubled recipe). Will double next time (to 1/4). I Will also double cinnamon.

  6. julez says

    Sorry but it better squeal and sizzle on a frying pan in the morning. Low car for me all the way. Where is my bacon! Lots and lots of bacon!

  7. melissa says

    What size is the slowcooker you are using? This seems like such a small amount of ingredients. My slowcooker has different sized crocks, The smallest is 2 qt., is this what you are using or something even smaller??

      • Mer says

        I have a 5 quart crockpot. Would I follow the same cooking instructions if I were to double the recipe? Thanks for the post! Can’t wait to try it!

      • ldp says

        Thank you for sharing this recipe. Could you please include the size of slow cooker used on future recipes. We really shouldn’t need to look through comments to find that information. It makes a difference between being able to try a recipe and not. You can’t simply half a slow cooker recipe and have it work. Thanks again!

    • says

      You could, but don’t use a slow cooker. Old fashioned oats require much less cooking time and they will get gummy. If using them, I would make this recipe on the stovetop.

  8. Alyssa says

    Can I ask how many people this served?
    Also – does it re-heat well? It’s just me and my husband so depending on how many servings it is we might have to put it in the fridge and use it again the next morning! :)
    Looks delicious and would love to try it!! :)

    • says

      Hi Megan. Sorry to hear that, I’ve never had that issue with this recipe. First off, make sure the temp is set to LOW. If it’s burning because it is drying out too fast, then I would try increasing the amount of milk. I would say you could as much as double it.

  9. keryn Guerrero says

    This is my favorite oatmeal recipe. This is the only way a make oatmeal for myself ever since I found your recipe on Pinterest, around a year ago. To prevent it from burning, I use a paper towel with just a little of coconut oil to grease my slow cooker and I add 2½ cups of whatever liquid I use, it always comes out perfect. Thanks for this delicious recipe

  10. Cheri says

    Livvy, I have to tell you that this oatmeal was wonderful and I could probably eat it everyday. I bought a small 2 quart crock pot and use the exact ingredients that were in the recipe and it turned out perfect, thank you.

  11. Madlyn Mahan says

    If you’re worried about burning, I put a corningware pot inside my crockpot. The oatmeal goes in it and I surround it with water. This gives a little wiggle room in case you sleep late. Great recipe!

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