Steel Cut Oats with Spiced Apple Topping

I’m not sure why but this morning just felt like and oatmeal kind of morning. The fall air is crisp and cool, but not so cool that I can’t have the windows open a bit to let some of that divine air in. I just love the smell of fall. And the look of the leaves, unraked (lol) in the backyard. So yea, oatmeal seems right.



Mmmm… This is basically dessert oatmeal, just saying. It’s delicious! I suppose if you want it to be more “plain” or “healthy” you could omit the apple topping but why would you want to? Steel cut oats are first toasted in butter then simmer in a water/milk mixture until the liquid is absorbed, dried cranberries (or raisins) are added and then the whole thing is topped with a syrupy, sweet and spiced sauteed apple mixture. I could eat this for any meal of the day or for dessert!

Before I stirring it up, so you can really see the topping! Nom nom nom

Before I stirring it up, so you can really see the topping! Nom nom nom

This apple topping would be heaven over a bowl of vanilla ice cream I’m thinking too…

If you do choose to serve these oats without the topping, I would recommend adding some sugar to them or topping them with something else a little bit sweet since there is no added sugar in the actual oats. Also, I realize that this is a longer wait than for those microwave packets you can be eating within a couple of minutes. You will need a good 45-60 minutes to get these oats ready, although most of that time is just waiting for them to cook. But it is worth it! The texture of them is far more satisfying than those gummy quick oats.


Steel Cut Oats with Spiced Apple Topping

(Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: Family Cookbook)

Ingredients for the oats:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ¼ tsp. fine kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (or raisins), optional

Ingredients for the apple topping:

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ lbs. apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt

Directions for the oats:

  • Bring the water and milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and toast the oats in the butter until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 2-4 minutes



  • Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes



  • Stir in the salt and continue to simmer, stirring frequently to prevent any scorching on the bottom, for about another 10 minutes, or until the oatmeal is thick and creamy



  • Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries or raisins, if using, and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Serve with apple topping over the top (or stir in brown sugar or maple syrup if not using the topping)

Directions for the apple topping:

  • Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add in the apples, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine



  • Cook until the apples have softened and browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, and turning down the heat if necessary to prevent a bubble-over



  • Serve over warm oatmeal (or over ice cream! Yum!)

8 responses to “Steel Cut Oats with Spiced Apple Topping

  1. Wow! this looks wonderful. I have some steel cut oats in the pantry and haven’t used them for a few months, but you are so right, this is the season. I also have apples — like who doesn’t right now, so they will be the star of the meal this time. After that I’ll start on the frozen fruits and berries. It’s just too cold for breakfast smoothies now. (getting a chill just thinkin abut that).

    • I will want to make a berry topping next summer i think! But for now, this is hitting the spot! Maybe a spiced cranberry topping around the holidays? Hmm..

  2. I love (LOVE! That needs capitals) oatmeal. I eat it almost every day in winter, usually with cinnamon, sultanas and almond milk. Love the idea of this spiced apple topping. Looks delicious! I’d even eat the topping just by itself… or with ice cream. I love the way you think 😉 x

  3. I just tried the oats with spiced apples and they were great!
    Will definitely try this again.
    I got it up on my blog if you want to take a look

  4. What a wonderful idea. I never would have thought of that. You always have that extra touch to make things look so good! (Be in touch soon, super busy). We always look forward to your next recipe.

    • I’m glad you like my recipes! I was out of town for most of the week and I’m back now so I can hopefully get another one or two up soon!

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