How about a classic summertime dessert made into a delicious and healthy breakfast? Strawberry shortcake baked oatmeal features fresh strawberries cooked down into a thick jam, a sweet cream cheese drizzle, and thick baked oats. For the ultimate snack, strawberry shortcake baked oatmeal can be eaten on it’s own, or with some whipped cream or ice cream for an indulgent dessert. To enjoy with breakfast, serve alongside a dollup of yogurt and some fresh fruit.
What are the components of a strawberry shortcake, and how does this recipe measure up?
So traditionally, the components of strawberry shortcake are macerated strawberries (another word for strawberries marinated in lemon juice and sugar for the ultimate flavor), a shortbread cookie base, and whipped cream. This recipe really doesn’t have any of those components, but it’s got sweet, cooked strawberries, and a sweet cream cheese drizzle which mimics the flavor of sweet cream. Instead of a shortcake crust, this recipe has a sweet, baked oatmeal base, and is sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs. When I was developing this recipe, my inspiration was a “strawberries and cream” mashup with “strawberry shortcake” influences. My biggest hurdle was creating the creamy element on top of this baked oatmeal. To do this, I decided to use reduced fat cream cheese combined with sugar and vanilla extract. It actually ended up adding the perfect amount of sweetness and creaminess to this dish. The first round of testing for this recipe didn’t go as well; the taste was there, but I used sliced strawberries, which released too much water into the bake. To remedy this, the second (and final) recipe test uses cooked down strawberries into a compote of sorts.
What is baked oatmeal?
Baked oatmeal is my current favorite meal prep and obsession this year. You see, it’s basically the perfect solution for any meal preppers out there who enjoy the flavor and texture of warm oatmeal, but who don’t feel like making a batch of oats every morning. Or, for those folks who enjoy the flavors of overnight oats, but don’t enjoy eating oats cold. I always say: baked oatmeal offers the convenience of batch meal prep, the ease of cutting a cake, and the comfort of a freshly cooked warm bowl of oatmeal. When it comes to baked oatmeal, the options are endless, and I have had such fun coming up with different flavor combinations every so often. The flavor combinations range from simple (Maple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Baked Oatmeal) to, quite frankly, over the top (Smores Baked Oatmeal, Almond Joy Baked Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal). If you search “baked oatmeal” on this website, all of the recipes will pop right up. Have fun exploring! The texture of my baked oatmeal is moist and dense, like cooked oatmeal. It is not crunchy or crispy.
What you’ll need to make strawberry shortcake baked oatmeal
Here is the ingredient list for this recipe:
- fresh strawberries (you can probably use frozen too, although I have not tried)
- corn starch
- vanilla extract
- reduced fat cream cheese
- graham cracker crumbs
- old fashioned oats (quick cooking oats will work too)
- unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- unsweetened applesauce
- baking powder
- kosher salt
Can I substitute anything for bananas? If you are allergic to bananas, I recommend using more applesauce (about 1 cup will replace 2 mashed bananas). Otherwise, if you aren’t a fan of bananas just because of the taste, I recommend using them in this recipe anyway. They are used only for sweetness, and I do not taste the bananas at all. What about using sugar replacements? You can use sugar replacements if you feel more comfortable doing that instead of sugar.
How to make strawberry shortcake baked oatmeal
Making the strawberries and cream topping components
The first step to making this baked oatmeal is the strawberries and cream toppings. First, wash your strawberries and trim the green stems off. Then, cut the strawberries into smaller pieces. Add them to a small saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch, water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to form a slurry. A slurry is a fancy way of explaining how to incorporate corn starch into water so that it doesn’t clump with the berries. Add the slurry to the berries. Cook this mixture for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is cooked down and thickened to your liking; it should resemble a jam consistency, and it shouldn’t be too watery. It should be thick enough to spread on top of the oats. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, remaining teaspoon of sugar, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Making the baked oatmeal base and putting it all together
The base for the baked oatmeal is super simple to make. First, preheat your oven to 375F. Then, grab a large mixing bowl and mash the bananas. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder. Then add the milk and stir the oats in. Pour the mixture into a sprayed casserole dish (I use this 2.5 qt baking dish from Corningware). Then, add the cooked strawberries on top and spread out evenly. Next, dollup the cream cheese mixture across the top, and then using a knife, swirl it to form a pattern. Finally, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
Bake this mixture for 35 minutes or until firm and set up. Let the bake sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it, otherwise it will collapse.
Strawberry Shortcake Baked Oatmeal
- baking dish, casserole dish, pie plate
- mixing bowl
- small sauce pan
Strawberries and Cream Topping
- 16 oz strawberries, fresh, washed, trimmed and cut
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp water
- 2 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp sugar, divided
- sprinkle graham cracker crumbs
- 2 bananas, overripe
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened, or cashew milk or skim
- 1.5 cups old fashioned oats
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Pour the berries into the small sauce pan, and turn the heat on to medium.
- Combine the corn starch with 1 teaspoon of sugar and the water to form a slurry, then add it to the berries.
- Cook the berries for 15-20 minutes, or until they are broken down into jam-like consistency. Set aside.
- Combine the cream cheese with the other teaspoon of sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Spray a small baking dish or casserole with cooking spray. I used an 8.5" x 11" 2.5qt casserole dish for this.
- Add the bananas to the bottom of a mixing bowl, and mash them with a fork.
- Add the applesauce, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Add the milk. Whisk together.
- Add the oats. Fold in.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the baking dish.
- Add the berry topping to the top of the oatmeal, in an even layer.
- Add the cream cheese mixture to the top of the berries in dollups. Use a knife to swirl it around.
- Sprinkle the top of the dish with the graham cracker crumbs.
- Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until set up.
- Allow this bake to sit and cool for about 10 minutes until cutting, this will allow it to firm up.
- 7 points