Carrot cake porridge (or oatmeal) is like having dessert for breakfast, but while also being somewhat healthy! Grated carrot and apple, along with cinnamon and nutmeg, make a bowlful of oats into a delicious, hearty and comforting breakfast. This porridge is best served steaming hot, unlike overnight oats, which are served chilled.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Cake for breakfast – what a time to be alive! We find this recipe provides a more interesting take on the average porridge or weekday breakfast. The spiced porridge and fruits make it feel more luxurious, but also keep it healthy (ish!). Carrots are great for vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants. Plus, apples are a great source of vitamin c and fibre. If you like dessert-like breakfasts, you should also check out this peanut butter & strawberry baked oats recipe.
- Basic porridge with extras – when making porridge it's best to start with a 2:1 ratio of plant milk to oats. It’s enough liquid to cook the oats without becoming too thick, and the result is a really creamy porridge. So, that’s what we’ve done here – it’s a pretty foolproof way to make a great bowl of porridge so it’s no different when making carrot cake porridge. With that foundation, we then add some extra ingredients to take this breakfast to the next level.
- Healthy – it’s great to get loads of fruit and veg into your diet, we all know that. So starting the day off with carrot, apple and raisins isn’t a bad start. On top of that, walnuts are a great source of good fats and provide a plant-based source of omega-3. Then there’s the obvious ingredient, oats, which are a great source of fibre as well as other vitamins and minerals. All-in-all, a pretty good way to start the day!
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Oats – look out for porridge oats or rolled oats. Depending on where you live and what brand you’re looking at, different terms are used. Here in the UK, rolled oats are often called porridge oats and this is what we used to create this carrot cake porridge. Fun Fact: did you know that porridge doesn’t have to be made with oats? You can even make savoury porridge using rice, like a congee or Thai jok.
- Spices – carrot cake recipes usually call for spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or mixed spice. We loved the flavour combo of a simple mix of cinnamon and nutmeg, so that’s what this recipe uses. However, ginger and mixed spice would both work well in carrot cake porridge too, so feel free to get creative.
- Apple – not a typical ingredient in carrot cake, but it adds a natural sweetness to this recipe as well as some good stuff for your body! Pink lady is Jess’s favourite, so we always have some in the house and they’re a great choice for this recipe. Any other sweet apple would work instead.
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make carrot cake porridge.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for this recipe. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Combine the oats and milk in a saucepan and cook over a high heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture simmers.
2. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, carrot, apple, maple syrup and raisins.
3. Keep over a gentle simmer and keep stirring. While the mix is a little runnier than you like your porridge, remove it from the heat – it will continue to cook from the residual heat so it will thicken up more.
4. Serve out into bowls and top with the walnuts and extra almond milk if desired.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Plant Milk – while this recipe calls for almond milk, any unsweetened non-dairy milk works great for making carrot cake porridge, like soy, hemp or hazelnut. We’d just recommend steering away from oat milk for this recipe (that could be too many oats, if such a thing exists?)! Sweetened non-dairy milk options would make the porridge a lot sweeter, so if using the sweetened variety, be sure to only use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and add more to taste if it’s needed. Jess loves this porridge with a splash of extra almond milk in her bowl, so try that if it sounds like your thing!
- Sweetener – we really love the flavour of maple syrup and think it’s a great choice for this recipe. If you don’t have, or don’t like, maple syrup we’d recommend agave or date syrup as delicious alternatives, that are also refined sugar free.
- Nuts – when I eat carrot cake I always love when there’s a crunch and extra depth of flavour from nuts! This carrot cake porridge recipe calls for walnuts, but pecans would also be a great choice.
We haven’t tried making this recipe in the microwave, however it should work. Make sure to buy microwavable oats and split the ingredients into quarters, so you’ll be able to make one bowl at a time. Add the ingredients for one portion to a bowl, mix and microwave for a couple of minutes.
Traditionally porridge is made using dairy milk, which is not vegan friendly. When made with plant-based milk it is vegan friendly though, like in this recipe!
This is really a matter of taste and we’re yet to find a milk that doesn’t work for porridge! We’ve used oat, soy, almond, hazelnut and coconut – they’ve all come out great.
While this recipe is best eaten fresh, it does keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. When reheating, add more almond milk to reach the desired consistency because it will thicken in the fridge.
🥣 More breakfast recipes to try
As Easter is coming up, carrot cake porridge could make for a great way to start the day during the Easter weekend! Carrots are holiday appropriate for Easter right? And if you're looking for more Easter inspiration, check out our curated list of the best vegan Easter recipes around.
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Vegan Carrot Cake Porridge
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups almond milk – or other plant milk
- 1 apple – grated
- 250 g carrot – roughly 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- 4 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp walnuts – chopped
- Combine the oats and milk in a saucepan and cook over a high heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture simmers.2 cups rolled oats, 4 cups almond milk
- Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, carrot, apple, maple syrup and raisins.1 apple, 250 g carrot, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 tsp nutmeg powder, 4 tbsp raisins
- Keep over a gentle simmer and keep stirring. When the mix is a little runnier than you like your porridge, remove it from the heat – it will continue to cook from the residual heat so it will thicken up more in the bowl.
- Serve and top with the walnuts, extra almond milk, raisins or even coconut yoghurt if desired.2 tbsp walnuts
- Almond milk can be substituted for any other unsweetened non-dairy milk.
- Pink lady is our favourite choice of sweet apple, but use whatever apple you like.
- Maple syrup can be substituted for agave syrup, date syrup or another natural sweetener.
- Pecans make another great topping choice, instead of walnuts.
- This porridge will keep well in the fridge for upto 3 days and can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of extra milk.