Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal

Chrissy Tiegen has yet to steer me wrong. I made this last weekend for Hubs and myself. I am a yellow cake fan and an oatmeal fan. Putting them together seems natural to me and I guess Chrissy. I usually make these kinds of dishes for a celebration. It was Sunday, so why not celebrate? It made a tad too much for the two of us. We enjoyed it ALLLLL week. I might make it again, making half the recipe and using an 8 x 8 pan.

I’ve made baked oatmeal before with hopeful glee that I will save myself from breakfast cereals. The other attempts were meh. This recipe includes fruit, oatmeal, eggs, milk and (cough, cough) yellow cake. How can that be wrong?

This is not a “do-the-night-before” recipe. Plan accordingly. It takes a bit of time as you heat the milk and oatmeal, and let it cool to thicken. You have to melt butter and let it cool. I used frozen peaches and let them defrost on the counter, then zapped them for a minute in the microwave.  Some of the slices were a little large and still hard. The combination of peaches and raspberries are perfection. Next time I might sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top.

When cooked, this baked oatmeal has different textures, unlike other baked oatmeal recipes. If you have food texture aversions, you may want to think twice. As it bakes, the mixture separates. The bottom is a cakey, custardy mixture, while the top is oatmealy.  Chrissy says to bake it so the center is still jiggly and serve in bowls. I have enough jiggly things in my life, so I baked it a few more minutes. It was a little firmer, but still two separate textures. While this was cooking, I made bacon in the oven and timed them to be done at the same. I’m clever like that. You have to watch bacon in the oven, it’s a tricky creature. I used this recipe as a guide, but cook at the same temperature as the oatmeal. It’s not messy and the cleanup is so easy.

I brought the leftovers to work, for breakfast. The jello-like texture is great as it doesn’t slop around the container or your lunch box.  It’s a great way to start a work day. Why save everything yummy for the weekend?

Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal

5 cups of whole milk

2 cups quick-cooking oats

2 cups yellow cake mix

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 cups raspberries

1 large peach, frozen works too

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 x 12 inch baking dish with butter. If you don’t have one this size, 9 x 13 works too. You can always pour 6 cups of water into the pan. If that overflows, the pan is too small. I used a ceramic baker that I use for my egg strata and it was perfect. Don’t stress  too much about it.

With a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and oats and microwave on high, stopping once to stir, for 5 to 6 minutes.  Make sure the milk/oats mixture gets very warm. Give it a few minutes more if it’s not at least warm after the first  5 minutes. You want the oats to start cooking in the very warm milk. Let the oatmeal mixture sit on the counter to thicken for 10 minutes. You don’t want it to sit more than 10 minutes. The pressure is on!

Stir the cake mix into the cooked oatmeal until smooth, then mix in the eggs, melted butter, and salt.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, then scatter the berries and peaches on top. You can use more than the recipes says, within reason. Bake until the center is just set and seems almost undercooked, 30 to 35 minutes. (It will jiggle a little, and when you spoon into the cake, it may separate into 2 layers)

I like to let it set for about 10 minutes before serving. It will cook a little more, and prevent the jiggles, and not scorch your mouth as you hurriedly spoon this into your face.