optional add-ins: chocolate chips (180g), chopped pecans or walnuts (100g), or dried cranberries (120g)*
optional topping: coarse sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray. If using muffin liners, spray them with nonstick spray. The oatmeal cups stick to the liners a bit regardless, so I recommend skipping them.
Whisk all of the ingredients together, except for the optional add-ins and coarse sugar, in 1 large bowl. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using). Batter will be a little liquid-y. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, making sure both the oats/add-ins and liquid are in each. Fill all the way to the top. See photo above. If desired for extra crunch, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and tops appear set. If the tops appear to brown very quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil on top.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Cover leftover oatmeal cups tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Bake the oatmeal cups, cool completely, and store in the refrigerator all week for easy breakfasts. Reheat in the microwave or bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 5-6 minutes. To freeze, bake and cool oatmeal cups. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Warm to your liking.
Don’t: Do not make oatmeal batter ahead of time. The oats will soak up all the liquid! Whisk it all together, then bake right away. See make ahead instructions above for alternative.
Eggs: Eggs bind the ingredients and add wonderful flavor. If needed, you can replace the eggs with an extra 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, or even unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana. I prefer the texture with 2 eggs vs extra pumpkin puree. They’re sturdier and taste chewier.
Sugar: I recommend pure maple syrup because the flavor is outstanding and the baked oatmeal is extra moist! Instead, you can use packed brown sugar, coconut sugar, or honey.
Oats: Whole oats give you the best texture. You can use quick oats instead, but they soak up more moisture so the centers won’t be as moist. If using steel-cut oats, soak the oats in the milk for 30 minutes, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add a few extra minutes to the bake time. The oatmeal cups are best with whole oats.
Spices: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, and ground ginger. (You will still want to use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in the recipe, in addition to these spices.)
Add-ins: Use 1 cup of your favorite add-in or leave the pumpkin oatmeal cups plain. I used 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
Nutrition Information Per Oatmeal Cup (with unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup pecans using Spark Recipe Calculator): Calories 200, Total Fat 8g, Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 3.8g, Sugars 16g, Protein 5g