Cinnamon roll oatmeal is perfect for mornings when you need something filling, satisfying, and maybe a little indulgent feeling. Made with good-for-you ingredients like oats, Greek yogurt, and your choice of dairy, it sets you and yours up for a good day. The sweet cinnamon swirl makes sure everyone cleans their bowls, too.
Sometimes—most times, maybe?—oatmeal gets a bad rap for being boring or bland. But it can be turned into something fabulous in just 10 minutes. This easy recipe is one of those dishes that sets you up for success, and it means you can eat something delicious and healthy even on a busy day. — Carrien Cheney
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
For the oats
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats*
- 4 cups milk low-fat, whole, or non-dairy all work
- Pinch salt (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the brown sugar swirl
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the glaze
- 2 tablespoons vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Few drops vanilla extract (optional)
Make the oats
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the oats, milk, salt, if using, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and most of the liquid is gone, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
Make the brown sugar swirl
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high power, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Make the glaze
- In a separate small bowl, stir together the yogurt and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If desired, stir in the vanilla.
- Divvy the oatmeal between 4 bowls. Drizzle the butter-sugar mixture over top of the oatmeal, followed by a dollop of the yogurt-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.
*Are old-fashioned oats healthier than quick oats?Old-fashioned oats, also called rolled oats, are flat and flaky. They absorb water quickly and can be ready in about 5 minutes. Old-fashioned oats are less processed and, because of that, they've retained more of their fiber. This means that they'll keep you feeling fuller longer and have a lower glycemic index. Quick oats, on the other hand, cook on the stove-top in only 1 minute (and can also be microwaved) because they've been processed into smaller, thinner flakes. The biggest difference between them is the amount of fiber. Quick oats have significantly less, so while they do cook faster, they don't give you that all-morning satisfaction that old-fashioned oats will.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This cinnamon roll oatmeal is yummy. Plus, it's simple and uses pantry ingredients. What more could you ask from a humble bowl of oatmeal?
Hands-on time is approximately 10 minutes, total time around 15 minutes. I used rather thick rolled oats and whole milk (it's what I had). In a non-stick saucepan, I combined the milk, oats, and cinnamon. Following the directions, except for stirring rather frequently, the mixture took about 4 minutes to come to a boil (watching closely so it didn't boil over), then about 5 minutes to reach the thickened stage when most of the liquid had been absorbed. I covered the small bowl I melted the butter in to prevent splatters, it took about 30 seconds as my butter was refrigerator cold. Light brown sugar and cinnamon were added. The butter didn't completely combine with the sugar and cinnamon. Plain Greek yogurt was combined with the powdered sugar and I did use a splash of vanilla extract.
My drizzle of the cinnamon swirl wasn't quite as attractive as the photo, it was sort of drippy due to the butter separating, but it didn't make it any less delicious. A dollop of the glaze was the icing on the cake - pun intended. My husband, to whom oatmeal is a hard sell, ate all of his and agreed when I said I could eat this every day. Pretty high praise if you ask me.
This is a super easy treatment that took us out of our normal oatmeal routine. While I won’t completely give up my steel-cut oats with just a sprinkle of brown sugar dissolving into pools on the hot oats, this cinnamon roll oatmeal has a different appeal—slightly richer, sweeter, and yes, way speedier than our habit.
The rolled oats cook quicker, really in the time you would boil water for instant oatmeal, you're nearly done with this cooked batch that is far more satisfying. I was curious about the butter—but not only did it make a lovely drizzle, I initially hadn’t considered this as an alternative to a cinnamon pastry. The glaze can be as restrained as you like.
I used a combination of whole and non-fat organic milk and a drop of vanilla was a nice touch to make this feel more like a weekend breakfast even though it was dead easy. With the depth of brown sugar and the glaze, I added a pinch of flaky sea salt (Maldon) at the table. OK—ready for my cappuccino now!
Originally published April 27, 2021