Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats | Instant Pot recipe (2024)

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Instant Pot Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats are a creamy, healthy breakfast made with fresh carrots, chia seeds, and whole grain oats topped with pecans, and soft, sweet raisins. It’s a kid-approved morning meal that tastes like dessert.

Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats | Instant Pot recipe (1)

We’ve been making this carrot cake oatmeal recipe for spring breakfasts for years. It’s a favorite during the spring, especially for Easter breakfast.

This is one of our favorite Instant Pot breakfast recipes, especially for spring. If you love making easy, creamy porridges in your pressure cooker, be sure to try our classic Creamy Instant Pot Oatmeal, Breakfast Farro, and Instant Pot Apple Cherry Breakfast Risotto.

Update: We updated this post and recipe with new tips and photos to help you make the best carrot cake-flavored breakfast you’ve ever had!

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Here’s what you need for one-pot carrot cake oats:

  • Butter. We use unsalted to better control the seasoning in the oats.
  • Steel-cut oats. These are different from quick-cooking and old-fashioned oats, so check the label at the store.
  • Carrots. You can freshly grate your carrots or buy pre-grated.
  • Maple syrup. This is essential for a rich, caramel-like sweetness.
  • Spices. We get the warming carrot cake flavors from cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Raisins. Dried fruit is a nice mix-in for oats to add pops of plump, juicy sweetness, but it’s totally optional if you’re not a fan.
  • Chia seeds. These high-fiber little seeds help add a creamy, thick texture to your Instant Pot oats.

Tip: You can pulse the chia seeds in a coffee grinder to break them up if you don’t love the texture of the chia seeds.

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How to Make Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

The first step is to toast your steel-cut oats in butter. Use the Sauté function to melt the butter, then add the oats and toast for about 3 minutes, until they’re fragrant. Next, add the water, carrots, maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the pot and give everything a good stir.

Now you’re ready to pressure cook. Add the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. When the cook time ends, use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes then release any remaining pressure with a quick release.

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Remove the lid and stir in the raisins and chia seeds. Place the cover back on the pressure cooking pot and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to help the oats thicken up and to hydrate the raisins.

Serve your carrot cake oats topped with more raisins, maple syrup, chopped nuts, and a splash of milk.

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Important Tips

  • Raisin haters don’t have to add the raisins. But if you’re skipping them, you’ll want to decrease the water by at least ½ cup.
  • We love the raisins mixed in, but if they’re polarizing for your crowd, you can let everyone add their own raisins on top.
  • For a creamier texture, you can replace half of the water with milk. Just be sure and use a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes.
  • Chia seeds help the oats thicken up and become super creamy, but if you don’t have them, you can make the recipe without them.
  • You can use honey or another sweetener if you don’t have maple syrup.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Making Carrot Cake Oats

What are some good toppings for carrot cake oats?

My favorite carrot cake of all time is a tropical carrot cake, so grated coconut would be a great addition too! We like chopped pecans on top, but walnuts or hazelnuts are also delicious.

Instead of raisins, you can use another dried fruit, such as dried cherries or dried pineapple.

When I have it on hand, I like to swirl in a dollop of cream cheese to get some of that tang

How to store leftover cooked steel-cut oats?

You can store cooled cooked Instant Pot oats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat leftovers with a splash of milk, as the oats will absorb the liquid as they cool.

What’s the best way to reheat cooked oatmeal?

You can reheat these carrot cake oats using the Sauté function on your Instant Pot, just be sure to stir them constantly and add enough water or milk to soften them up and prevent burning.

The stovetop and microwave also work well, the key is just to keep stirring the oats regularly as they heat.

Can I freeze leftover cooked oatmeal?

You can freeze this oatmeal for up to six months. We like to freeze it in individual servings so we can quickly defrost one for a last-minute healthy breakfast.

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More Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes

Here are our other favorite breakfast dishes to make in an Instant Pot / pressure cooker:

  • Lemon Cranberry Breakfast Farro is a delicious porridge made with chewy farro, bright fresh lemon, and dried fruit.
  • Breakfast Quinoa is a family favorite breakfast that comes together in minutes and can be topped with your favorite fresh fruit, cream, and sweeteners.
  • Crustless Meat Lovers Quiche is a fully loaded egg dish with sausage, bacon and cheese
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Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats | Instant Pot recipe (9)

Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Additional Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

This recipe for Instant Pot Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats is a creamy, just-sweet-enough dessert that’s healthy but tastes like dessert, thanks to maple syrup, raisins, and chia seeds.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 cups water*
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds


  1. Add butter to pressure cooking pot, select Sauté. When the butter is melted add the steel cut oats. Toast, stirring frequently, until they smell nutty, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the water, carrots, maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Select High Pressure and 10 minutes cook time.
  3. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  4. Stir the oats well, then add the raisins and chia seeds. Cover and let sit for 5–10 minutes until oats reach your desired thickness.
  5. Top with additional raisins, maple syrup, chopped nuts, and milk.


*If you opt not to add the raisins to the steel cut oats, reduce the water by at least 1/2 cup.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 251Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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Carrot Cake Steel Cut Oats | Instant Pot recipe (2024)


Should I soak steel cut oats before baking? ›

Add 1 cup oats to a large saucepan and top with 2 cups water (or, if making more or less, just make sure there is double the water as there are oats). Cover and soak for 6 hours or overnight (see notes for shortcuts). This will improve digestibility and also slightly speed cooking time.

Do you add milk or water to steel cut oats? ›

For every 1 cup of steel cut oats, you'll need 3 1/2 to 4 cups of liquid, depending upon how thick you'd like them to be (less liquid = thicker steel cut oatmeal). I like to do a mix of water and milk to make the steel cut oats extra creamy. The ratio is flexible. I generally use 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk.

How much oatmeal does 1 4 cup steel cut oats make? ›

How many calories are in a cup of cooked steel cut oats? The serving size of these oats is ¼ cup dry grain. When cooked with the recommended water portions (usually about a cup), you end up with roughly 1 whole cup of a finished product.

What happens if you don't soak oats? ›

If left, phytic acid combines with calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron in the intestines and inhibits their absorption.

How long should steel cut oats be cooked? ›


Bring water or milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in oats, reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until oats are of desired texture.

What happens if you don't soak steel cut oats? ›

There's nothing better than a nice soak, and your oats and digestive tract will thank you for it! The main reason I soak oats is to reduce phytic acid, which blocks the digestive enzymes in the body. It also binds to essential minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, making them difficult to absorb.

Is it OK to eat steel cut oats everyday? ›

Steel cut oats are a good source of fiber. This is about 20% of your recommended daily intake. Because the American diet today can be so deficient in many ways, eating steel cut oats on a regular basis can help you meet your body's daily fiber requirements and help keep your body healthy and functioning at its best.

Are steel cut oats better for you than rolled oats? ›

Rolled oats and steel-cut oats are two minimally processed forms of oats. They have similar nutritional values and health benefits. Steel-cut oats may take longer to digest and therefore help a person feel full for longer. They also have a slightly lower impact on blood sugar.

Is 1 cup of steel cut oats too much? ›

The general oatmeal serving size is around half a cup of uncooked oats or one cup of cooked oatmeal. A serving of oats provides a variety of important nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Do steel cut oats spike blood sugar? ›

Your body digests steel-cut oats slowly, but that doesn't mean they're hard to digest. It's actually better to digest slowly because it doesn't cause your blood sugar to spike.

How many servings does 1 cup of steel cut oats make? ›

1 serving: 1/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup water, 1/8tsp salt. 2 servings: 1/2 cup oats, 1.5 cups water, 1/4tsp salt. 3 servings: 3/4 cup oats, 2.25 cups water, 3/8tsp salt. 4 servings: 1 cup oats, 2 cups water, 1/2tsp of salt.

What makes steel cut oats better? ›

Due to their density, steel-cut oats are cooked with a higher ratio of liquid than rolled oats. They yield a larger portion, meaning you can eat less oats and consume fewer calories. Steel-cut oats take longer to digest, helping you to stay full longer and causing less of a rise in blood sugar.

What's the difference between old fashioned oats and steel cut oats? ›

Quaker® Old Fashioned Oats are whole oats that are rolled to flatten them. Quaker® Steel Cut Oats are whole oats that have not been rolled into flakes. Instead, they are cut approximately into thirds. Quick Quaker® Oats are simply cut into slightly smaller pieces so they cook faster.

What's the difference between oatmeal and steel cut oats? ›

Steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat ( 1 ). Steel-cut oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than rolled or quick oats. They also take longer to prepare, with average cooking times ranging from 15–30 minutes.

What happens if you don't soak steel-cut oats? ›

There's nothing better than a nice soak, and your oats and digestive tract will thank you for it! The main reason I soak oats is to reduce phytic acid, which blocks the digestive enzymes in the body. It also binds to essential minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, making them difficult to absorb.

How long do you soak oats for baking? ›

Soak the oats 8-24 hours before baking.

Do I need to rinse steel-cut oats after soaking? ›

There is no right or wrong answer, and ultimately it comes down to what you prefer. If you do decide to wash your oats, simply rinse them under cold running water until the water runs clear. Be sure to drain the oats thoroughly before cooking them.

How do you remove phytic acid from steel-cut oats? ›

The main method is to soak the oats 12 hours or overnight in water. Using the same ratio of water to oats as you normally would to cook them. Soaking activates an enzyme in the oats called phytase that naturally breaks down phytic acid.

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