This Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast that's so easy to make on a busy weekday morning. It's packed with flavor and is definitely not your typical boring oatmeal!
Remember when food bloggers would post to their blogs 3 times a day with everything they ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
And for whatever reason, they always seemed to eat A LOT of oatmeal for breakfast. And it was very rare that it appeared to have any flavor or anything appealing to it aside from some healthy grains. I'm pretty sure oatmeal got a bad reputation thanks to blogging in 2008.
And it's true, oatmeal can often be incredibly bland and unexciting. But it's also a great healthy blank canvas that's easy to make super delicious and fun. Even with just a couple ingredients.
This brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal is so incredibly easy to make in almost no time at all. If you think you don't like oatmeal, you need to try this easy recipe to have your mind changed!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
You'll love this brown sugar oatmeal recipe because with just a few simple ingredients, you can have an easy and healthy breakfast packed with whole grains that your whole family will love.
It's also easy to customize the oatmeal and make it your own. Brown sugar and cinnamon are some of my favorite flavors (I'm also obsessed with this cinnamon dolce syrup) and I love how they come together in this easy breakfast recipe.
This recipe is so easy on a busy weekday morning and it's a meal you'll feel good about feeding your family!
You really only need 3 ingredients for this oatmeal, plus water. However, while I like to make my oatmeal with water, I also like stirring in some milk at the end. This is especially important if you're reheating the oatmeal.
Here's everything you need for the recipe (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Water: You can also use milk or the non-dairy substitute of your choice... or you can use a mixture of water and milk
- Old-fashioned oats: I recommend using rolled oats for this recipe, but I have advice for different types of oats, too. You can use gluten-free oats if you want.
- Ground cinnamon
- Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar here, but dark will work, too.
- Optional: Milk or non-dairy substitute for stirring into oatmeal before serving
🥣 How to make brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal
The process for making this breakfast is so simple!
Simply bring water (or milk) to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add the oats and cinnamon and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until oats have absorbed most of the liquid and desired creamy consistency is reached.
How long your oatmeal takes to cook may in part depend on what brand of oats you're using. I always use Bob's Red Mill and they tend to take a little longer to cook (but I think they result in the best, creamiest oatmeal).
Remove from heat and stir the brown sugar into oatmeal.
And you're ready to serve the brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal in individual bowls (this recipe makes 2 servings).
I like to stir in a little milk or a non-dairy substitute at the end. Sometimes cooking oatmeal in milk instead of water can make it too thick and sticky for me, but a little milk stirred in at the end adds a nice creaminess!
Breakfast is ready and you're going to love it! As you can tell, I add plenty of cinnamon to the oats, so you can really taste the awesome flavor.
Cinnamon is so good for you with lots of health benefits, including antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (source). And obviously the brown sugar adds a fabulous amount of sweetness.
If you want a little less sugar in your oatmeal, you can feel free to cut down on the brown sugar.
But this homemade oatmeal basically tastes like a cinnamon roll and I highly recommend making it as is!
⏲️ How to store leftovers
You can definitely store any leftover oatmeal you have. This recipe makes 2 servings, but it's also easy to make more if you want. In fact, you can make enough brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal for the whole week and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.
Make sure the oatmeal has cooled down first. Then, store it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. It should keep for about 5 days when stored properly.
When you're ready to eat your oatmeal, you can simply spoon a portion into a bowl or a saucepan and either warm in the microwave or on the stovetop. You will need to add a little liquid to your oatmeal before re-heating. I recommend using milk, but water certainly works, too.
It should heat in under 2 minutes in the microwave and about 5 minutes on the stovetop. Give it a good stir and add more liquid if needed before digging in.
🔥 Can I make this in the microwave?
If you're going to make this oatmeal recipe in the microwave, I recommend cutting it in half and just making one serving at a time.
Add water/milk, oats, and cinnamon to a bowl and cook on high for 1 ½-2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in brown sugar.
🏃♀️ Can I use quick cooking oats?
You can use quick cook oats (AKA instant oats) if they're all you have on hand. But I recommend using old-fashioned if possible. Quick cooking oats are generally processed more than old-fashioned and make for a mushier oatmeal.
They are also really only going to save you a minute or two in terms of cooking time. Which isn't really worth it to me!
👨🍳 Can I use steel cut oats?
You can also use steel cut oats if you prefer! They tend to have a bit more flavor than old fashioned and a more chewy consistency. They're the least processed of all the oats.
If you're using steel cut, you will need to cook the oatmeal a bit longer, typically for about 20 minutes.
🎉 Variations on recipe
Of course, this brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal is a pretty simple recipe. It's easy to make, but also really easy to jazz up! Consider it a delicious canvas that you can add all sorts of fun ingredients to. If you want to add to it, here are some ideas:
- Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- Peanut butter or almond butter
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Maple syrup (if you crave even more sweetness!)
- Vanilla extract
- Dried fruit
- Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, etc.
- Pumpkin pie spice (you can replace the cinnamon with it in the fall) or any of your favorite spices
🍳 More easy breakfast ideas
If you're looking for more easy breakfast ideas for busy weeknight mornings, I've got you covered! Here are some of my favorite recipes:
- Muffin Mix Pancakes
- Lucky Charms Oatmeal
- Starbucks Egg Bites (easy to make ahead and grab and go)
- Cranberry Apple Oatmeal
- Strawberry Funfetti Energy Bites
- Bircher Mueseli
- Muffins with Pancake Mix
- Cloud Eggs
- Mocha Overnight Oats
- Grapefruit Smoothie Bowl
If your weeks are packed with busy mornings, this sweet and creamy oatmeal is going to be your new best friend and the most tasty way to start the day.
It's more nutritious and more delicious than those instant packs of oatmeal and so worth the few extra minutes it takes!
What's your favorite way to enjoy oatmeal?
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal
- 2 cups water (or milk/non-dairy substitute of your choice)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add oats and cinnamon and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until oats have absorbed most of the liquid and desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and stir brown sugar into oatmeal.
- Serve in bowls and stir in a little milk or non-dairy substitute of your choice if desired.