{Slow Cooker} Overnight Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

This would be slow cooker recipe number two for this week- I’m killin’ it. I’ve been seeing and pinning about a million and one versions of oatmeal.  No-cook, baked, refrigerator, overnight.. pumpkin pie, banana bread,  peaches and cream, carrot cake,  honey nut.. you name it, I’ve got it pinned somewhere on my breakfast board.  To me a warm bowl of anything in the morning makes for a great start to the day.

 Lately peanut butter and banana toast is all I can think about when I wake up in the morning, so that has been a routine breakfast for me for the past month or so.  I’ll switch it up and have fruit or Greek yogurt to go with, but the PB toast is always a constant.

Until this morning.

 Before heading to bed, I threw my ingredients for this overnight oatmeal into the slow cooker and let it cook away.  One of the pure joys of being 25 weeks pregnant, is that I am up and down all night long- bathroom breaks, and in between, stops to the kitchen for something to cure the insane dry-mouth I have around 2:30am, and again about 4am.   

 It is a vicious cycle that I can do nothing about: drinking and peeing- over and over again.  Between my potty breaks and fridge runs, I got pleasant whiffs of cinnamon and brown sugar..

For whatever reason I had been putting off the making of this (or any) oatmeal recipe until after I was at home..and had a little more time to mess with it. After seeing how easy it was, and how quickly my breakfast came together this morning I ask myself, ‘why?’  I definitely spend more time toasting, spreading, and slicing to whip up my peanut butter and banana toast than I did this morning to pull off the lid of my slow cooker and dish myself a generous bowl of delicious smells.

After I portioned out oats for myself, I continued to lick the spoon..double dipping and totally forgetting that I had an entire bowl waiting for me and getting chilled while I halfway scalded my mouth on the steaming breakfast in the crock pot.

With all these yummy smells of fall weather, I half way expected to wake up to it being 47 degrees outside.  But who is lucky enough?   I live in Texas- this morning it wasn’t as cool as I’d hoped, slightly humid, and looked of rain.

I enjoyed my bowl of oats sitting in front of the kitchen window, where it looked cool and crisp on the outside- and that was good enough for me.

{Slow Cooker} Overnight Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Yield: 4 Servings

Serving Size: 1 cup prepared oatmeal, 1 tablespoon dried fruit,

Adapted from Our Best Bites


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole grain oats
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
  • 2 tablespoons milled/ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Additional Toppings
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)


Spray a 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine chopped apples, milk, water, oats, sugar, butter, and flax- stirring to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours (overnight). Stir in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt into the oatmeal just before serving.

If desired, serve with additional toppings (1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, each)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 321; Fat: 13 g; Carbohydrate: 46 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 7 g



  1. Jennifer Campbell says:

    I am going to make this one for sure! Looks super yummy! :)

    • I will be trying this recipe today, without milk. Let me know if you think this will affect the taste. I don’t really want the bloat from the milk. Any suggestions you may have for a replacement will be appreciated.

      • Kimberly Walters says:

        Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. I sub for Milk ALL the time – I like the taste of regular milk but it hurts my tummy.

  2. Yum–looks perfect for fall!

  3. Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal is a almost a complete diet for the senior people, for the age of 50 and above. if they are unable to eat regular food. best wishes for you and your family.
    thanks guys to facilitate me to take good care of my granny.

  4. I made this last night, it was in on low for just over 7 hours and it was burnt around the edges. The part that wasn’t burnt was delicious but I sadly had to throw some out. It definitely didn’t yeild 4 1 cup servings either (even if I didn’t have to throw some out), maybe 2. It was not enough breakfast for my family of two adults and two young children (2 years and 9 months). Maybe if I doubled it it wouldn’t burn too… Of and the sugar could probably be reduced too. I think I’ll try it again with some adjustments and hope for the best!

    • Same thing happened to mine, even though I sprayed it with non-stick spray. I think the crock-pot was too large. Took me days (plus oven cleaner) to get the burned off of the crock-pot.

  5. I am so sad to say that this recipe didn’t quite work for my slow cooker. I followed it precisely (only sub was lowfat milk instead of skim, and reduced the brown sugar a tad). It cooked 8 hours on low, and was charred at the bottom, with a soupy, liquidy center. I saved it by adding a half cup of quick cooking oats to the center liquid and cooking another 5 minutes. The end result was tasty, but more work than just making oatmeal in the morning on the stove. I am determined to figure out the right method for my slow cooker. I do love your site, and will be back! -Kitty

    • Most oatmal comes with cooking directions, and the ratios of liquid to oats (just like with liquid to rice) are VERY important. mine turned out the same way, so I am going to re check the ratios, and possibly get a crock pot liner and then if all else fails just make it on the stove.

  6. Wow all your food looks so good. Your food pictures are amazing. Hmm. What to cook first? Maybe you should do a top 10 dinner list? Did you ever have your twins? I saw your blog linked to this one…

  7. I was excited to try this recipe. I thought it woul be perfect for the frigid weather we’ve been having. Unfortunately, and even though I followed the recipe to the T, it turned out to only be a gloppy mess. What a disappointment!

  8. I followed the directions for this to the t, and mine also came out horribly. :( I was looking forward to this so much! Mine burnt really badly around the edges. There was no taste at all. I’m thinking it was overcooked and the taste got sucked out?

    Too bad because I love the concept of crockpot oatmeal, too! How did you get it turn out edible?!?

  9. I put this in a glass loaf pan, then put the pan in the crockpot. Then put water on the outside of the loaf pan, to about the level of the oat mixture. Then turn the crockpot on low and cook overnight. No burning and the oatmeal is delicious!

  10. So I prepared this last night and it was ready for me to eat by the time I was finished with my morning run. I followed the recipe exactly as stated and, like some have said, it didn’t look as nice as the pictures in this post. Despite spraying the slow cooker with the non-stick spray, a good portion still stuck to the sides, and it was annoying to clean the stoneware. Also, it initially looked like a big, gloppy mess. BUT, that was taken care of once I took a wooden spoon and began to mix the ingredients for a short while. That helped with the oats absorbing the remaining liquid, thus giving it the smooth consistency one looks for in oats.

    I took the oats out and divided it among four containers. For this morning, I took one serving, topped it with sliced banana, and it was heavenly! It was warm, tasted really good, and left me feeling energized after my run. Next time, I might reduce the brown sugar to two tablespoons, as opposed to three. Thanks for the recipe! This will surely be a staple breakfast for me from now on.

  11. Going to have to give this a go tonight. Far too lazy to make breakfast in the morning, this seems perfect

  12. This was absolutely delicious! I used almond milk instead of skim, coach’s oats from Costco (which are a steel cut variety), omitted the butter, added an extra tablespoon of cinnamon and only used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar…my new favorite make ahead breakfast!

    Thanks for this great recipe:)

  13. OMG! This was HORRIBLE! Looking at the ingredients, I thought it had to be good. It was seriously bad. :(

  14. Was so excited to do this I ran to the store late last night to make it. Was disappointed when it seemed
    Everything kinda cooked down. I too ended with a gloppy mess. Almost soupy. Trying to figure out
    What I might have done wrong but added everything the way it was noted. The liquids… State 1 and a half
    Cups of water and milk, both. Should I have added more than the one cup of oats? Something is
    Definitely wrong. Anyone have any ideas? Seems like everything cooked down. Ideas or thought
    Are welcome. I was pretty excited for this and am bummed it didn’t work out. Thanks

  15. Tried this recipe and followed all directions and not only did it burn, but looked like throw up. Will not be trying this again, and my after work dinner is ruined. :(

  16. I just finished making this, and it looks like I never put oats in at all! It is all liquid and apples, and it looks like the oats just disintegrated. I followed the directions to a T (I triple checked them!), and I doubled the batch. Next time, I will be using closer to a 1:2 ratio for oats to liquid rather than a 1:3. I think that it could be made with water OR milk, not both, since there is SO much liquid. I am making oatmeal in a pan and plan to use this as a sauce over the top.

  17. Love the concept. However, I would prefer not to use butter. Anyone ever try it with
    applesauce instead???

  18. Hey there! I tried this recipe last night and it worked like a charm when I woke up :)

    First off, I halfed the recipe because I only had one apple on me when I found this last night, but it still made enough for my husband and I to have more than one serving so perfect :) Upon checking the pot before I went to bed about a hour after I made it (because I read the reviews about burning) and I noticed it was already getting close to browning around the edges, so I did what Michelle said above

    [Michelle says:
    February 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm
    I put this in a glass loaf pan, then put the pan in the crockpot. Then put water on the outside of the loaf pan, to about the level of the oat mixture. Then turn the crockpot on low and cook overnight.]

    And she’s right, no burning and the oatmeal is delicious!!

    Thanks for this recipe! I absolutely love the crock pot concept of oatmeal for breakfast! We ate in no time; no fuss, no rush, and simply put water in the loaf pan before heading out so it would be easy to clean when we returned home. Thanks again!

  19. I tried this last night… it didnt turn out well at all. I think one of two things went wrong. I didn’t have non stick spray so I didn’t use it. Either that was the problem, or my crockpot’s low setting got too hot. It was just sorta goopy this morning and the apples were overcooked with stuff cooked onto the sides of the insert. What do I do? This seemed so easy!

  20. Tried this recipe without reading the reviews first and that was a mistake. Like many others, followed recipe to T, woke up 8 hours later to oatmeal slop burned onto my crockpot, and a strange colored “oatmeal.” It resembles vomit, and looks nothing like the photos. Definitely a disappointment and didn’t even really make the house smell like anything except some sour cooked apples. Bleh!

  21. I made this last night and woke up to yummy goodness! I left out the sugar, and because I made it with whole milk I skipped the butter too. The key to this recipe is using WHOLE GRAIN oats. Not instant or quick cooking. I used 1/2 Bob’s Red mill 9 grain hot cereal and half old fashioned oatmeal. Fantastic!

  22. Hey Folks–

    I tried this recipe last night and heres my thoughts:

    The liquid to soild ratio is definitely way off: I used about 1.5X the oats recommended and it helped me avoid the “soupy” or “goopy” mess that a lot of you experienced, but I had my own problems–

    In my opinion, this is just way too long of a cooking time for oats. Preparing oats on the stove top takes about 5 minutes to get it to the correct consistency- and when addign flaxseed to oatmeal, most people recommend simply using it as a topping for two reasons: A) cooked flaxseed will give the oats a gummy or doughy consistency, which is what i experienced. B) cooking the flaxseed removes a lot of its nutritional quality.

    I would recommend simply cooking the rolled oats as it recommends on the packaging, then using all the other ingredients as topping, to taste. If you like the idea of cooked apples, simply bake or saute them beforehand.

    Not a great recipe for the crockpot, lets all be honest!


  23. I doubled the recipe and cooked it for 10 hours on low. After 10 hours, I stirred it very well and left the lid off for about a hour. This helped it coagulate and firm up. I added dried cranberries and walnuts to my bowl and found it delicious and filling. We will definitely make this recipe again.

  24. Steel cut oats do NOT cook in 5 minutes. I think the issue is that people are using quick cooking oats. Steel cut or whole grain oats take 15-20 minutes to cook on a stove top and they are a tougher oat. If you used quick oats this would be a gloppy mess

    • I agree, I am reading through the reviews and thinking “I bet they aren’t using steel cut oatmeal.” I am going to try this tonight, and put it in a glass pan so it doesn’t burn. I have been looking for an easier way to make steel cut oat meal that didn’t involve standing over the stove for 25 min.

  25. Omg I just put everything in my crock pot and now reading all of these reviews I’m terrified how it’s gonna turn out. I’ll check on it at 5 hours I guess.

  26. I was so excited to make this recipe. I did exactly as it stated, woke up this morning, and EPIC fail. There is no way the pictures above are truly what was created if this recipe was followed. Very disappointed and hungry!

  27. I think all those problems people reported started when the author called for “whole grain oats” in the recipes. Quick oatmeal, regular oatmeal and steel-cut oats are all “whole grain oats”. I figured she probably meant steel-cut and in reading the comments, I am even more convinced. Hopefully she’ll use more precise instructions in her recipes after reading how many problems so many had.

  28. I made this last night, used whole grain oats n low fat milk, and followed exactly the ingredients and measurement. It turn out perfect and delicious! I dislikes oats and fruits and yet i managed to finish a bowl of this. Thanks!

  29. Just put it on low for the morning! Looking forward to trying this tasty recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out but I’m sure it will be delicious. Im using whole jumbo oats with extra cinnamon and vanilla extract instead of two of the tablespoons of sugar.

  30. Turned out perfectly! Was very yummy and the recipe definitely works when using jumbo whole grain oats and would no doubt work even better with oat groats. I had two portions today one for the breakfast and one for dinner lol with a banana on top!

  31. I tried this last night, woke up to my place smelling AMAZING! Tried the oatmeal and it was awesome. Loved waking up to breakfast already done :) Forgot to use the non stick spray on my crockpot and it didn’t even stick that bad :) I got up around 4 am and put the crockpot on warm and it was perfect when i got up :)

  32. I just cooked this last night for 8 hours. I am eating the yummiest of breakfasts right now. Didn’t burn. Didn’t go mushy. Looks pretty much the same as it does in the pictures here. I only changed one thing. didn’t use cooking spray as i hate it, so i just used butter to lightly grease the inside of my Crock pot.
    I use an old style Monier Crock-Pot.

  33. Can’t wait to try this! Will definately be using steele cut oats not instant, less sugar, I may add extra oats too. I may line the crockpot with fgoil too to prevent having to scrub if it burns.I think many people get different results depending on the humidity in the house so I will try on a drier day. Having done some baking in the crock pot I’ve found that like baking or cooking with stove/oven humidity effects everything.

  34. Emily Ruegg says:

    I would like to know why the blogger did not respond to the negative comments. I followed the directions and ended up with inedible soup. I find it hard to believe that the blogger ever made this; I wish she would have tested the recipe before posting it.

  35. I made this today… it didnt turn out well at all. I think one of two things went wrong.

  36. I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought this was gross. I never thought it was possible to find oatmeal disgusting, but when you cook it on low for several hours it turns into oatmeal jelly. If you like oatmeal jelly glop, you will like this recipe. As for me, food wasted and into the trashcan. Sadface. :[

  37. I did the recipe and I used 2 milk and 2 c water. It came out perfect. I also cooked it for 7 and a half hours on low.

  38. made this recipe overnight and woke up this morning to perfect warm delicious oatmeal. I used whole grain rolled oats and chia seeds instead of flax. absolutely wonderful !

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  41. I was terrified after I put this together and THEN read the reviews. I got up twice in the middle of the night to check, and finally switched the crockpot to warm 7 hours in, so the last hour before we ate it was just on warm. I did throw an extra handful of oats in after I panicked and it still turned out fine.

    I made sure to spray the crockpot with cooking spray and I used 2% milk instead of skim because that’s all I buy. When I checked 4 hours in the oatmeal looked like it was done, but the apples weren’t cooked yet. I did stir it up a bit and when I came back 3 hours later it was more liquidy that it was previously, but the texture was perfect for oatmeal and the apples were cooked really well.

    There was a little bit stuck to the edges of the crockpot, but nothing overly burnt and it washed right out.

    All in all, a success for me!

  42. Thank you for this great recipe. I’ve just finished cooking this oatmeal, 7 hours on low setting, and it is absolutely delicious. Beside cinnamon I also added a pinch or two of ground cloves, it smells wonderfully… kind of like an apple pie. Next time I will surely double the recipe. I wonder, how long would it last in the refrigerator, in a mason jar. Anyone?

  43. Thanks for this – made it last night, reducing for 2 servings and using coconut milk instead of the milk and water. Also reduced the sugar slightly and included some dried cranberries. I cooked it in a glass bowl with some water in the slow cooker bowl. Was scrumptious. Trying it tonight with stevia and ginger instead of cinnamon, and dried blueberries instead of cranberries. This is perfect for people who leave home at different times in the morning – my partner helped himself at 5.30, turned it down to warm then I finished it off at 7.30 :)

  44. When I cook oatmeal in the crock pot overnight, I always use steel cut oats. They don’t get mushy from the long cooking.

  45. btlrickas01 says:

    This recipe worked perfectly. BUT I a few things should be changed.

    “1 cup whole grain oats” should be steel cut. These are long cooking and won’t “turn to mush”. Quick cooking shouldn’t even be considered, although traditional might hold up.

    “cook on low” for most newer slow cookers will probably be too high. I have had some success using the warm setting on slow cookers that just have 3 or 4 settings with no adjustments in between. If you plan on doing oatmeal often, I’d splurge on a SMALL West Bend slow cooker. It still comes with a real temperature knob, has a small 5 qt. non-stick container which is perfect for this recipe.

    BTW you can substitute other grains for oats. I’ve tried bulgar with success and plan to try buckwheat groats next.

  46. Amanda Kaznica says:

    I too made the horrible mistake of not reading the reviews before making this. It was unfortunately my first crock pot meal too. And to top it off, I doubled the recipe since my family normally eats oatmeal like it’s our jobs – that was a huge mistake. I will say, like everyone else, whole grain definitely needs to be specific to steel cut. After reading all the horror stories, I did add some extra oats before going to bed, so it came out more of thick mush than of soupy glop. But the flavor was so bland, even though I put extra cinnamon & a splash of vanilla. Butter seemed unnecessary but since it was my first time I did as told, ughh… luckily I got up early enough to avoid most of the burned to a crisp edges. I don’t know what needs to be done to fix this recipe but can the author PLEASE address at least the known things to save anyone else who doesn’t read the reviews first.

  47. Making the attempt at this tonight! Read all the comments, went out and bought steel cut oats (never had them before) first attempt in my new crockpot! I promised two people breakfast in the morning so I really hope this doesn’t bomb!

  48. I believe this recipe is for steel cut oats. Check out http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_Apple_Cinnamon_Oatmeal

  49. In case anyone else is having issues with this recipe… here is what I did and it came out perfect:

    After reading about the countless number of people who had issues with the browning and mushing… I think we all share the same crock pot lol. Mine things that low = 3-4 hours and high = 1 hour. Not exactly slow cooking. So I use my ‘keep warm’ setting when I wanna do anything on low. I cut and rinsed my apples, sprayed the crap out of the crock pot with spray, and mixed all other ingredients separately. Once i had my spice/oat mixture, I added my apples and then poured it inside the crock pot. This way it was able to cook without removing all the cooking spray.

    I added:
    1/2 cup more oats (1.5c)
    1/2 cup more water (2c)
    1.5 T more brown sugar
    1 extra apple
    same amount of milk on recipe

    I kept it on keep warm all night, and stirred it a couple of times after about an hour… and once in the middle of the night when I happened to get up. This morning its perfect, I added a tiny bit more cinnamon (my preference) and my dried cranberries… will definitely make again!


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