cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!

Since Molly Yeh is basically the Michael Jordan of food blogging, she may not need a huge, adjective-heavy introduction. I bet you know about her award-winning site, her penchant for 90’s treats, and her cozy sugar beet farm life with a bunch of chickens, all named Macaroni. I got to meet Molly in Las Vegas a couple years ago, and her smile that beams so brightly in the photos? It beams like that IRL! While her food style isn’t necessarily on the hippie dip level that I try to maintain, her personality rings true in every single thing she does and I have a lot of respect for that. I feel like she’s at least partially responsible for the massive level of tahini appreciation on the internet.

Her brand new cookbook Molly on the Range is more than just a collection of recipes organized by course. Everything is centered around life/seasonal events as well. Clever and heartwarming illustrations are woven throughout the pages. Some of the recipe headnotes are more than a full page long! There are stories about the food that she grew up with in the suburbs, a hilarious anecdote that precedes her recipe for hummus, and an analysis of successful farm lunches. There are intersections of culture and unique experience throughout. It’s like having a pal on your bookshelf, and that pal has tested homemade funfetti 923648 times. Beyond her unique recipes, you get to be a part of Molly’s world for a bit. I think every really good cookbook tends to accomplish that immersive experience to some degree.

I saw Renee’s hot chocolate recipe that utilized Molly’s Hawaij a while ago, and that was the start of this recipe. Hawaij (pronounced huh-WHY-adge) is a spice blend that is commonly available in 2 ways. The one that I’ve used from the book is typically added to ground coffee prior to brewing for that little extra somethin’. I never really knew it until now, but Hawaij is the autumnal spice mix that I’ve been waiting for my entire life. It has a lot more nuance than pumpkin spice, and more cardamom and ginger too. There’s a certain elegance and lightness about it. It also doesn’t slap you in the face/drown your palette with nutmeg. It’s warm and lively in all the right ways.

I make a batch of baked oatmeal sometimes and we just re-heat it throughout the week. I had a ton of fresh apples and knew that they would be perfect with my new spice mix bff and some cozy warm oats. I sauté the apples in the Hawaij and some maple syrup before adding them to the bake because it gives them a little bit of extra dimension. This looks like a long recipe, but it’s mostly very simple assembly steps. There’s a silky and sweet maple cream here too because, as a rule, I like to take almost everything over the top. Mix yourself up some Hawaij, put it in some coffee, and then make this oatmeal. Trifecta of spicy cozy-ness right there ;)

Hawaij for Coffee from Molly on the Rangepin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Messpin it!
-Hawaij for Coffee recipe re-printed with permission of the author, via Molly on the Range
-Baked oatmeal technique is very lightly adapted from Yossy Arefi’s Baked Blueberry Oatmeal, which is adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe in Super Natural Every Day.
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: Since I made this to have leftovers essentially, I only sautéed the one apple and mixed it into the oatmeal itself. If I was serving this whole pan to people in real time, I’d sauté 2 apples instead of one, reserving half of them for serving with the finished oatmeal. Ditto for the maple cream! Last thing: I don’t use a microwave, so when I re-heat portions of this, I just do it in a saucepan with a big splash of non-dairy milk, stirring it up until it’s hot.

2 tablespoons ground cardamom
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon coconut oil, plus extra
1 large apple, peeled and cored
1 teaspoon hawaij spice blend, divided
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, divided
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used a mix of coconut and almond)
1 cup nuts or seeds of choice, toasted and chopped (I used pecans and hazelnuts)

2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
tiny pinch of fine sea salt
drop of vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon (optional)

Make the hawaij: In a small jar, stir together the cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Grease an 8-9 inch ovenproof dish with coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Assemble the oatmeal: Combine the ground flax seed and water in a small bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly, and then set aside to gel. Cut the cored apple into 1/4-inch thin slices. Then, cut each of those slices in half widthwise.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan. Let them sit for 2 minutes while they sizzle. Stir them around a bit, and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of the hawaij spice mix. Stir to combine. Once the apples seem lightly softened on the outside, stir in 1 teaspoon of the maple syrup and the lemon juice. Remove the apples from the heat and allow them to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of hawaij. Stir to combine. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the flax gel, non-dairy milk, and remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Spread out half of the oat mixture in the oiled dish. Arrange half of the sautéed apples and half of the chopped nuts on top of the oats. Repeat these layers with the remaining oat mixture, apples, and nuts.

Slowly pour the milk mixture over the oats. Give the dish a tap to settle the contents. Dot the top of the oatmeal with little pieces of coconut oil if you like. Slide the oatmeal into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal is golden brown and all of the liquid is absorbed.

While the oatmeal bakes, make the maple cream. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the cashew butter, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, salt, vanilla, and lemon, if using. If the mixture seems too thick to drizzle, add more non-dairy milk by the teaspoon. Once totally smooth and pourable, you’re good.

Serve the apple spice baked oatmeal hot with maple cream and extra maple syrup if you like.

  • Amber | Quite Good Food27/10/2016 - 5:31 am

    This sounds so delicious, and I’m so intrigued by the hawaij which is something totally new to me. Cardamom is one of my faves so it can only be good!ReplyCancel

  • Nandita27/10/2016 - 6:57 am

    Love this idea of a tray of baked oatmeal that one can eat all week. Molly’s book looks beautiful and I’d love to get my paws on it :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley27/10/2016 - 7:48 am

    Wooaahhh Molly’s cookbook looks gorgeous! And these photos and this dish are also stunning. Love the lighting. (Coming over from Bloglovin’! :-) )ReplyCancel

  • Debbie27/10/2016 - 8:18 am

    I tried reading this post twice on my iPad. I tend to enlarge the text so it is easier to read. Each time an ad popped up that took up over 1/2 the width and I could not close it. I gave up! Thought you might like to know. Otherwise, I love your writing style and recipes. Best wishes.ReplyCancel

    • Laura27/10/2016 - 8:23 am

      So sorry that this happened to you, Debbie! I’ll let the ad provider know right away. I hope that this doesn’t discourage you :)

  • Erica27/10/2016 - 8:48 am

    I’m in total love with this idea, and yes hawaij is deffo life changing – been using it here for coffee cakes and it’s the best.
    And just thought you should know you’re one of my favorite food photographers, your photos are always STUNNING.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren27/10/2016 - 10:36 am

    For a person that just went apple picking and has five bijillion apples, this is just the answer. Maybe I could squeeze in a few more apples to help lighten my stock over here. Thanks for sharing this recipe, especially since oats in winter is never a bad idea :) Could even be fun to make in a muffin tin too! xx love everything you do!ReplyCancel

  • renee (will frolic for food)27/10/2016 - 10:51 am

    YUSSSS HAWAIJ IS MY EVERYTHING. I put it in everything. EVERY. THING. Why is it so good with apples and pumpkin and coffee and cinnamon rolls and maple and everything fall?? It’s like elegant cardamom laced magic sauce. This photo set is so dreamy and I love all of the different shots you got. really excellent use of that white wood backdrop. i wants one of those. can’t wait to try this recipe out too! coziness 4 evr.ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha27/10/2016 - 10:56 am

    Omg, this looks just perfect. The spice blend sounds so inviting and that maple cream…… <3ReplyCancel

  • Olivia27/10/2016 - 11:51 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious, and that maple cream, I may put that on everything now. I was wondering if and how I could sub steel cut oats? I absolutely adore your blog and can’t wait to get your book!!!ReplyCancel

    • Laura28/10/2016 - 11:23 am

      Hi Olivia,
      I’m not sure how well this would work with steel cut oats. I think you would have to either parcook them in water prior to assembling the bake OR grind them in a food processor first so that you have “cracked” grains that will cook faster. I would probably try cooking the steel cut oats in water until they were almost chewy, like 20 minutes. Then I’d drain them and proceed with the recipe here, keeping an eye on how much liquid I add so that you don’t wind up with something soup-y. Hope this is at least slightly helpful :)

  • Jodi28/10/2016 - 1:07 am

    These photos – right down to the maple leaf + the blue masking tape – are beautiful Laura. This hawaij sounds like my soul spice, cardamom being at the very top :) But really, I’m just here for the maple cream. pass me a spoon. xReplyCancel

  • Tuulia Talvio28/10/2016 - 3:01 am

    Now I definitely need to try that hawaij! And it’s so simple! Baked oats are my fave when it gets cold and over the top is my style too. It’s the best! xoReplyCancel

  • Thea28/10/2016 - 6:33 am

    AMAZING!! That hawaij sounds dreamy. I’ll be making the spice blend for sure this weekend. Anything with cardamom is a winner in my books, I’m sure I’m supposed to be Swedish!! This looks so warming and cozy, just what we need in the changing of the seasons XReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout28/10/2016 - 8:55 am

    This is magical! So in love with the photos + flavours here. Everything is a dream <3ReplyCancel

  • jaime ‡ the briny28/10/2016 - 3:50 pm

    psssst, i made molly’s hawaij, inspired by renee’s post, too, and wrote each syllable on its own line–
    –on the bottle so i’d remember how to pronounce it. i giggled when i saw your huh WHY adge jar. :D xoxoReplyCancel

  • jaime ‡ the briny28/10/2016 - 3:52 pm

    oh, p.s. that maple cream as a topping for oatmeal is genius. i’ve made so many baked oatmeals that i just thought were okay because they were a little dry or one-dimensional. smart!ReplyCancel

  • Bethany @ athletic avocado31/10/2016 - 7:23 am

    This oatmeal looks INCREDIBLE! So hearty and comforting!ReplyCancel

  • Elenore01/11/2016 - 5:09 am

    OH-EM-GEE! I feel like diving into these pictures. Those apple branches. Guh. Nature is magical. ..and the sauce! So darn sexy! Your writing about molly+her book is just wow. If that’s not the best introduction a person can get then I don’t know what is.

    So..get this. I’ve only made baked oatmeal once. ONCE. For a die-hard porridge nerd like me that’s pretty wild. What I mean to say is, I WILL make this. (if only for the leftovers ;)

    Biggest hug to ya darling Laura!ReplyCancel

  • […] channeled my inner Molly Yeh for this recipe – AKA the Michael Jordan of food blogging (as Laura appropriately deemed her) – because her new cookbook recently came out and it’s all that and a bag of potato […]ReplyCancel

  • Molly05/11/2016 - 10:14 pm

    These photos are absolutely stunning and this recipe sounds luscious! I can’t wait to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • Sue06/11/2016 - 9:02 am

    I made this last weekend. It’s a bit more work than your average baked oatmeal recipe however it was worth it. It’s very tasty. I was impressed! I’ve put a couple servings in the freezer to see how it freezes. Hoping it does well because it’s a great recipe. I’ll be making this again.ReplyCancel

  • Will07/11/2016 - 3:50 pm

    Amazing article and fantastic photography very inspiring, thank you so muchReplyCancel

  • Kasey | Spill the Greens08/11/2016 - 12:24 am

    I will eat just about anything with maple cream on it but HOLY WOW that looks good. I’m thinking I’ll have to convince my husband to make this as my birthday breakfast!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa10/11/2016 - 3:36 pm

    Curious at this step:

    In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of hawaij. Stir to combine. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the flax gel, non-dairy milk, and remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Spread out half of the oat mixture in the oiled dish.

    Do I add the flax-gel mixture in the measuring cup TO the oat mixture in the bowl?ReplyCancel

    • Laura11/11/2016 - 8:51 am

      You add the flax gel to the milk in the measuring cup just to combine the liquid components. Then, after you’ve layered the dry oat mixture and sautéed apples in the baking dish, you pour the milk + flax gel mixture over all of the oats/apples. This process is described in the next step. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions :)

  • Lacey15/11/2016 - 6:35 am

    I have been obsessed with cardamom in my oatmeal lately and this recipe sounds so cozy and perfectly indulgent with the maple cashew cream. This recipe is def happening in my kitchen this weekend. Is it Saturday yet?ReplyCancel

  • Celestine22/01/2017 - 5:02 pm

    I just can’t stop making this recipe, and the spice mix is just as you say, addictive. I made my usual cream of butternut squash soup and replaced the ginger with the hawaiij and, wow! It just brings it to a whole new level!
    ps Your blog is breathtakingly beautiful, truly awe inspiring :)ReplyCancel

  • […] was apple baked oatmeal with hawaij and maple cashew cream. There were tacos. There was soup, congee, and chocolatey […]ReplyCancel

  • Cheri12/02/2017 - 10:39 am

    Amazing. The cashew cream alone is lick-the-bowl good. Like stick your face in the bowl and use your tongue lick the bowl. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • […] The next morning we were treated to vegan baked oatmeal with the most delicious vegan maple cream from Laura at The First Mess. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] oatmeal pictures above was Apple Spice Baked with Maple Cream & Hawaij and you can find the recipe here. It was seriously amazing – I’ve already made it twice since coming back home […]ReplyCancel

  • […] oatmeal pictured above was Apple Spice Baked with Maple Cream & Hawaij and you can find the recipe here. It was seriously amazing – I’ve already made it twice since coming back home (especially the […]ReplyCancel

  • […] topped these with yogurt, maple syrup, toasted coconuts, chopped hazelnuts, and a little bit of The First Mess’ caramel sauce (made out of cashew butter). They are also delicious with just a little bit of butter and maple syrup; feel free to go as light […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the coup de grace of this overly thought out smoothie bowl is the drizzle of cashew cream, which Laura showed me how to make during a retreat in Cambria, CA earlier this […]ReplyCancel

  • Maria Joseph02/08/2017 - 7:29 am

    Oats are the BEST!!I liked the combination with apple.This is healthy and nutritious beakfast one can have.I want to try it but i am allergic to cardmom so can you please sugeest an alternative to it.ReplyCancel

    • Laura02/08/2017 - 7:38 am

      Hi Maria,
      I would just leave out the cardamom entirely, or increase the other spices accordingly to make up the deficit.

  • […] looks like the perfect Saturday breakfast as we head towards fall and start to see more fresh apples headed our […]ReplyCancel

  • […] made famous by Heidi Swanson in her book Super Natural Everyday, and another favorite version is Laura’s, filled with apples, spice, and topped with a drizzle of maple cashew cream. This easy vegan summer […]ReplyCancel

  • […] she’s just as much of a gem in person as she is on her site. We spent a morning baking her apple spice baked oatmeal flavored with hawaij and drizzled with maple cashew cream (which is heaven, and highly […]ReplyCancel

  • peter21/12/2017 - 9:25 pm

    I love baked apples and this one is a great recipe too. Amazing, Thanks for posting the recipe here.ReplyCancel

  • […] the eggs into my baked oatmeal for extra protein, but if you are looking for a vegan version, this beauty from Laura at The First Mess looks […]ReplyCancel

  • Nicky15/02/2018 - 12:20 am

    Made this. Love it. Making it again tomorrow w pears. ReplyCancel

  • Christine06/11/2018 - 10:52 pm

    Wow this looks like a perfect fall breakfast! As soon as I get some apples I am going to make this. Thank you so much for sharing, and for the education on the spice mix. I can’t wait to try it all out!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Hoober20/11/2018 - 3:11 pm

    This could be a wonderful dessert OR breakfast!! so versatile!!!ReplyCancel

  • Allison K06/05/2019 - 10:20 am

    Just made this dish this past weekend for a brunch, and it was AMAZING. I subbed blueberries for apples, and would definitely do it again. Thank you for the amazing work that you do and share with us!ReplyCancel

  • […] Cozy Apple Spice Baked Oatmeal – The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Christine10/05/2020 - 3:28 pm

    Hi Laura, first wanted to say how inspiring you are. I often check out your website when needing inspiration.
    I just found out that for now i cant eat flax or chia seeds and various grains. This morning I wanted some oat inspiration ! Loved the look of this but needed to simplify for time and dietary restrictions. So here is what i did and it tastes amazing!
    Mixed up oats (1 cup for 2 peeps)with gf baking powder, vanilla bean salt and ginger. Put half in dish, scattered 1 chopped fine apple and a handfulof stoned fresh cherries in season right now. Sprinkled rest of oats and poured over milk with maple syrup.
    Deliciousness served with a little More maple syrup and milk. Love the texture of soft and creamy in middle with crunchy oats on top.ReplyCancel

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