These Cinnamon Sugar Baked Oatmeal Cups are sweetened with only dates and great for breakfast, snacks or even dessert! They’re vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened.
If you’ve been a reader here for a while, you know how much I love Baked Oatmeal Cups! They’re great for a healthy meal prep breakfast and my kids go crazy for them. I usually add either maple syrup or coconut sugar to my baked oatmeal cups, but these Cinnamon Sugar Baked Oatmeal Cups are sweetened entirely with dates!
While dates do add sugar to the oatmeal cups, it is a natural type of sugar found in fruit and they offer more health benefits than refined sugars.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES
Dates are a source of fructose which is a sugar found naturally in fruits. For this reason I don’t call these sugar free oatmeal cups, but dates are much better for you (most people) than any other kind of refined sugar or even maple syrup and coconut sugar. Here are just a few health benefits that dates have:
- Dates are high in a few vitamins and minerals such as: potassium, copper, magnesium and vitamin B6.
- They’re high in fiber. A 3.5 serving of dates contains almost 7 grams of fiber. Fiber is really important to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
- Dates are high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radicals which can cause disease. They also protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers and diabetes.
- They’ve been shown to help promote brain health and memory, which in turn can help prevent Alzheimers.
- Lastly, they may play a role in having a smooth natural childbirth. I’ve read that if you eat 6 dates a day for the last 4 weeks or so of your pregnancy that it can really help with having a natural labor. I did this with my first child and had one of the longest, worst labors ever but I’ve heard some people swear by it 🙂
Health benefit info from Healthline.com
CINNAMON SUGAR BAKED OATMEAL CUP RECIPE INGREDIENTS
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – If making gluten free make sure get gluten free certified oats. I have no tried this recipe with steel cut oats or quick cooking oats so I’m not sure how either would work out.
- Almond Milk – I always use plain, unsweetened almond milk for my baking recipes. You can use any other plant based milk (or even regular milk) you like. I prefer not to use milks that contain any extra sweeteners.
- Dates – I love using pitted mejdool dates. They’re large, soft and have a great flavor. You could also use dates with the pit, just make sure to remove the pit before using. If you can only find small dates, you might want to throw in a few extra.
- Flax Egg – I’ve made oatmeal cups without any egg substitute in the past and they hold together just fine, but I’ve started adding 1-2 tablespoons of flax to my oatmeal cups because of the health benefits that flax adds.
- Cinnamon – I add cinnamon to most of my baked oatmeal cup recipes but it’s especially important in these Cinnamon Sugar Baked Oatmeal Cups! Cinnamon also has tons of health benefits, including: lowering blood pressure, antioxidant properties, prebiotic properties, lowers blood sugar and is good for digestions.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract helps add a little sweetness in addition to the dates.
- Baking Powder & Salt
FREQUENTLY ASKED RECIPE QUESTIONS
- Can these oatmeal cups be frozen? Yes! I recommend freezing them in a freezer bag and trying to get as much air out of it as you can. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- Where should these be stored? I usually store mine in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can store them at room temperature if it isn’t too hot. They last longer when stored in the refrigerator.
- How long does these stay good for? I try to eat them within 5 days when stored in the refrigerator.
- Can I use less date paste? Sure! You can make them as sweet or not sweet as you like.
- Why are they called cups instead of muffins? Just a personal preference, have been calling them cups for years now.
- Mine are mushy, what did I do wrong? Unfortunately it’s hard to trouble shoot the recipe when I’m not in the kitchen with you, but if you followed the recipe exactly, I would suggest baking longer and letting sit for a bit once they come out of the oven.
LOOKING FOR MORE VEGAN BREAKFAST RECIPES?
These Cinnamon Sugar Baked Oatmeal Cups are naturally sweetened with dates, making them a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert!
- 8–10 large dates, I recommend using pitted medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 cups old fashioned oats, gluten free certified if necessary
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Place the dates in a medium sized bowl. If you don’t have dates that are already pitted, make sure to remove the pits. Fill a medium sized saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off and pour over your dates. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
- Make your flax egg: mix 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal with 4 tablespoons of water and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the water from the dates but make sure to reserve some of the warm date water. Place dates in a food processor or blender and turn on. Slowly add in a tablespoon at a time of the water until all dates are completely blended and you have a consistency a little bit thicker than applesauce.
- Add the date paste to a large bowl (but reserve 1-2 tablespoons so you can top the oatmeal cups with a little spoonful, if desired). Next, add the almond milk, flax egg, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until completely combined.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Next, add in the oats, baking powder and salt and mix again until everything is combined. Let the mixture just sit in the bowl for 10-15 minutes, while oven is pre-heating. This gives the oats time to soak up as much of the moisture as possible which creates firmer oatmeal cups.
- Fill a muffin tin with liners and spray lightly with a neutral flavored oil, I use avocado oil (if desired). Use a 1/4 cup scoop to scoop the oatmeal mixture into the muffin tin. You want to fill them just about to the top. I like to put a small spoonful of the date paste on the top and swirl it around a little bit. Bake oatmeal cups for 25-30 minutes, or until they’re starting to brown and the tops are firm to the touch. Remove oatmeal cups and let cool in the muffin tin for 20-30 minutes before enjoying.