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Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal


I must say that it's just ever so nice to be back.  It’s been a long and, at times, harrowing six weeks here in the Circle B Kitchen, and yes, I owe you a whole bunch of recipes, and I wish I could post one every day for the next two weeks to say thank you to all of you who have been so kind, thoughtful and supportive while I’ve been otherwise engaged in my father’s recovery from 2 surgeries and weeks on end in the hospital.  He’s back home with Mom now, and still has quite a bit of healing to do, but life is slowly returning to normal for us.  And that means my joyous return to the kitchen and getting to share my favorite stuff with you all.  And this overnight oatmeal is most assuredly some of our favorite stuff.

Not having time to cook much of anything recently, this overnight oatmeal was a godsend.  I could throw everything in the slow-cooker before bed and wake up to a gloriously scrumptious breakfast; when I remembered to actually get it assembled the night before. This continues to be the most challenging part of the recipe for me. :) 

Now, slow-cooker oatmeal recipes have been around for like ever, but this, my friends, is a whole other animal.  My first favorite thing about it is the way the kitchen smells upon entering first thing in the morning... like apple pie baking.  My other first favorite thing is how easy it is to make.  And my other first favorite thing about it is its incredible deliciousness.  If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I was dipping my spoon into a dish of bread pudding.  With brown-sugar caramelized apples.  This is what I like to wake up to in the morning.

And in the off chance it’s what you might also like to wake up to, here’s the recipe…


Click here for a printable recipe

My rice cooker has a slow-cook setting with a shut-off timer, so I can set it to cook for 8 hours and it will keep the oatmeal warm until we're ready to eat.  Nice feature.  The apples and brown sugar caramelize on the bottom, which is what makes this recipe so great.  If you don’t have a crock pot or slow-cooker, I have added some guidelines at the bottom for doing this in the oven, but you might have to experiment with your oven and pan to recreate just the right slow-cooked method.  As for the apples, the best ones for this are those that hold up well when cooked.  You don’t want your apples going mushy.  I’ve had great success with Fujis, but gravensteins or any baking apple will be good here.  Also, if you like raisins in your oatmeal, add them after the oats cook as they tend to burn and turn bitter with long cooking time.  Enjoy!

Serves 3-4

1 apple chopped (peeled is optional)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt (I add a pinch more)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 cup water

Place ingredients in slow cooker in above order.  Do not stir.  Cook on low overnight.  May add cream or milk and chopped nuts to serve.

Alternate Oven Method

This method isn't quite a reliable as using a slow cooker or crock pot, as there are many more variables to consider. If your oven temperature doesn't go as low as 170, the brown sugar has a tendency to burn.  The heavier the pot, the better.

Place ingredients in a heavy pan, baking dish or casserole with a lid in the order listed.  Do not stir.  Cover tightly with the lid.  If your lid doesn’t fit really tight, cover the pan with foil, and place the lid over the foil to make a tight seal.  Place in a 170- degree oven and let cook overnight (about 7-8 hours).

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment

Reader Comments (52)

Welcome back! It's good to hear that your Dad is finally home and doing OK. This oatmeal looks Soooo good! Going to give it a try this weekend. Thanks!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Wright

This just looks outrageously good! Apples, cinnamon and brown sugar... how could it be bad?

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna K.

Yes, this is what I like to wake to. Going to do just that tomorrow. Nice to have you back!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen Franklin

No kidding? Oatmeal that tastes like bread pudding? Oh yeah. This is happening.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

This sounds perfectly easy and delicious! Breakfast tomorrow! Thank you!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarrie S.

I just got a new crock pot for my birthday and this might be the first thing I make in it! It sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Jenner

Always trying to get my kids to eat more oatmeal at breakfast and this might just be the ticket. It sounds delicious!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Do you think I could use steel cut oats in this? It sounds so good.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgia F.

If you would like to use steel cut oats in this, Georgia, you will need to double the amount of liquid. So 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of water. I'm not sure how that might affect the seasonings, so if you give it a try, we'd love to hear how it turns out.

October 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

You had me at caramelized apples! LOL!! I love nothing more than the smell of baking apples. I will be making this.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Great to have you back on the blog, Patrice. And this is a super way to mark your return! What a great recipe! This could become a regular at our house.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie Hansen

I spent several weeks at the hospital with my Mom last year so I know how exhausting and difficult this time has been for you. So glad your father is back home and I hope he continues to get well. Take your time returning to normal life as it takes quite a bit of time to heal and recover yourself, Patrice.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam Bonner

My kids are going to love this. Thank you for the great recipe!!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrancis Cady

I've been making overnight crock pot oatmeal for years, but never thought to make it with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Awesome idea!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Grace

I love bread pudding, so if I can have oatmeal that tastes like bread pudding, this is a good thing! Can't wait to try this!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCerrine

Thank so much for those thoughtful words, Miriam, and what you say is so true. It does take time to recover from the emotional and physical toll of this kind of experience.

October 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

The recipe looks so good. What size crockpot would you use? Mine is large. I'm concerned it will overcook or cook too quickly.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle E

That's a really good question, Michelle. For a large crock pot, you could just double the recipe and keep the leftovers on hand to warm up for subsequent breakfasts. Or if you only want to make the single recipe, just add a little more liquid to be sure the oatmeal doesn't dry out overnight. Or you could always try just doing it in the oven in a heavy 2-quart pot or pan. Hope that helps and you get to have some apple-cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast!

October 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Can you do this recipe with steel cut oats?

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Oksen

You sure can, Sandy. Just double the amount of liquid...4 cups instead of two. You can use any combination of milk (almond, soy, low fat, whole milk, etc) and/ or water.

October 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Good to hear that your Dad is on the road to recovery. This sounds delicious. I haven't made oatmeal in my slow cooker but have been wanting to give it a try.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

Thanks so much, Tanya! Enjoy!

October 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I tried this for our Sunday morning breakfast and it was fabulous! I used my small-ish sized crock pot and it came out perfect! So easy and we all loved waking up to the beautiful aromas of apples and cinnamon. It's a keeper!

October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina R.

That's awesome, Tina! So glad you liked it!

October 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Can you provide the nutritional information for the overnight oatmeal with apples?

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterARLENE LEVY

I haven't calculated the nutritional data for this dish, Arlene, but if you are interested in doing so, there are several websites dedicated to those calculations, such as Nutrition Data... http://nutritiondata.self.com/

December 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

My family loves it thank you now I have to make it all the time

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercarla

You're welcome, Carla! We love it too!

January 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Why can't you stir it? Just curious..

January 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen E.

Well, Jen, I'm going out on a limb here and say that if you want to stir it, you should just go on do it. I don't really know why they said not to do it, but I just followed orders. I didn't stir. But I think I might just bust out next time and stir it. Let's do it, Jen. Let's stir our oatmeal and see what happens. You in?

January 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made this last night and it burnt to a crisp. I used banana and dates instead of brown sugar and apple, but wouldn't have thought it would have made that much of a difference. any suggestions as to what went wrong? Think I might try double the liquid and give it another go tonight.

March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I'm so sorry, Kate. Mine burnt when I tried to add raisins, but when I just use the apples, I haven't had any issues. The other thing is that everyone's slow cookers are different. I actually do mine on the slow cooker setting in my rice cooker and it comes out perfectly every time (without raisins). It seems that fruit other than apples do tend to burn. But maybe using more liquid will remedy that. Let us know if it does! Good to hear from you!

March 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I found this recipe a couple weeks ago and it turned out great every time I've made it. I have started experimenting... I double the recipe, nix the milk (used more water instead), added a couple pats of butter, and add chopped pear and a healthy dose of vanilla extract. Yum. Have also tried making as directed, minus the apples, and added hulled strawberries for a strawberries and cream version. Yum. I haven't been able to mess this up yet!

Also, I was so happy to find a rolled oats recipe in the slow cooker. Every other recipe I've seen asks for steel cut, which I can't find in my po-dunk town.

Thank you a million times for this no-fail oatmeal! We love it.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer S.

You're so welcome, Jennifer! We love it too! I love all of your variations.. you've been amazingly creative with this! So great to hear from you!

March 26, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This recipe is horrible. I doubled it for our large family in a bigger crock pot. What a waste. Burned around the edges and bottom , and soupy. Yuck. Nothing like the description. Dont waste your time or your food on this. I didnt read any bad reviews but maybe tour filtering pout the negative comments since they are based on approval. Anyways this recipe is horrible and the waste of food is even worse.

August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCorie

I'm really sorry this didn't turn out for you, Corie. I really hate it when good food goes to waste! I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, but the one variable here is the difference in crockpots and heat settings, which would create different results. I know that doesn't help with the bad experience you had. I don't filter out bad comments on this website because it totally defeats the purpose of a comments section. I appreciate your feedback and if you get a chance to read this, maybe you could let us know what kind of crockpot you were using and what setting you used. That could be helpful to others who are considering making this.

August 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I have made this recipe several times and it is wonderful! The whole family will eat this for breakfast. The only thing I recommend is putting the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and filling the crock halfway with water and placing the bowl in the water bath. It makes for a very easy clean up and cooks perfectly over night. Thanks so much!

September 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

That's such a brilliant idea, Christy! Thanks for letting us know!

September 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I tried this recipie using steel cut oats. I didn't see the comments about doubling the fluid but it turned out great anyways. I used the water bath method so maybe that is why it worked so well.

November 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

I really like the idea of using the water bath (and steel cut oats!) with this recipe! Thanks, Brenda!

November 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This is a great recipe, I have made it four times now. Twice with old fashioned oats and twice with steel cut oats. I do coat the bottom and sides with coconut oil (or butter) first to avoid any sticking to the bowl. I also use unsweetened almond milk instead of cows milk and I add a little more cinnamon because I just love cinnamon. I serve it with roasted walnuts on top and it smells and tastes heavenly. Thank you for this recipe.

January 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

You're so welcome, Sheila! Those are some great additions/modifications to the recipe - so glad you like it! Nice to hear from you!

January 7, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

We love this oatmeal! I make it every week my 1 year old daughter eats it every morning for breakfast (it's the only thing she will eat). The only thing I do differently is I add a little vanilla extract and a few slices of butter in the bottom. I just reheat it and add a little milk or cream. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

February 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKrystal

You're so welcome, Kristal! I love your additions! Why didn't I think of vanilla?

February 2, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This sounds wonderful. My kids love oatmeal so tonight I will be trying this. I do not know if I overlooked it, but I was wondering how long do I cook it in the slow cooker.

April 3, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStisha B.

A lot depends on the kind of slow cooker that you have, Stisha. I just set mine on low for about 8 hours and it will keep it warm until we're ready for breakfast. You might experiment with yours to see what settings/times work best. If you read the recipe headnote, I discuss that a bit. Hope it comes out great! We sure love it.

April 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This worked so well! I was a little nervous cuz I was trying it on a Sunday night for Monday (dreaded Monday starts), but it worked beautifully!
Thank you so much! It was amazing!
Definitely going to recommend it and keep using it myself!
Ps: I stirred mine. ;) I read all the comments and thought to give it a go!

August 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

So glad you liked it, Joey! I think success with this may depend on one's slow cooker vs the oven. We love it! Thanks so much for letting us know!

August 17, 2015 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Unfortunately mine didn't turn out well. It was all soupy at the bottom and burnt around the edges. I have a 5qt crockpot so doubled the recipe

March 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

OH man. Sorry to hear that, Emma. It's weird how it works so well for some and not for others. It must totally depend on the crockpot and the heat setting. It almost sounds as though the heat was too high? Not sure though. Perhaps doubling the recipe changed the outcome? Thanks for letting us know and if you try it again with a single batch or lower heat, let us know if it comes out differently.

March 7, 2016 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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