As someone who cooks for a living and usually ends up with something in the fridge at the end of the day, I’m not big into meal-planning. Except when it comes to breakfast. I am a true believer in the importance of eating a good breakfast every morning, and while my ideal start to the day involves a bowl of homemade steel-cut oats, I don’t always have time to stand over a pot of oatmeal on weekday mornings.
So, in the spirit of getting back into routines and busy, crazy life after the holidays, I developed this recipe for baked oatmeal cups as a ready-made, portable version of my favorite breakfast. I make a batch of these on Sunday afternoon when I have an hour to spare (which is more than enough time!) and then keep them in a container in the fridge all week long.
Each little cup is a nutritional powerhouse – with fiber from the oats, protein from the eggs and milk, good fat and nutty flavor from the almond butter, and of course, a little natural sweetness from the bananas and dates. I like to think of these as a mashup of muffins and baked oatmeal- a healthy breakfast disguised as a breakfast treat!
What I love about these cups is that they’re incredibly versatile. I’ve given you a basic formula here – the oats, milk, eggs, and baking powder being the most important – but you can substitute other dried fruits or add nuts and more seeds for a little more crunch. You can substitute peanut butter for the almond butter, too, though I find almond butter’s more subtle flavor works really well here.
This recipe can very easily be made gluten-free and dairy-free if you use a nut milk and gluten-free oats. (For the record, oats are naturally gluten-free, but many are processed on the same equipment as products containing flour. Oats labeled gluten-free are processed separately.)
I have to admit I’ve been a hesitant adopter of plant-based milk alternatives – they just didn’t do it for me. But when I tried oat milk, I started to come around. It’s creamy, thick, and you truly won’t notice the difference in the recipe. This is NOT a sponsored post, but the Oatly brand I used is my favorite. You can find it at Whole Foods.
Finally, for the non-breakfast lovers, I will note that these make a great healthy snack, too. In fact, I’m eating one right now. Happy New Year and happy cooking!
Oatmeal and Date Breakfast Cups
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups milk (dairy, almond, or oat)
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
- ¼ cup hulled pumpkin seeds, plus more for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a standard muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Place the bananas in a separate, smaller bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the eggs to the bananas and beat until incorporated, then stir in the milk and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Whisk in the almond butter, then add the dates and pumpkin seeds and mix well.
- Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them to the top, and sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each cups. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the cups have risen slightly and are firm to the touch.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and cool completely.The cups will keep for up to a week stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.Note: This recipe was updated in November 2021.Copyright 2020, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved
Healthy breakfast and delicious. its not sweet at all which i don’t mind
I saw your post on Instagram and was delighted that I had everything in my pantry and fridge. I woke up early this morning and made them – they are yummy! This was the first recipe of yours I tried. I can’t wait to start working my way through your site.
If you wait to eat next day, do you eat them cold or reheat? Just wondering what/how people like them.
Love these!!! 2nd time making….followed recipe exactly except subbing walnuts for the pumpkin seeds. Also froze them w no problem at all!!! Love the subtle sweetness from the chopped dates and ripe bananas- perfection! ❤️
These are great – they feel pretty healthy and I am glad they are not weighed down by flour. I like the variety they add to my breakfast game. Thanks Lidey!
Absolutely delicious and easy to make.
So glad you liked them!!
Any idea on calories?
Love them!! Have them every morning for breakfast. Look forward to all your recipes!
So glad to hear that Lynette! I make these all the time, too!!
While searching for the Dirty Blondies recipe (found it!) I also ran across these delights. Baked these as written EXCEPT I did not have any dates on hand. I used half pitted prunes and half raisins, all chopped fine. Delish! I made my “muffins” on the small side and with the leftover batter, I baked 1.5 dozen mini-size along with the regular muffin pan.
I’m not normally a breakfast person, but after these muffins consider me a convert! My kids gobble these up as they come out of the oven! – Lidey inspired, mom cooked, and kid approved!!!
Thinking of making these in advance and freezing. Do you know if they freeze well. Thanks so much
Hi! I haven’t tried freezing these – but my guess is because they are so moist and don’t have the structure of a typical muffin, they’ll be best baked fresh. Hope that helps!
I have made these three times in a week – great recipe!! My three year old loved helping me make them and ate three right out of the oven
Hi Kimberly! I love hearing that!!! 🙂 I recently made them with peanut butter instead of almond butter and they were great if you want to try a variation!
Right out of oven, upon tasting, the bread pudding like texture threw me off as it does not have the crumb of a typical muffin or quick bread. However, the breakfast cups have grown on me, and they are a great complement to a light lunch!
Hi Lea! I’m glad to hear they’ve grown on you. I almost called these Breakfast ‘Muffins’ but didn’t because you’re right – the texture is not like a traditional muffin or quick bread, so I know what you mean! But they do make a great sneak in addition to breakfast!
I made these last night for a Sunday morning breakfast. They were delicious. I didn’t have quite the right amount of pumpkin seeds but they were still great. Definitely adding these to my “go to” recipes. Thanks so much
Hi Marilyn! So glad you enjoyed them! I’ve made these even without the pumpkin seeds and they are still great. 🙂
These are great. I added chopped apple and substituted chopped dried figs for the dates. Turned out delicious.
Hi Sara! Love the idea of adding chopped apple- will have to try that! So glad you liked these!
Would any type of Oats work? I have Steel cut and Quick Oats my cabinet so just wondering! Thanks!
I’ve only tried this recipe with rolled/old-fashioned oats, but if I had to choose I would say the quick cooking oats would work better than steel-cut. Let me know how it goes!
can you use peanut butter?
Yes, you can definitely use peanut butter!
Do you notice a difference between using dairy milk and nut or oat milk? We have no allergies, so I didn’t know if one of the milks made it taste better!
Hi Ann! I’ve made the recipe with oat and dairy milk and honestly, I didn’t notice a difference. I think whichever you have on hand or prefer will be great!!
Yes!! The pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch but the recipe still works great without them. Enjoy!
Hi Ally, yes! See my comment above!
Hi! You could sub 1/2 cup applesauce, an extra mashed banana, or 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt in place of the eggs. Because the cups don’t rise a whole lot, you should definitely be able to get away with skipping the eggs. Let me know how it goes!!
How would you make vegan? I have an 18 month old with an egg and dairy allergy, but these look delicious!
Would an egg substitute work? is there one you recommend? I have a child with a wheat and egg allergy…
I can’t wait to make these! I was thinking of omitting the pumpkin seeds so I can share them with my 18 month old. Do you think they’d still be good without them? Thank you! 🙂