I read somewhere that the Ina Garten eats a plain bowl of oatmeal every morning, and if it’s her birthday – and only on her birthday – she adds a little maple syrup.
Oatmeal makes a regular appearance on my breakfast table as well, but for me, the oats are merely a healthy base for much more decadent flavors. And unlike the Barefoot Contessa, I want to celebrate each new day as if it’s my birthday. That’s why I decided to turn my daily bowl of porridge into five different cake flavors that are a snap to cook up and a treat to eat. And they don't even have much sugar — these are simply delicious ways to get your morning dose of whole grains (and maybe even a few vegetables).
5 Cake-Inspired Oatmeals to Celebrate Any Day
Funfetti Cake Oatmeal
The first is Funfetti cake – a vanilla-flavored affair with a party of brightly colored sprinkles in every bite. This cake-to-oatmeal conversion is so simple and easy, but really brightens up the morning. (I recommend making this one on Mondays). You could make your own sprinkles (they will keep in your pantry) or simply look for a box of the all-natural variety, which is what I did.
Get the recipe: Funfetti Cake Oatmeal
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
I love regular old carrot cake, but I have to say, carrot cake oatmeal is even better than the dessert that inspired it. This version just so happens to be vegan, too.
Get the recipe: Carrot Cake Oatmeal
German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal
German chocolate cake is not German at all, but originates in the United States. It was named after Sam German – the developer of the type of baking chocolate commonly used to make the cake. I don’t employ his chocolate bar here – I prefer my favorite cocoa powder – but if you want to be authentic, stir in a tablespoon of grated German’s Sweet Chocolate bar in place of the cocoa powder and maybe use a little less maple syrup.
Get the recipe: German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal
Red Velvet Cake Oatmeal
The best part of red velvet cake, besides the brilliant color, is definitely the icing, so I couldn’t make this cake-inspired oatmeal without it. You might panic at the thought of topping your healthy bowl of oats with a big scoop of frosting, but remember, this one is made with cream cheese, and cream cheese is totally in the breakfast food group.
Get the recipe: Red Velvet Cake Oatmeal
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Oatmeal
Pineapple upside-down cake is hands down one of my favorite porridge recipes. It’s super simple to make – cook the oats in a bit of juice while caramelizing slices of pineapple in a skillet. Caramelizing always sounds a lot fancier than it is, but it’s really just sizzling something until the food’s natural sugars are released. I used ghee for this because it already has the nutty, caramel flavor that I am going for, but you could use regular butter or coconut oil.