Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal

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Two bowls of Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal

Sometimes I get in breakfast ruts, making the same smoothie or pancakes over and over and over again. These last two weeks it’s been this date-sweetened apple pie oatmeal. Remind me again why ruts are a bad thing?

Parchment-lined baking sheet of Baked Apples with cinnamon
Oats and dates for making a delicious apple oatmeal recipe

I am so incredibly smitten with dates. Have you tried them? I love how they’ve replaced my need for brown sugar in oatmeal. They’re sticky, sweet, and so satisfying. Cut up into steamy oats and they add the perfect amount of sweetness my sugar-loving palate needs.

Bowls of Apple Pie Oatmeal topped with walnuts

The apple pie version actually came about by accident. I’d grown quite fond of making a berry compote version but ran out of berries. In my desperation I turned to apples. Honesty, because I was in a hurry the first time I sliced up my apple and microwaved it for convenience (I can almost hear people slinging enzyme-laced insults at me from afar). But you could also saute your apples to keep this process au naturel.

In this recipe I baked them. But if you’re short on time make modifications as you see fit (like the microwave). Just don’t tell the enzyme fairies.

Bowls of our Apple Pie Oatmeal for a vegan gluten-free breakfast

I love, love, love this bowl. It’s thick, creamy, warm and full of apple-cinnamon flavor. I usually top mine with toasted pecans, which I highly recommend. But in a pinch I used walnuts instead. Just one serving is so satisfying and always keeps me full ’til lunch with plenty of fiber and protein. You could even add a dollop of almond butter or other nut butter for extra protein, if you wish.

I enjoy my oatmeal on weekday mornings since it’s become part of my daily routine. But it would also be a lovely breakfast to make for guests or lazy weekend mornings – the best kind of mornings in the history of weekends.

Sub out other seasonal fruits as well! I love strawberry, mixed berry and blueberry versions as well.

Bowls of Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal for a delicious breakfast

Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal

Creamy gluten-free oats sweetened with dates and served over a bed of baked cinnamon apples. The perfect weekday or lazy weekend breakfast.
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal topped with walnuts
4.92 from 25 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 (bowls)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan


  • 2 tart or sweet apples (peeled, cored and evenly sliced)
  • 1 tsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (GF for gluten-free eaters)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 whole dates (finely chopped)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon and honey. Bake for 5 minutes then roll over parchment paper and tuck it in so they’re in a “pocket” to trap in moisture. Cook for 10-15 minutes more (20 minutes total) until soft. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, add oats, pinch salt, water and almond milk and stir. When it comes to a boil, reduce to low-medium heat and cook until thick and creamy. Add the chopped dates a few minutes after you reduce the heat so they can soften and sweeten the oats.
  • Once thick, remove from stove top. Add a little almond milk if it’s too thick for your liking.
  • Arrange 1/3 cup baked apples in bottom of a serving bowl and top with oats. Other toppings may include, nuts, nut butter, flaxseed, honey, maple syrup, or cinnamon. I prefer mine with a few toasted pecans and flaxseed.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without toppings such as nuts or flaxseed.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 bowls Calories: 314 Carbohydrates: 60 g Protein: 6 g Fat: 3.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 10 g Sugar: 31 g

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My Rating:

  1. Coby says

    These oats are fantastic! I love how they are sweetened by dates! I used steel cut oats because those tend to fill me up more (1 1/2 cups of plant milk to 1/2 cup of oats), and added a pinch of nutmeg and ginger to the apple. Topped with pecans and chia seeds. It was such a delicious breakfast!

  2. Amy says

    Oh my! This was DELICIOUS!!! I actually over cooked the apples on accident, but they were actually amazing that way still. I loved digging down and finding the apple at the bottom. Yummy! I topped mine with a table spoon of maple syrup, walnuts and a table spoon of almond butter. I am Canadian and I love real maple syrup! Going to make this again tomorrow. So so good!

  3. Syd says

    Delicious spin on oatmeal! I used 3 deglet noor dates instead of 4 dates and it was sweet enough for my taste. I tried to make a blueberry compote with frozen blueberries. I microwaved it with the lemon juice and cinnamon (no sweetener) but it didn’t turn out great particularly with texture- rather soupy- but that was kind of my fault for not following a recipe. Any tips for the future? Toasted pecans were a great addition!

  4. Michelle says

    This was cozy, comforting, delicious, and a great use of pantry staples during social distancing. I added a little ginger to the apples and topped with pecans, almonds, flax, and a tiny bit of candied ginger. Yum! Thanks Dana!

  5. Sara says

    Ok so I never thought I was an apples and oatmeal kind of gal, but I was looking up apple oat recipes because it’s the only fruit I had left in my fridge… and WOW I can easily say this is my new favorite way to eat oats ❤️ I added some collagen peptides and frozen cauliflower rice.. along with the recommendations like toasted pecans and almond butter

    • Melinda says

      Awesome idea to sneak in some veggies. I’m always trying to increase my veggies intake. Did you use the 1-2 serving recipe above or a larger batch? About how much cauliflower rice did you use?

  6. Olivia says

    This is so yummy! Thank you so much for the incredible breakfast. When my breakfast is amazing I know that its gonna be a great day! I drizzled Trader Joes’ mixed nut butter on top of my oats and it made it even creamier!

  7. Margaret says

    This was wonderful. I loved the baked apples (I added chopped pecans to the mix to bake). I soaked, drained, and rinsed the oats overnight, so I didn’t have to cook too long. Also added 1/4 tsp. each fresh grated ginger, cardamom and cinnamon powders after I turned the oats down to simmer. Finally added 2 tsp. each chia seeds and flaxseed meal 5 minutes before serving. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  8. Jules says

    I made this this morning and it definitely has a cinnamon-lover’s approval! Added coconut flakes and pecans on top and that was perfect :)

  9. Holly says

    Made this oatmeal this morning and it was so easy and SOOOOOOOO delicious – it is fall in a bowl and super filling. Very satisfying!

  10. KRISTEN says

    I don’t eat oats a lot. I had a craving oddly enough so I made this and it’s lovely. I am loving the cookbook, got it for my bday!!

  11. Brenna says

    This is a delicious way to make oatmeal, my whole family loves it. I didn’t have honey so I used a little bit of maple syrup instead and I cooked the oats using rice milk due to allergies. Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Infiniti says

    Just made this and it’s sooo good! I use to not like making oatmeal on the stove b/c I didn’t know how to add good flavor plus it’d be too thick & I wouldn’t finish it all. But your recipe totally changed the game for me aha I used vanilla soy milk and as for toppings I drizzled coconut oil & maple syrup. Then put raisins & pecans. Taste delicious

  13. Lisa of Lisa's Yarns says

    Do you think it would be possible to make the apple component and freeze it? I’d love to freeze the apple component while local apples are in season so I can enjoy this kind of oatmeal during the winter months (I’m trying to shift towards eating more locally-grown foods instead of buying bananas for my oatmeal every week!). Let me know if you think the cooked apples would freeze well.

    Love your blog, by the way, and your cookbook (which I just bought for myself and a friend earlier this month).

  14. Natasha says

    Just made this! Turned out can despite not adding lime or honey to my cinnamon baked apples. Cheated at the end by adding more dates AND brown sugar – what can you say I’M A HAPPY TUMMY RIGHT NOW! Thanks for sharing Dana :)

  15. Erica says

    Delicious and simple (like all of your recipes). Thank you for all of the flavorful and creative recipes!

  16. JC says

    We just made this for a lazy Sunday, bring on the fall flavors, breakfast. It was FANTASTIC! Topped it with toasted chopped pecans and just the faintest drizzle of maple syrup. A perfect way to welcome in this new season.

  17. Debbie says

    Hi Dana,

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. How long do you think this will keep in the fridge? A few days?

  18. Jayne says

    I have been cooking steel cut oats in my slow cooker with added apples, dried cranberries, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. I use 1 c oatmeal/4 c water. Add almond milk when reheated in the microwave. Delicious! Makes enough for 4 servings. Now I will be adding dates for sure! Love them anytime. Do you put a recipe similar to this put together of mine on your site?

  19. Jennifer says

    I made this oatmeal for breakfast this morning and I added 1/4 tsp vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon and a small scoop of almond butter to the oatmeal. It was heavenly! I’m ashamed to admit that I have never sweetened anything with dates before. I think I’ll put them in my oatmeal more often.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Jennifer, so glad to hear it! Date-sweetened oats are where it’s at. So natural, guilt free and just a tasty as brown sugar or other alternatives.

  20. De says

    Made this this morning and I really liked it! I’m picky about oatmeal (it’s a texture thing lol), but I also put way too much sugar in it. The dates were a lovely sweetness and flavor. I only had quick oats, so it was different, but I look forward to having it again with steel cut or something. I thought I was going to need brown sugar (my dedication to it is strong!), but I loved the dates alone. I also stirred in some maple almond butter and that was divine. Thank you for the recipe!

  21. Caitlin says

    Dates are so delicious, and they sound like the perfect way to add a healthy, sweet note to a morning bowl of oatmeal. Can’t wait to try it!

  22. Jennifer says

    I haven’t eaten yet but my 3.5 year old just took a bite and said “this taste-es goo-ood!”

  23. Mariam says

    Growing up in an Arab household, we always had dates on hand – shock horror I only started liking them recently! I know Medjool are meant to be the best variety (my parents LOVE them) but I actually prefer the slightly drier varieties (Deglet Noor is my fave) I really need to start using them in ways other than snacking, in saying that, dates and walnuts make a mean snacking combo! It’s nearing Winter here in Australia so i’m definitely making this apple pie oatmeal!

  24. Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog says

    I feel like I’m always in a breakfast rut – it’s either smoothie or oatmeal, but never an oatmeal that looks this delicious.

  25. Hannah at Not From Concentrate says

    Wow I’ve never thought to use dates as a sweetener substitute, but I love the idea! I will definitely be trying this!

  26. dixya| Food, Pleasure, and Health says

    i love variety in my breakfast- every time I get into breakfast run, i switch over to savory ones like scrambled eggs or breakfast tacos

  27. Jess says

    I’m loving dates as a sweetener as well lately – they have so much more flavor than regular ole’ sugar. How great is that oatmeal quote by kay thompson?! I kinda wanna put that on my fridge!

  28. Sarah Crowder says

    Oh how funny when I first started reading your post I thought: “ruts”? I prefer “kicks”. We’re on a really boring kick (okay, rut) right now, so we should probably try this!

    • Lesley Jackson says

      Ruts are OK when they are little ruts. Little ruts make change far more enjoyable. That’s why I’m so looking forward to this. It could even put me in a lovely little rut for a while. ; )

  29. Taylor says

    Looks delicious! I will be making this ASAP. I too love oatmeal during weekdays (pancakes and waffles on the weekends ;). P.S. NOTHING is wrong with using a microwave!

  30. Amanda Dracyott says

    This is the most delicious oatmeal I have had in a long time! Tastes kind of like apple crisp, however there is no added butter/oil etc. Absolutely divine. Great job on the recipe, I love how the apples aren’t completely mushy like they sometimes get if you add them directly to the oatmeal.

  31. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    I had oatmeal this morning and dates would have been the perfect addition! Love this!

  32. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says

    I am so definitely in a breakfast rut right now that I can’t even deal. I think this oatmeal will get me out of it, though — it looks fantastic!