The Easiest Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

These Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups are baby- and toddler-approved, but great for the whole family! Make them in advance and stick them in the freezer to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast ready to go on busy mornings.

A cooling rack of freshly baked Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

I don’t know about you, but our toddler always wakes up hungry and ready to eat. It seems like we can barely get a clean diaper on her before she’s begging “Food! Food!” Breakfast also so happens to be her favorite meal of the day, and she eats far more in the morning than she does for lunch and dinner, so we always try to have healthy, quick options on hand for her.

We’ve been big fans of baked oatmeal in our household for a while now. I love that it’s jam-packed with nutrients (especially with the right mix-ins) and that it’s handheld, resulting in much less of a mess than classic or even overnight oats make. While traditional baked oatmeals (in baking pans or dishes) are great, turning your baked oatmeal into single-serving cups ups the convenience factor and makes it really easy to only defrost what you need.

Here’s how this easy and tasty recipe is done!

What You Need

The good news is – not much! Most of the ingredients you’ll be using you’ll already have on hand, especially if you’re making this in the fall.

Rolled oats

I love getting the big bags from Trader Joe’s (these ones also happen to be gluten-free if you need that.)

Pumpkin purée

Buy the can OR make your own with this super simple homemade pumpkin purée recipe!

An apple
Milk

Any kind!

An egg
Maple syrup

And pantry staples like…

Baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice

As far as equipment, you’ll just need a cupcake pan (we love these silicone ones *affiliate link*), a couple of bowls, a couple of measuring cups, and a whisk!

An overhead shot of Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups cooling on a rack.

How to Make Baked Oatmeal Cups

Once you get the basic process of these Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups down, you’ll be able to create tons of different variations.

Simply whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, combine the two, and bake. Easy as that!

Other ideas for flavor combinations might be:

Banana and chocolate chip
Sweet potato and orange
Zucchini and raisin
Peanut butter and apple
Cinnamon and berry
Vanilla and peach

The possibilities are endless.

A straight-on look at a freshly baked batch of Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

How to Store Baked Oatmeal Cups

Once the cups are baked and cooled, place them in a gallon-size Ziploc and freeze for up to three months.

When you’re ready to serve, simply microwave however many you need for 30 seconds to a minute (maybe more if you’re defrosting a bunch at once.)

Just like my Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins or my Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies, these cups are a great on-the-go option for busy mornings, or even a great travel snack when you’re on the road. 

Read on for the recipe and, if you want to learn more of my tips and tricks for feeding toddlers, be sure you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter!

A stack of Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups leaning against a pitcher of milk.

Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

These Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups are baby- and toddler-approved, but great for the whole family! Make them in advance and stick them in the freezer to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast ready to go on busy mornings.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: after-school, apple, baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, breakfast, freezer-friendly, meal prep, oatmeal, pumpkin, toddler
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 114 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (Use canned or follow the link in the Recipe Notes to make your own)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup diced apple
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, egg and vanilla.

  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk in diced apple.

  5. Using your 1/4 cup measure, scoop mixture into prepared cupcake pan.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until oatmeal is set.

  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before transferring to Ziploc for freezer storage.

Recipe Notes

Here's the recipe for homemade pumpkin purée!

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Purée

Forget the canned stuff, learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin purée from scratch. It takes just one simple ingredient and less than an hour to make!Homemade pumpkin puree in a glass dish surrounded by a black spoon, black and white checked napkin and a small bowl of ground cinnamon.

The recent pumpkin spice-everything craze has made it hard to ignore the rows and rows of canned pumpkin that pop up on grocery store shelves once summer starts coming to a close. I’ll be the first to admit that I love pumpkin so much I’ve been known to stock up on it right after the holidays to get me through the better part of a year.

But what if you could easily make your own and store it in the freezer to have ready to go at a moment’s notice? It’s easier than you think, and today I’m going to tell you all about it!

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Since I’ve become a mom, having some pumpkin purée on hand has become even more important as I love using it as a way of sneaking some extra nutrients into my little one’s diet. It’s super easy to mix into baked goods like pancakes, donuts, muffins and breads to up the healthiness factor. Not only does pumpkin have loads of Vitamin A, it’s also rich in antioxidants and can boost immunity – and it’s tasty to boot!

Pumpkin’s sweeter flavor is often appreciated by tiny eaters so if you have kids, take advantage of it and add some pumpkin to their diet. I’ll give you some great recipe ideas below.

An overhead shot of a glass bowl of pumpkin puree surrounded by a black and white checked napkin, a spoon, cinnamon sticks and a bowl of ground cinnamon.

What You Need to Make Pumpkin Purée

Perhaps the most exciting thing about making your own pumpkin purée (besides having it on hand to use whenever you want) is that you need next to nothing to make it. We’re talking one ingredient and a couple of common kitchen appliances/utensils. That’s my kind of recipe!

Here’s what you’re going to want to gather up before you start cooking:

A baking pumpkin
A knife and cutting board
A jelly roll pan
Aluminum foil
A food processor

That’s it! Well, you’re also going to need an oven, but I’m hoping you’ve already got one of those on hand 😉

How to Make It

The first step in making the perfect homemade pumpkin purée is to cook your pumpkin. To make the process go a bit faster, you’ll go ahead and cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and wrap each half in aluminum foil to really seal in some steam from the oven.

After just 30 minutes baking away (and a little bit of cooling time) your cooked pumpkin will be scooped into the food processor – sans skin – and puréed until smooth. I mean, could it be any simpler?? No oil, no butter, no liquid, no nothing. Just good ol’ pumpkin to make all your fall baking dreams come true.

An overhead shot of homemade pumpkin puree in a food processor.

How to Use Homemade Pumpkin Purée

Oh let me count the ways! There are so many great uses for homemade pumpkin purée. Here are just a few ideas:

In some super-simple muffins

In a twist on Shepherd’s Pie

In an adults-only latté

In a healthy smoothie

Or a cozy coffee cake

To add some extra sweetness to marinara sauce

Or in ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls.

Even in a spicy curry!

The possibilities are endless.

Get the easy recipe for homemade pumpkin purée below. For more pumpkin inspiration, be sure to check out my Fall Foodie Ideas board on Pinterest (so many delicious recipes I’m dying to try) or sign up for my weekly newsletter where I’ll be sending out all the fun fall content in the coming weeks!

Homemade Pumpkin Purée
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Forget the canned stuff, learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin purée from scratch. It takes just one simple ingredient and less than an hour to make!

Course: Condiment, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baking, condiment, fall, homemade, pumpkin
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 12 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 baking pumpkin May also be called a Sugar Pie pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and scoop out all the seeds.

  3. Tear two pieces of aluminum foil that are each large enough to wrap around one half of the pumpkin. Wrap each pumpkin half, sealing the aluminum foil as much as possible.

  4. Place wrapped pumpkin halves on the jelly roll pan.

  5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until you can easily squeeze the pumpkin halves with tongs. You want the pumpkin to be soft enough that you can scoop it out of the skin.

  6. Let pumpkin halves cool for at least 10 minutes, or until they are cool enough to touch.

  7. Scoop the inside of the pumpkin into the food processor, discard the skin and foil.

  8. Turn the food processor on and process until smooth.

Recipe Notes

Purée can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.

Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs

A tasty twist on the classic comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie gets a fall makeover with the addition of pumpkin and the season’s best fresh herbs.

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

If there’s one thing that never fails to get me in the mood for fall and the impending holiday season, it’s our annual #virtualpumpkinparty! This is my third consecutive year participating in the virtual get-together and, let me tell you, it’s something worth getting excited about. Our count has now grown to over 60 bloggers and each one of us has a tasty pumpkin recipe (both sweet AND savory) that we’re sharing with you today. You can find the entire list of pumpkin recipes here, but I’ve got to tell you all about what is probably my newest fall comfort food obsession – Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs!

Do you ever have a meal that you just love to eat but have never taken on the task of making yourself? That’s what Shepherd’s Pie was to me – well, up until a couple of weeks ago. For someone who grew up eating a lot of meat and potatoes, I sure don’t make ‘em a lot these days. But whenever someone would make me this one dish creation that happens to have meat, potatoes and veggies in one, I would be surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was about time I tried making it myself, but of course not without my own little twist!

And let me tell you, this twist just makes my version of Shepherd’s Pie over-the-top delicious. Not only did I add mashed fresh pumpkin to the potato topping, but I also cubed up some of that same fresh pumpkin and added it to the ground beef and pea filling. Oh, and we can’t forget the fresh herbs – there’s nothing like some fresh sage and thyme to make a dish REALLY feel like fall!

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

Now I know you’re already dying to whip up this Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie for dinner, but let me make the decision even easier for you. This is a TWO-pot meal, folks. You’ll use one large pot to boil the potatoes and pumpkin for your topping, and a cast iron skillet to assemble all the pieces together and broil under the oven for a few minutes. So easy!

Oh, and hey! Where my mamas at? Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is also a GREAT dish for baby-led weaning and for kids in general! For the little babes, I’d say just be careful with the peas. Either omit them completely or you can pick them out for your littlest ones if you just can’t give them up 😉

Okay friends, I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because, I mean, I have about 60 other pumpkin recipes to try my hand at, but I’ll tell ya – you’ll be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t give this Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie a shot. And be sure YOU also check out all of the other fun recipes for our 2018 #virtualpumpkinparty!

This Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs puts a fall twist on the classic comfort food. It's an easy weeknight meal and kid-friendly!

Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie with Fresh Herbs
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A tasty twist on the classic comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie gets a fall makeover with the addition of pumpkin and the season’s best fresh herbs. 

Course: Main Course
Keyword: beef, comfort food, dinner, entree, kid-friendly, main dish, potatoes, pumpkin, weeknight
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 620 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 whole sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes plus ¼ of a second sugar pie pumpkin peeled, seeded and cut into a small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh sage and thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add large pumpkin chunks and potatoes. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until pieces can be pierced easily with a fork. Strain out water and let cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and small cubed pumpkin and saute until onions are translucent and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Add beef, brown slightly, and then toss in fresh herbs. 

  3. Add flour, beef stock and frozen peas and stir to combine. Let cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer bright pink.

  4. While beef mixture is cooking, mash your pumpkin and potatoes. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and heavy cream to the pot where the pumpkin and potatoes have been cooling. Using a hand mixer or immersion blender, cream everything together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Once beef mixture is cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Turn off the burner your cast iron skillet has been cooking over and preheat your oven’s broiler (on high.)

  6. Spread the mashed pumpkin and potato mixture evenly over the beef in the cast iron skillet. Top with grated Parmesan and place under the broiler until the top has a lovely golden hue, which can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Just keep a close eye on it as it is under the broiler as things can take a turn towards burnt very easily!

  7. Serve pie by scooping the mixture out into bowls while it’s still warm. 

Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins + Healthy Baby Snack Ideas

Having healthy snacks on hand is a must when you have a little one.  These Pumpkin Carrot Muffins are a great freezer-friendly option to have on hand at a moment’s notice, plus I’m sharing some of my other favorite healthy baby foods for snacking!

A tall stack of Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins leaning against a carafe of milk.

If you’re always on the lookout for simple, healthy snacks for your little ones, these Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins are for you! In fact, they’re not just for your little ones, they’re also great for YOU. Healthy baby food that mamas and papas can also enjoy? Sign me up! These are sure to please even the pickiest eaters and, since they’re only sweetened with applesauce and made with whole grains, you don’t have to worry when your kids keep on going back for more.

As I mentioned in this Healthy Carrot Cake Pancake Recipe post, we opted to do baby-led weaning with our little one and she has shown no sensitivities to eggs, other dairy, gluten, etc. If your little one HAS shown sensitivities to any of these, obviously use your best judgment. Again, mother always knows best!

Freshly baked Pumpkin Carrot Muffins in a muffin tin.

These Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins are exactly what they say: super easy! I mean, if you know how to stir a spoon and you know how to operate an oven, you’re in good shape here. Just the kind of healthy snack we need when we have our hands full with young babes, am I right?

These muffins also happen to freeze well, so if you have a minute to bake some up this weekend, you’ll have the perfect healthy snack for your whole family for the next week (if you’re lucky.)

A Pumpkin Carrot Muffin broken in half, served next to a warm drink.

While we’re on the topic of healthy baby food, I thought it might be helpful if I share some more of my favorite make-ahead snacks that family members of all ages will enjoy.

Multigrain crackers with peanut butter

Quick tip: Make your own! Sometimes those pre-made ones you can buy at the store are full of random ingredients. Also, when buying peanut butter, always be sure to check the ingredients list and make sure that peanuts are the only ingredient. (This goes for all nut butters.)

String Cheese with sliced grapes

This is a great mix of protein and healthy carbs, and almost always a hit with the little ones.

veggie- and fruit-packed popsicles

I mean, what baby or kid turns down a popsicle?? Check out some fun baby-friendly popsicle recipes in my e-cookbook, 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers.

Now, your turn to tell me: What are your favorite healthy baby foods?

And read on for my Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffin recipe!

Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins (Baby- and Kid-Friendly!)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

An easy-to-make muffin loaded with pumpkin puree and shredded carrots. Naturally sweetened with applesauce, these muffins are perfect for kids, babies and adults. A great on-the-go snack!

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: after-school, baby-friendly, breakfast, carrot, freezer-friendly, kid-friendly, muffin, naturally sweetened, pumpkin, snack
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 100 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup milk of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup spiralized or grated carrot
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. 

  3. Add eggs, pumpkin, applesauce, milk and orange zest and stir until combined. Stir in carrot.

  4. Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tins and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

  5. Cool in muffin tins for 5-10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte (No Sugar Added!)

The ultimate Thanksgiving treat!

A couple of Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the perfect treat for the holidays!

Because every pumpkin spice latte deserves a little bourbon in it for a long holiday weekend. Am I right? Seriously, though, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Yes, me, the queen of spiking my coffee with Bailey’s and enjoying hot toddies like my OG favorite, Boilo. It only makes complete sense that we should dress up the annual favorite espresso drink with a little sumpin’ sumpin’, and bourbon sure fits the bill!

Annnnndddd, we’re making this Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte CaliGirl Cooking-friendly by using only REAL pumpkin and spices…none of this super-sweet syrupy stuff you get at your neighborhood chain coffee shop (not gonna name names here.)

A Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte will spice up any holiday get-together!

That’s right, this five-ingredient recipe contains no added sugar, so it can basically be called a health food (save for the bourbon of course, which I suppose you could leave out if you really want to be SUPER healthy, but where’s the fun in that?) So here are those five ingredients we’re looking at:

Espresso
Pumpkin purée
Bourbon
Milk of your choice
Pumpkin pie spice
And, if you’re feeling fancy, a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick to garnish

Pretty easy, right?

This Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte has been largely responsible for keeping me out of the coffee shops that become so addicting with their “red cups” and special holiday drinks this time of year (well, that and the fact that I have a three week-old on my hands :-P) It’s creamy and delicious, with a wonderful pumpkin spice flavor that won’t leave you with a sugar hangover. Let’s leave that to all the pie and other fancy desserts we’ll be indulging in this weekend.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, feel free to just use a little bit of regular coffee as the caffeine source for said Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte. It won’t be quite as potent, but who needs tons of caffeine on a lazy holiday weekend, anyway?

This Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte has no added sugar and is made with REAL pumpkin!

Speaking of the holiday weekend, what are your plans? We are headed up to NorCal tonight to spend the long weekend with our families, and it will be Raia’s first long car trip. Any tips or tricks on how to make it through a four-hour drive with an almost one-month old? So far our plan is to just take our time and have no expectations about when we’ll get there. Hopefully that relaxed attitude about it all will make the trip a breeze!

We’ll be spending Thanksgiving day with my husband’s family, then heading over to Santa Cruz to see my family on Friday, with a stop to cut down a Christmas tree in between. The hubs and I have been cutting down our own tree every year since we started dating, so we’re very excited to continue the tradition with the newest addition to our family.

Other than that, we plan on doing lots of relaxing, eating and I’m sure watching allll the football, which means we’ll have plenty of time to whip up some tasty Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Lattes while we’re at it. Who else is with me?

A Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte is the perfect treat for fall festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

*Programming Note: I’ll be taking a break from posting on Friday so we can really enjoy the weekend with our family and friends. I’ll be back in action on Monday and can’t wait to tell you all about our trip! Xo

Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte (No Sugar Added!)
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This spiked version of the classic fall espresso drink contains real pumpkin and no added sugar - the perfect balanced treat for the holidays!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 drinks
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 espresso shots (or more if you want the extra caffeine!)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 8 ounces milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon or cinnamon stick, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.

  2. Divide mixture into two mugs and microwave until hot, 1 ½ - 2 minutes.

  3. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick and enjoy immediately!

Bourbon-Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte (No Sugar Added!) | CaliGirlCooking.com