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Creamy, sweet cinnamon roll oatmeal is a cinnamon-spiced rolled oat breakfast with a decadent drizzle of cream cheese icing swirled on top. It can be made in just 20 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients that are available year-round.
Sweet treats are the epitome of my kids’ ideal breakfast. If they had their way, they’d eat cream cheese cinnamon rolls every morning! Since hyper children first thing in the morning is not my idea of fun, I’ve adjusted by making homemade whole wheat waffles, healthy pumpkin bread, and other alternatives that taste like a treat but are significantly lower in sugar.
This cinnamon roll oatmeal is a mostly healthy, sweet compromise I’m happy to serve. With homemade brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal and a drizzle of cream cheese icing swirled on top, this oatmeal recipe feels like a treat, but I know everyone’s bellies will be full and happy.
- This quick and simple recipe should only take 20 minutes to make.
- Enjoy the flavors of a cinnamon roll without needing to turn on your oven or knead dough.
- It’s easy to customize for non-dairy, gluten-free, or vegan diets.
Everything you need to make a warm bowl of cinnamon roll oatmeal is available in most grocery stores year-round. I’ve shared my best substitution suggestions in this section, including options for allergens and other dietary requirements.
- Rolled Oats – We prefer old-fashionedor rolled oats in our house. The cooking times provided do not work with other types. For steel-cut or quick-cooking oats, use the cooking times listed on the package instead.
- Water – Water is easy and cheap. You can use milk instead, but it affects the nutrition information and flavor. I’d recommend regular milk, almond, or oat for the best flavor compatibility.
- Brown Sugar – Swap in turbinado or coconut sugar if you need or want a replacement.
- Cream Cheese – Bring it to room temperature so it’s softened before starting. For dairy-free or vegan diets use a non-dairy cream cheese. We’re partial to the Miyoko’s brand.
- Powdered Sugar – Sift if yours has lumps.
- Milk – Feel free to use your non-dairy milk of choice.
- Vanilla – If you aren’t already, learn how to make homemade vanilla. It’s a money saver you’ll love!
Optional Toppings – Feel free to top your bowls off with chopped berries, candied or roasted nuts, or a good apple compote. They’re optional, but delicious additions.
Step by Step
This is SO easy to make – cook oatmeal, drizzle, and eat. But here are some step-by-step tips and instructions to help make your morning painless, especially if you’re cooking before that first cup of coffee.
Step 1 – Prep the Drizzle
If you forgot, learn how to soften your cream cheese quickly, then make your icing. Beat together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and milk until it’s smooth. Use a hand mixer or a stiff wooden spoon to make it easier. Set it in the fridge while you make the oatmeal.
Step 2 – Cook the Oats
Bring the water to a boil with the salt over high heat. Once rapidly boiling, add the oats and stir, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 6-8 minutes.
If you’re oatmeal is absorbing water very slowly, increase the heat slightly.
Step 3 – Season and Drizzle
When the oatmeal as absorbed 95% of the water, turn off the heat and mix in the vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
Portion the hot oatmeal into bowls and divide the cream cheese icing between them, drizzling or dolloping on top. Sprinkle over chopped nuts or fruit and serve.
The best way to make oatmeal healthier is to reduce the sugar and swap in low-fat ingredients where possible. We find 5 tablespoons is perfect, which is about 1.25 tablespoons per adult portion. You may enjoy it with as little as half that sugar. You can also use low-fat milk or cream cheese, and always cook the oatmeal in water.
Yes, oatmeal can be cooked 1-2 days before and reheated on the stove or microwave. You’ll need to add more water during reheating to loosen it up. Cooking in advance will lead to a mushier, thicker texture when reheated.
That’s a personal preference. Milk will create a creamier, more decadent oatmeal due to the fat content and sugars. We use water to keep it healthy for the adults and because groceries are expensive. Use half water and half milk if you’re looking for a compromise.
The ratio for rolled oats is 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of oats ONLY for the first 1/2 cup. For every additional 1/2 cup of rolled oats increase the water by 3/4 cups. If you like a looser oatmeal, add just one 1/4 cup addition of water.
I hope you’ll enjoy this quick breakfast oatmeal recipe’s creamy cinnamon roll flavor as much as we do. Let me know how it goes, and remember to check out my other breakfast recipes, which include great indulgent options like baked chocolate donuts and blackberry coffee cake, as well as healthier ones like lemon pepper potatoes and whole wheat cinnamon oatmeal muffins.
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5 star rating in the recipe card below, or a comment to share your experience with fellow home cooks. I hope you enjoy and as always, Happy Eating!
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
- 3 cups rolled oats also called old-fashioned
- 4 3/4 cups water See notes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
Optional Toppings – Chopped nuts, berries or other fruit
- Bring the water and salt to boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and milk together until smooth then transfer to the fridge.
- Add rolled oats to boiling water and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low
- Cook for 6-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats have absorbed the water and softened.
- Mix in the vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Portion oatmeal into bowls and drizzle the cream cheese icing over the top. Add additional toppings if desired.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.