This creamy baked steel cut oatmeal is heaven! Slow-baked in the oven until thick and creamy, this Irish oatmeal gets topped with a mix of chopped nuts and sugar, then broiled until crisp.
Slow mornings call for this baked Irish oatmeal recipe—it’s mostly hands off and packs major cozy vibes from a brief toasting of the oats and a handful of warm spices.
Less than 10 ingredients needed
- Steel cut oats
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground cardamom
- Kosher salt
- Demerara sugar
How to Make Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
Step 1: toast the oats and spices:
A brief sauté in a non-skillet adds toasty, nutty flavor to the oats. Stir in the spices and briefly cook to unlock their flavor.
Step 2: bake the oatmeal
Combine the toasted oats and spices with milk and water in a shallow baking dish. Bake until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: brûlée the top
Sprinkle cubed butter, pecans and sugar over cooked steel cut oats. Broil until caramelized and crisp.
Are Steel Cut Oats Interchangeable with Rolled Oats?
Steel cut oats come from the same grain as rolled and instant oats. The difference between these three types of oats is how they are processed, which results in oats varying in texture and cook time.
Steel cut oats, also often referred to as Irish oats, are processed by cutting the whole oat groat into small pieces using a steel mill. Steel cut oats have a chunky, chewy texture and are the least processed of all. Not surprisingly, they take the longest to cook due to the less processing.
Rolled oats, also called old-fashioned or whole oats, are steamed and rolled flat during processing. In addition to cooking quicker, rolled oats absorb a lot of liquid and hold their shape relatively well during cooking. Rolled oats are ideal for quick stove top oatmeal, overnight oats, quick breads, cookies, muffins, granola bars, granola, and pancakes.
Instant oats, which are also called quick oats, are the most processed of all. They’re partially cooked, dried, and thinly rolled (thinner than old-fashioned). Instant oats offer very little when it comes to texture and should be used as a last resort for morning oatmeal. Avoid using instant or quick-cooking oats in baked goods, but feel free to use them in granola bars.
All three oat types off the same nutritional value because they’re made from whole oat groats. All oats are relatively high in fiber, half of which is soluble fiber.
Baked steel cut oatmeal reheats beautifully! The only thing to keep in mind if reheating leftovers—the sugary brûléed top will not be crunchy after storing in the refrigerator.
Reheat baked steel cut oatmeal in a 350ºF (177ºC) oven for 20 minutes, or until warmed through. Give it a stir and add additional milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
Alternatively, you can scrape the chilled oats into a saucepan with a little bit of water or milk and reheat, stirring frequently, over medium heat until creamy and steaming.
Make Ahead Tips
Although much of the cooking is hands-off, these steel cut oats do take some time to bake. To jumpstart the cooking process, you can partially bake the oats a day or two ahead of time. Bake the steel cut oatmeal for 1 hour (as directed in the recipe), then remove from the oven and let cool completely before covering and transferring to the refrigerator.
Add about ½ cup milk or water to the oats and cook in the oven at 350ºF (177ºC) until bubbling, thick and creamy. Top oats with butter, sugar and nuts and broil as directed.
- Make this vegan by using non-dairy milk and vegan butter.
- Mix up the spices—try nutmeg, cloves, or allspice.
- Skip the brûléed topping and instead serve with whipped cream.
- Add chopped dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, plums, dates or figs.
- Increase the fiber content by adding chia seeds.
Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe (Irish Oatmeal)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 ½ cups steel cut oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups whole milk, or milk of choice, warmed
- 1 ½ cups water, warmed
- ⅓ cup chopped raw pecans
- ¼ cup demerara sugar
- cream, maple syrup and flaky sea salt for serving, optional
- Heat oven to 350ºF (177ºC) with rack set in middle position. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.
- In a large nonstick skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add oats and sauté until fragrant and toasted, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cardamom and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape oats into prepared baking dish; stir in milk and water.
- Bake oatmeal for 1 hour, stirring halfway through. Stir oatmeal, and continue to bake until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes more, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice remaining 2 tablespoons butter and chill.
- Stir oatmeal, then evenly sprinkle diced butter, pecans and sugar over top. Turn oven to broil and broil until browned, 3–5 minutes.
- Serve oatmeal with additional cream (or milk), maple syrup and flaky sea salt, if desired.