I know, I know, Vegan Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal sounds too good to be true, but really…it is just as amazing (and simple) as it sounds. Oh did I mention it’s completely vegan, and it’s also soy-free and gluten-free!
This is a great breakfast dish for any plant-based eating diet and is one of the most amazing recipes for anyone with a busy morning routine.
Health Benefits of Carrot Cake Oatmeal (Overnight Oats)
Mmm carrot cake baked oatmeal mixed with zucchini bread, sounds delicious right? Overnight oats could not be simpler but not only is this recipe delicious and simple, but it’s also actually healthy too! I mean cake for breakfast? Come on, could this vegan recipe get any sweeter!
So let’s break down just a few of the sweet treats to your health this gluten-free vegan recipe holds.
Not only is this cake with your breakfast, but it is also a hearty helping of veggies or a “heart-healthy helping” of veggies you might say. The B1, iron, manganese, phosphorous, and copper in this carrot cake-baked oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol, helps improve blood sugar levels, and even fights depression! Carrot cake oatmeal just happens to also be packed with yummy gut-healthy fiber, antioxidants, and tons of vitamins and minerals provided by the zucchini and carrots.
Carrots are jam-packed with potassium, vitamin K1, beta carotene, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for eye and heart health as well as being cancer fighters and cholesterol level stabilizers.
The zucchini is high in healthy fiber but low in calories. It is considered a “Superfood” because it includes Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, which all help improve heart health and decrease the risk of stroke.
That means carrot oatmeal has even more health benefits than regular oatmeal so not only is this cake oatmeal gluten-free, it’s also guilt gree! Also, without any artificial sweeteners, it’s refined sugar-free!
The nutrition calories can depend on what toppings and ingredients you use, but overall carrot cake oatmeal is pretty low in saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat(that’s the good kind!)
Pro Tip: Top it with fresh fruit and get even more awesome health benefits!
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- 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 or shredded carrot
- 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.
- Oats: Keep it simple by using rolled oats Steel-cut can require different cooking times.
- Milk: Feel free to use your favorite plant-based milk substitute; soy milk, almond milk,(unsweetened almond milk can cut down on calories), etc.
- Maple syrup: (Optional) Or agave or any other sweetener (liquid, granulate, or sugar-free sweetener) of your choice.
- Carrot: Shredded carrots seem to work best, but feel free to try different methods of slicing and dicing.
- Nuts: (Optional) You can use raw pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or any combination of them. For a nut-free carrot cake porridge, you can use chia seeds or pumpkin seeds. Lightly crush the nuts or toss them in a food processor for a few pulses, for the best texture.
- Coconut: Adding coconut cream, coconut yogurt or shredded coconut can add a touch of natural sweetness to it without the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners
- Cinnamon: It’s all about personal taste here, use as much or little as tickles your tastebuds. You can also use ground nutmeg.
- Butter: Adding nut butter, almond butter, or vegan butter can make your oatmeal more creamy and add some additional healthy fats.
As I mentioned 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. crockpot) 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. So, about that recipe…
THE NIGHT BEFORE: Meal Prep
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.
IN THE MORNING: The Big Reveal
Stir the oatmeal, taste and adjust the seasonings, and add more milk substitutes, if needed. Top with chopped pecans or crushed walnuts or any other desired toppings. Serve warm and enjoy carrot cake and zucchini bread hot oatmeal!
So you could throw in all the ingredients on Sunday night and by Monday morning you could have the perfect hot breakfast to start your day and your week! Easy peasy!
Pro Tip: Store leftovers in your fridge and heat up in a baking dish in your oven, or on medium heat on your stovetop! Sprinkle a little additional ground cinnamon on top to spice it up and have a delicious leftover morning treat!
So now, how do you top this vegan recipes chart-topper? Well, the decision is yours! There are so many options.
Grated carrots or shredded carrots: This option can fulfill your carrot-filled beta carotene dreams.
Nuts: But of course, chopped nuts such as walnuts, chopped dates, or dried fruit go great with carrot cake.
Fruit: Bananas, berries, coconut, pretty much any of your favorite fruits will work. You can even add coconut yogurt to accent the fruit and add some yummy probiotics!
Or you can keep it Oatmeal Classic and add:
Chia seeds, ground flax, ground nutmeg, or maple syrup
I personally like to 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.
Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal Uses
Quick oats and baked oatmeal (especially carrot caked baked oatmeal) are simple and absolutely delicious additions to your favorite plant-based recipes and your breakfast cuisine.
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. 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.
An additional neat idea if you are really running behind in the morning, is to pack it in individual Tupperware containers so the kids can even eat it in the car if need be
So that’s it! Carrot cake-baked oatmeal/ zucchini bread oatmeal is a simple, vegan-friendly, and healthy solution to your busy morning routine. And if you just can’t seem to get enough of Old fashioned oats, give our Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies a try and get your daily dose of oats! Happy baking!
56 thoughts on “Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal w/ Zucchini Bread (Gluten-free)”
Sounds amazing!! I love oatmeal!!! One question..how much is a pinch? A little pinch or big pinch? Less than 1/4 tsp? :)
I know – I hate it when they say a pinch. I think I probably used about 1/8 tsp – but it doesn’t have to be exact – it’s a forgiving recipe. Let me know how you like it!
Thanks Livvy! I can’t wait to try it!
Awesome recipe!!! Made this twice on the weneekd, and every time it was a huge hit. Very simple to make, and the kids loved it even though it was loaded with Zucchini and all good things!I used the large chocolate chip since that’s all i had on hand, but it still tasted great!
So glad you enjoyed it!
I didn’t have zucchini so I substituted an apple peeled and grated. So good. This is the only way i can eat oats.
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!!!
Can you make this with cows milk? Sounds yummy!
Yes, you could. The recipe only calls for non-dairy milk to keep it vegan.
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!
Renee, thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
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!
Have you ever try doing it with quinoa?? I would like to star cooking with it.
Hi Marsa. No, I haven’t tried it with quinoa. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
Excellent recipe! Definitely a keeper!
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.
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!
Then you are reading the WRONG BLOG! You won’t find that here.
Do you have the nutritional value on 1 serving of this oatmeal? Thanks!
Hi Nicole! I used the calculator at this link: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator – and best I can tell (I wasn’t able to include the salt or spices), based on 4 servings, each serving has about 106 calories, 20 carbs, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, 10 grams of sugar.
I don’t have steel cut oats. Has anyone tried gluten free rolled oats instead? It sounds delicious!
Hi Melissa, I haven’t tried it, but I found this article that gives instructions and oatmeal to water ratio, etc: http://goo.gl/LQ9lY3
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??
I used a 3-qt, but a 2-qt should work great.
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!
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!
Can you use old fashioned oats instead of steel cut?
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.
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!! :)
SERVES 2-4 (2 large portions, 3 medium portions or 4 small portions)
At six hours, mine had already burnt. Any suggestions?
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.
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
This looks delicious! Can you do it with quick oats instead of steel cut?
I haven’t tried it, but I would use old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats. And you may not need to use as much milk.
Nice recipe and it looks very delicious. I can’t wait to try your recipe. thanks for this blog :-)
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.
Hi Cheri! So glad you enjoyed it. Kathy Hester has so many great recipes—her cookbooks are definitely worth the purchase!
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!
Great. Thanks for sharing
So can almond milk sit out 3-4 hours before the cooker starts?