My inability to morning is well-documented, bordering on infamous. However, one fun lesser-known fact about moving from east to west is that your body clock is way ahead of the actual time. So when I get up at 7:00 in the morning here, my body thinks it's actually 1:00 p.m. - which is a much nicer time for waking up, no?
The problem is, when I'm up that early, I get hungry. Breakfast has always been a challenge for me, partly because I struggle to be human before 11:00 a.m. and two cups of coffee, and partly because all the breakfast foods I like are extremely unhealthy: Bloody Marys, mimosas, bacon, waffles, pancakes, Bloody Marys, Pop-Tarts, sugary cereal, waffles, chicken and waffles, chicken and waffles with Bloody Marys...it's so bad.
Eggs do not agree with me. Fruit keeps me full for about a half-hour. I don't really like yogurt. I don't love oatmeal, either, because I don't like the consistency - I like crunchy, chewy stuff. But baked oatmeal - well, there's an idea.
This was especially exciting because - guess what? - we have an oven again! Although this South Carolina heat is killing me (this weather right now? This is SUMMER in France), there are at least some perks to being back in America. Silver linings and glasses half-full and whatnot.
Anyway. So I found this recipe on Pinterest and immediately knew I had to try it. It's extremely easy - all you need is one bowl, a muffin tin, and a few measuring cups/spoons. Most (if not all) of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry: vanilla extract, honey, ground cinnamon, baking powder, salt.
The batter turned out a little runny - I baked it for 30 minutes according to the recipe, but I had to leave it in at least 15-20 minutes longer because the toothpick/knife I inserted kept coming out gooey. But that could just be our oven. Maybe start at 30 minutes, and pace it out from there.
Other than that, these were great. Crunchy on top, warm and gooey on the bottom, these are the epitome of a hearty, healthy autumn breakfast (if the weather would actually cooperate). Pop it in the microwave for a great breakfast on-the-go or just at your kitchen table.
But the best part about this is - you guessed it - they're so customizable. Mix in or top the cupcakes with any kind of fruit you could dream of. Got little ones? Sprinkle a few chocolate chips in there - they'll think they're getting some kind of awesome breakfast treat. Want a little more protein? Add some unsalted nuts. Add a little brown sugar. Swap out the applesauce for canned pumpkin and the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice, and, well...I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it will be amazing. That might be my next batch.
My inaugural return-to-America baking adventure was a HUGE success, so naturally I had to share. And for crying out loud, if you make some variation of these, let me know. I mean it - I like hearing from you guys and getting ideas from you. Regardless, I hope you enjoy these delicious oatmeal cupcakes. I'm so excited to have an oven again, so brace yourself for a slew of recipes coming soon!
Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I used Trader Joe's gluten free)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cup milk
Topping/filling of choice: fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc (I diced up a peach to put in mine, since we had some peaches)
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and honey in a bowl.
Add in oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Mix well with wet ingredients.
Pour in milk, and combine.
Divide evenly among a 12-cup muffin tin.
Bake 30-45 minutes depending on your oven and how much you put into each cup.
Nutrition: Roughly 110 calories per muffin, depending on what kind of toppings or fillings you use. I used the MyFitnessPal app to calculate calories for mine and I came up with 110. Get the app - it's easy to use and you can alter the recipe to your heart's content and still get an accurate calorie count.
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