I bit off way more than I could chew on Tuesday. I overslept, adrenalin waking me up in a heartbeat when I spotted the clock flashing the time—2 hours later than I expected. I spent all morning and afternoon running around in circles faster than our dog when she chases her tail, desperately trying to catch up and speed through my “To Do” list. I needed 5 more sets of hands and an extra 24 hours in the day… That must be how it feels to be a mom!
At 9 pm, with a batch of yeast treats finally rising in the oven (recipe coming soon!) and Olena’s turkey chili simmering on the stove, I nearly suffered a heart attack for the second time that day… I ran out of maple syrup, something incredibly crucial to my photo shoot the following morning. I breathlessly begged my guy to watch the pot as I grabbed my keys and sprinted out the door.
I arrived at Trader Joe’s with just minutes to spare before they closed and dashed around the store with a red shopping basket dangling from my hand, recklessly chucking in ingredients. At the end of my race, I picked the shortest—yet slowest—line and stood there, frustrated by the slowpoke college girls flirting with the cashier and constantly worrying that the chili would bubble over. (Yes, my guy was supposed to keep an eye on it, but with the temptation of the NBC Olympic Primetime Coverage showing the men’s skiing half pipe…)
As I impatiently hefted my basket from one hand to the other, snippets of the cashier’s conversation drifted my way. “Yeah, I was a pastry chef,” he casually mentioned.
“Why’d you stop and come work here?” the girls inquired.
“Because I wanted to like my life.”
At any mention of baking, my sensitive ears go on high alert, like a dog listening for squirrels in the park. Although the teenagers changed the topic, I brought it right back up when I reached the register.
“So you were a pastry chef?” I inquired, and we started chatting while he scanned and bagged my items.
Despite his laid-back tattooed, pierced, and bushy bearded appearance, it turned out that he studied at one of the three elite vegan/vegetarian pastry schools in the nation and was immediately hired at the #10-ranked restaurant in the country. He eventually quit and wandered halfway across the US to our sleepy little town, but he still owns molecular gastronomy equipment and plays around with creating fruit juice caviar in his spare time.
Basically… I want him to be my new best friend. (I just haven’t quite figured out a way to go about that without being overly awkward. Any ideas?)
Just like that cashier’s life story, this Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Oatmeal is colorful, fun, and bound to bring a smile to your day! Its sweet, buttery taste tricks you into thinking you’re acting naughty and eating dessert for breakfast, but your waistline will still thank you—it clocks in at under 175 calories and packs in 9 grams of protein!
This super simple recipe only requires 4 ingredients: oats (gluten-free if necessary), milk, sprinkles, and my secret weapon… Butter extract. With its rich warm flavor, butter extract makes just about anything taste like cake batter! Almost every grocery store, as well as Walmart and Target, sells it for a rather inexpensive price. It’s shelf-stable and keeps for ages, so I highly recommend buying a bottle. (And then you can make this amazing cookie butter and these addictive sugar cookies too!)
When choosing sprinkles, I suggest using jimmies (the long thin ones) as opposed to colored sugar or nonpareils (the tiny spherical ones). The latter two tend to bleed and create a rather unappetizing gray color, whereas jimmies generally do not. And if rainbow isn’t your thing, try chocolate or a holiday-themed mix instead!
When I cook oatmeal, I almost always turn to the microwave. As long as I watch the bowl and open the door whenever the oats threaten to bubble over the rim, there’s a lot less to clean up! (Yes, I’m lazy and don’t want to wash a bowl and a pot from the stove.) But make your oatmeal with whatever method you feel most comfortable. You could even combine everything but the sprinkles the night before and make overnight oats instead!
Once the oatmeal finishes cooking, stir in the butter extract and allow the bowl to thicken for a few minutes before adding the sprinkles. This reduces the chance of them bleeding into the oatmeal. Then dig in and enjoy!
After my first spoonful of this Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Oatmeal, I literally thought I was eating dessert for breakfast. The warm buttery flavor… The thick cozy oatmeal… The cheerful rainbow sprinkles… They totally fooled my taste buds and my stomach, but I never felt bloated or bogged down later in the day (like during middle school when I actually snuck cake for breakfast—but shh, don’t tell my mom!).
Guys, you really should try this for breakfast. ASAP. Then wash it down with a skinny chocolate covered strawberry frappuccino.
Just sayin’… It’s the best healthy breakfast of champions!
This thick buttery oatmeal really tastes like cake batter! The recipe is easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to feed more than one.
- Add the oats and milk to a bowl and cook on HIGH in the microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. (Alternatively, cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has been absorbed.) Stir in the butter extract, and let the oatmeal sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken. Sprinkle the jimmies on top and serve immediately.
Notes: For a vegan version, substitute your favorite non-dairy milk OR water.
To make an overnight oats version, mix everything together except the rainbow sprinkles in a bowl with a lid, and refrigerate overnight. Add the sprinkles in the morning just before eating.
Yummy! Going to try to this for a post workout snack tomorrow, but I’m going to toss in more almond milk and a scoop of Slap Nutrition Slappy Birthday (cake batter) protein.
I really hope you enjoy the oatmeal Amy!
You’ve effectively showed us how to make oatmeal and add sprinkles….
I just made this, and unless I did it wrong (which I’m really hoping), it literally just tasted like plain oats with butter? Didn’t pick up the birthday cake vibe at all. Anyone else have this issue?
That doesn’t sound right at all Alexa! Did you use butter extract or regular butter? Butter extract tastes very different than butter — it gives oatmeal and baked goods that iconic “cake batter” flavor. 🙂
How strange! I used butter extract- it is just the Fred Meyer off brand version, maybe that was my error. Do you have a brand suggestion?
That could definitely be the culprit! I always use Wilton’s butter extract. 🙂 If you’re able to find that at the grocery store, I’d love to hear if it makes a difference Alexa!
I tried this recipe. It really did taste like cake batter! If others don’t think so, I recommend adding more sweetener or using McCormick brand butter extract. I haven’t tried other brands, but McCormick butter extract does give oatmeal that iconic baked goods flavor.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the oatmeal Christine! Thank you for sharing your tips, too! 🙂
For the overnight version, do we basicly follow the original instructions but stop before putting the jimmies on and put in in the fridge, or is that not right? i’m afraid it’s not all that clear to me, sorry.
For the overnight oats version, stir together all of the ingredients to a mason jar or tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid, and place in the refrigerator (without cooking). In the morning, stir in the rainbow sprinkles, and eat the oats cold. 🙂 I’m excited to hear what you think of the oatmeal Meghan!
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try later this week. Do you need to add any sweetener or is it ok on its own with the butter extract and sprinkles?
It really depends on how sweet you like your oatmeal (or how big your sweet tooth is! 😉 ), which is why the sweetener is listed as “to taste.” You can always make the oatmeal without sweetener, take a taste after stirring in the butter extract, and stir in your preferred sweetener right after if you feel it needs to be sweeter. I’m excited to hear what you think of the oatmeal Lisa!
I’m excited to try this recipe! I tried to find butter extract but am mostly just finding butter flavor. Is that the same, or do you not recommend it?
The butter flavor that you’ve found should work! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the oatmeal Renee! 🙂