I recently got a copy of Crissy Tiegen’s new cookbook Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat. The book has a fun mix of recipes – but more on that when I dedicate a full post to it – and the one for Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal caught my eye immediately. The recipe combined a popular dessert option (yellow cake) with a popular breakfast option (oatmeal) for a unique-sounding brunch dish that I couldn’t resist trying.
The recipe has a short ingredient list and is pretty straightforward to make: you prepare a large batch of oatmeal, fold in eggs and cake mix, then top with fruit and bake. The only quibble I had with this recipe was about the cooking time of the oatmeal. The book only gave instructions for making the oatmeal in the microwave. This is convenient if you have an extremely large, microwave-safe bowl available. If you cook it on the stovetop, not only is it easier to keep an eye on the oatmeal, but you can mix up the whole batter in one large saucepan. I preferred to use a saucepan and, as there was no description of the consistency of the oatmeal in the origianal recipe, I had to do a bit of guesswork to get it right. That said, it was very easy to put together.
The dish, as written, tasted like yellow cake-flavored oatmeal – certainly a dessert-like breakfast option! The fruit really stood out, much like fresh fruit added to a bowl of oatmeal does. While the original was nice, especially if you are a big yellow cake fan, I found it had a little more flavor if I added some vanilla extract and put a sprinkling of sugar on top (I do that to my oatmeal, too). I also added a little more fruit than the original called for to ensure that I got some in every single bite.
You can use fresh or frozen fruit in this recipe. If you opt for frozen, you may need to add a few additional minutes to the baking time. You may also want to defrost your nectarines slightly, as the frozen fruit tends to come in larger chunks (good for smoothies, not for cakes) that take a little too long to tenderize in the oven. IF you’re using fresh fruit, the nectarines do not have to be peeled. You will need two medium-large nectarines and each should be cut into about 16 slices. Stir some of the raspberries into the batter, but save most of them for the top. The fruit looks amazing when baked on top and really adds to the aesthetics of this dish.
Serve your baked oatmeal while it is still warm from the oven. The dish should have a soft, slightly custardy layer on top and a denser oatmeal layer below. The layers aren’t as distinct as they are in my Buttermilk Magic Cake, but they’re definitely there and they add some nice dimension to the cake. It should be scooped out into individual servings, where it can be eaten plain, with a drizzle of maple syrup or a dollop of lightly sweetened yogurt.
Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal with Raspberries & Nectarines
(adapted slightly from Cravings)
2 cups quick cooking oatmea
5 cups milk (pref. whole or reduced fat)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 box yellow cake mix (approx 15-oz)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
10 oz fresh raspberries
8 oz nectarines, very thinly sliced (approx 2 large)
2 tbsp sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine oats and milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat and stir until oatmeal just starts to thicken, about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and add in butter, salt and vanilla extract. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the cake mix to the saucepan and stir it in. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs. Quickly stir the beaten eggs into the oatmeal mixture. Fold in 4-oz (about 1 cup) of raspberries. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle all remaining raspberries, as well as the thinly sliced nectarines, evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired, before baking.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the oatmeal is baked and the center of the batter jiggles only very slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. before serving. Serve warm.