Best Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Maple Cinnamon Apples
Cozy brown sugar oatmeal
Given how often we eat oats for breakfast, this cozy, homemade brown sugar oatmeal recipe was certainly due for an update.
It’s delicious and nearly foolproof, and while I mix up the toppings throughout the year, depending on the fruits and berries in season, I particularly love this brown sugar oatmeal in the Fall, when apples and pears are in season.
Thick and creamy, brown sugar sweetened, vanilla-scented oats topped with luscious, caramelized maple-cinnamon apples makes for an indulgent and tasty way to wake up on a chilly morning.
When I first published this recipe a few years ago, we were deep into a North Carolina winter, with temps regularly in the 20s. We’d just adopted our puppy, Mack, and taking him outside for any amount of time was an unimaginably cold experience for this Southern California native.
I was craving hearty, comforting breakfasts like nobody’s business, and this oatmeal was my perfect remedy.
Even though we have (mostly) milder weather here in Washington, as soon as the leaves even hint at beginning to turn, I still love starting the day out with warm-you-up-from-the-inside goodness.
And this creamy, homemade brown sugar oatmeal still hits the spot, especially with a big scoop of sweet cinnamon apples on top.
Originally published on January 23rd, 2013. I’m (slowly) going back through my recipe archives, updating some of my favorites with new photos and information.Print
Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Maple Cinnamon Apples
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 2 servings, (can easily be halved or doubled) 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
A hearty, healthy, and comforting breakfast recipe perfect for chilly days: Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Maple Cinnamon Apples.
for the brown sugar oatmeal
- 1 cup whole milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats ¹
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
for the maple cinnamon apples
- 1 large apple, cored and chopped
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
for the brown sugar oatmeal
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the milk, water, and salt just to a boil.
- Add the oats, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal is thick and creamy.
- Divide between bowls, top with the maple cinnamon apples, and serve warm. Enjoy!!
for the maple cinnamon apples
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute or two, until the sugar has melted into the butter.
- Add the chopped apple to the skillet, and stir to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden and tender, 4-5 minutes. Serve over the oatmeal along with the juices. May be made in advance and kept refrigerated for 3-4 days. Reheat before serving.
¹ Be sure to check if your oats are certified gluten-free, if that’s a concern.
Other favorite toppings: maple roasted pears, 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries, and/or 1/4 cup sliced almonds or pecans.
Keywords: brown sugar oatmeal, maple cinnamon apples, homemade oatmeal, easy,
Hi, Laura! I really enjoyed this yummy dish, but I did have a quick question.The brown sugar oatmeal part of the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar, but then in the instructions it doesn’t mention when to add it, and it doesn’t even mention brown sugar until the apple portion of the dish (1 Tbsp (packed) light brown sugar). It’s not that big of a deal, but just wanted to ask the author of the recipe if I should add it into the oats while it’s cooking, or afterwards as a topper? Thanks so much!
Hi, Aliana! It should be added with the vanilla and cinnamon. Just fixed it 🙂
This recipe looks fantastic! I am definitely cooking this for my kid’s breakfast. I am a fan of steel cut oatmeal, so i will use that instead of the rolled oats. Thank you!!
Thanks, Dayana! Hope the kiddos love it!
Sorry for the duplicate posts. I was having trouble getting it to post and must have hit it twice.
No, worries! 🙂
Hi Laura! This looks delish and makes me look forward to fall (a little bit). Your oats look smooth and creamy – the texture I like – but I have a hard time getting that with rolled oats. What brand do you use and do you have any other tips? Maybe using whole milk is the key!
Hi Madra! You must be somewhere where it still feels like Summer 🙂 I’m not a stickler to a particular brand, but I often buy Bob’s Red Mill organic oats. I think that using whole milk definitely makes a difference – and I use it in just about all my baking. A creamy non-dairy milk (like coconut or cashew) would also be great here. You can also blitz the rolled oats in a food processor for a few pulses before you add them – this will give you a smoother, less textured oatmeal if that’s what you’re looking for. Or, you can just buy instant oats, but cut down the cooking time by probably half? Hope that helps! Thanks, Madra!
Hi Laura! This looks delish and makes me look forward to fall (a little bit). Your oats look nice and creamy – the texture I like – but I have hard time getting that with rolled oats. What brand dod you use and do you have any other tips? Maybe using whole milk is the key!
I am in LOVE with those apples! Such a yummy looking breakfast!
Thank you so much, Katrina!!
This sounds yummy for a warm, wintery lunch, too. Can’t wait to try it!
Thank you, Louise! 🙂
What a fantastic oatmeal! I have a bunch of dried and fresh cranberries left over and needed some immune boosting yummy-ness and found it here. The vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar had the perfect sweetness and the nut crunch made it very satisfying. I’ve made 2 big batches already this week! Thanks for a simple and delicious idea!
Thanks, Loren! I’m so happy you loved the recipe! I’m such a fan of cozy oatmeal breakfasts this time of year 🙂
This has such great potential. Unfortunately, the salt completely overwhelms the flavor. Both my husband and I threw ours out. 😟
I’m so sorry to hear you found the salt overwhelming. Maybe next time try with just a 1/4 or 1/2 tsp?
I thought I was the only one! And I usually like salty things but yeah the salt is definitely a lot. Something told me “1 whole teaspoon of salt????” But I followed the recipe to a tea so yeah. I’d definitely minimize the amount.
This was delicious! It was my first oatmeal recipe, and I am soo making it for breakfast whenever I can. I added honey instead of sugar though and it gave it a very nice touch. Also, I used fresh pineapple and melon with it. Yummy!
Thank you Oya! I often replace sugar with honey to be a bit more natural… I’ve never tried adding tropical fruit but that sounds yummy!
Some of the best oatmeal I have ever made! I have a cold and made this for lunch since I am out of canned soup! I substituted dried cherries and pecans for the almonds and cranberries and loved the oatmeal!
I’m so glad you liked it! I hope you feel better… 🙂