Cozy Apple Spice Baked Oatmeal with Maple Cream

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 4 votes

Apple spice baked oatmeal is an easy and cozy breakfast. Maple cashew cream drizzled on top and a hawaij spice blend make it special. Great for making ahead!

An overhead shot of baked oatmeal that is topped with cooked apples and nuts. A bowl of creamy sauce is seen to the side.
Two images show fallen apples on the ground + apples growing on the branches of an apple tree.
4 images show: spoons with ground spices, a jar of hawaij spice blend, an overhead shot of baked oatmeal ingredients, and non-dairy milk being poured into a baking dish with oatmeal and nuts inside.

Since Molly Yeh is basically the Michael Jordan of food blogging. I bet you know about her award-winning site, her 90’s treats, and her cozy sugar beet farm life with a bunch of chickens, all named Macaroni. Her personality rings true in every single thing she does and I have a lot of respect for that.

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.

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. 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.

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 ;)

Image shows an assembled apple spice baked oatmeal in a white enamelware baking dish, pre-bake.
A 3/4 angle shot of a dish of baked oatmeal.
Two images show baked oatmeal in a baking dish, drizzled with a creamy sauce + an individual serving of the oatmeal spooned out onto a blue enamelware plate.

Cozy Apple Spice Baked Oatmeal with Maple Cream

Apple spice baked oatmeal is an easy and cozy breakfast. Maple cashew cream drizzled on top and a hawaij spice blend make it special. Great for making ahead!
5 from 4 votes
cozy baked apple spice oatmeal with maple cream & hawaij - The First Mess
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6


Hawaij (makes extra!):

  • 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Baked Oatmeal

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, plus extra
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 teaspoon hawaij spice blend, divided
  • ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 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)

Maple Cream

  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • drop vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice (optional)


  • 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.
  • 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 have 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.


  • 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.
A hand is drizzling a creamy sauce over a dish of baked oatmeal that is topped with cooked apples and nuts.

27/10/2016 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, cashews, creamy, gluten free, roasted, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Jo

    5 stars
    Hi Laura,
    Can I use Apple pie spice instead of Hawaij?


    • Laura Wright

      Hi Jo!
      Yes definitely and it will be so delicious :)

  • Christine

    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.

  • Allison K

    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!

  • Ashley Hoober

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

  • Christine

    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!

  • Nicky

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

  • peter

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

  • Maria Joseph

    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.

    • Laura

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

  • Cheri

    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.

  • Celestine

    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 :)

  • Lacey

    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?

  • Lisa

    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?

    • Laura

      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 :)

  • Kasey | Spill the Greens

    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!

  • Will

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

  • Sue

    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.

  • Molly

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

  • Elenore

    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!

  • Bethany @ athletic avocado

    This oatmeal looks INCREDIBLE! So hearty and comforting!

  • jaime ‡ the briny

    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!

  • jaime ‡ the briny

    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 xoxo

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout

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

  • Thea

    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 X

  • Tuulia Talvio

    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! xo

  • Jodi

    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. x

  • Olivia

    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!!!

    • Laura

      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 :)

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

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

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    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.

  • Lauren

    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!

  • Erica

    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.

  • Debbie

    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.

    • Laura

      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 :)

  • Ashley

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

  • Nandita

    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 :)

  • Amber | Quite Good Food

    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!