Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
Published Apr 08, 2022, Updated Jan 21, 2024
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Loaded with grated carrots, raisins and cinnamon flavor these carrot cake overnight oats taste like cake for breakfast! Vegan and gluten-free.
Spring is here and I’m so excited for fresh produce, visits to the farmers market and moving towards light and fresh foods (yeah, salads) instead of the heavy comfort foods we crave throughout the winter.
I hope you’re ready for the transition because today I have a new overnight oats recipe for you! The recipe is very similar to some of my other overnight oatmeal recipes, but with a carrot cake spin.
Healthy dessert-inspired breakfast recipes like this are my favorite because they feel so decadent. I have a ton of dessert-inspired breakfast recipes like these banana bread overnight oats, this carrot cake smoothie, birthday cake baked oatmeal and chocolate baked oatmeal.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s springy, healthy and super simple to whip up.
- Tastes just like carrot cake!
- It’s great for meal prep and is the perfect recipe for busy mornings.
Ingredients Needed for Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
- old fashioned rolled oats – rolled oats are the best for overnight oats. Instant/quick oats and steel cut oats don’t work well because they don’t absorb liquid the same way rolled oats do. My fave brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats.
- almond milk – I like using unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any type of milk (dairy or dairy-free) will work.
- grated carrots – can’t have carrot cake overnight oats without carrots! I love the health benefits of carrots. Besides being delicious, they’re high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K and potassium.
- raisins – for a little sweetness. If you’re not a raisin fan, feel free to skip them!
- maple syrup – pure maple syrup is the perfect natural sweetener to use because it’s liquid so it blends in nicely with the oat mixture and I personally love the flavor. Honey or another natural liquid sweetener will work here. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit.
- cinnamon – for a little spice.
- vanilla extract and almond extract – these are optional, but they add such a nice flavor!
- unsweetened coconut flakes – this is also optional, but the addition of coconut pairs so nicely with the cinnamon and oats. Highly recommend!
- chopped walnuts or pecans – for topping. I love the added crunch the nuts add to the oats.
How to Make
Overnight oats couldn’t get any easier to make! All you have to do is combine all your ingredients (except the toppings) in a bowl or mason jar, mix, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a few hours.
The next morning, grab your overnight oats from the fridge, give the mixture a big stir and top with your favorite toppings. At this point, you can simply dig right in as overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold. See my note below if you’re not keen on eating cold oats.
This is the fun part! There are so many options for flavor additions. Here are some of my favorites:
- Chocolate chips – carrot cake + chocolate = best combo ever!
- Sliced banana – one of my go-to toppings for overnight oats.
- Nut butter – we’re already adding nuts on top, but you can’t go wrong with an additional drizzle of nut butter!
- Raisins – sprinkle more raisins on top for some added sweetness.
- Coconut flakes – add more flaked coconut on top for some added crunch.
- Granola – another great way to add crunch to your overnight oats! I love my hemp granola.
- Cream cheese frosting – drizzle with some homemade cream cheese frosting to make things extra decadent!
How to Add Protein
My secret to filling overnight oats is to add protein! If you feel like you’re hungry shortly after having oatmeal, try adding protein. I like adding in a little protein powder or Greek yogurt to the mix. My favorite brand of protein powder is Nuzest! Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Need to Soak?
Given the name, you’d assume overnight oats need to soak overnight, but you can actually make them in 2-4 hours if you’re in a rush. While it does take some time for the oats to absorb the liquid, they don’t necessarily have to be soaked overnight, especially because these don’t contain chia seeds.
I recommend at least 8 hours for true overnight oats, but there have been mornings where I decide I want overnight oats for breakfast even though I didn’t prep them the night before. When this happens I’ll make them the morning of and let the oats soak for just 2-4 hours. With this quick soak, they’re not as soft as overnight oats that have soaked longer and they’re a bit more liquidy, but they’re still delicious.
Can You Eat Them Hot?
Short answer, yes! You can definitely warm up overnight oats, but the whole point of overnight oats is to eat them cold like muesli. Even if you think cold oats sound strange, I recommend giving it shot before you write them off. Of course, if you simply can’t do the cold oats you can always heat them up. Just pop the overnights oats in your microwave, cooking in 30-second increments until the oats are warm throughout and enjoy.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
When stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight oats should last for up to 5 days. They will soften more the longer they sit so I find they’re best on days 1-3, but they’re still safe to eat on days 4 and 5. With this said, overnight oats are great for meal prep. Feel free to make a whole batch for the week on Sunday. I like prepping them in wide mouth 16 oz mason jars.
More Carrot Cake Inspired Recipes
- Oatmeal Carrot Cake
- Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- Healthy Carrot Cake Bars
- Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
- Healthy Carrot Muffins
More Overnight Oats Recipes
- How to Make Overnight Oats (start here!)
- Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats
- Gingerbread Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
- Blueberry Crumble Overnight Oats
- Cookies and Cream Overnight Oats
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
- Place all ingredients except the nuts in a container and stir until well combined. Seal with a lid and place in the fridge overnight (or at least a couple hours).
- Bring out of the fridge in the morning and stir. You'll notice that the oats soak up a lot of the liquid so you may want to add a little more almond milk before serving. Top oats with chopped nuts and serve.
- Almond milk: Feel free to use any dairy or non-dairy milk of choice.
- Maple syrup: Honey or another natural liquid sweetener will work here as well. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit.
- Want to add protein? Add a scoop of protein powder or 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and reduce the milk to 1/2 cup.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.