What's For Breakfast?

How to make cake for breakfast but not call it cake (even though it's totally okay to eat cake for breakfast)

A quick follow-up to last week's post about the kitchen: goddamnit, my new kitchen is small. Interestingly, for a NYC apartment, there is quite a bit of storage… except in the kitchen. And my bad: I have far too many appliances. I have far too many canning jars (of all sizes — I like to store nuts and flours in them in the fridge). I have far too many dumb little gadgets that I use, like, twice a year but during those two times are absolutely indispensable. I have successfully made dinner twice; I have not done any baking yet.

The whole "baked oatmeal" phenomenon strikes me as one of these phrases we've invented to convince ourselves — or perhaps to convince others — that what we're making and eating for breakfast is "healthy." "Baked oatmeal" surely sounds better than "cake." But at the end of the day, that's sort of what we're making here. Or, with a nod to an earlier post about the difference between cupcakes and muffins, muffins. This is a bit like a muffin recipe baked in an 8"x8" dish. Or 9"x9" dish. Or a round cake pan. Or a loaf tin. Whatever you have on hand. It'll turn out fine. Or it'll turn out like "baked oatmeal," which is oddly textured, I find, but as you can make a batch and have breakfast for a week, it's efficient.

I know it's not yet officially "pumpkin spice season". But why restrict oneself to that glorious flavor combination only in the months of October and November? Keep cans of pumpkin puree in the pantry. Make up a batch of pumpkin pie spice — recipe below — and keep it in the pantry too.

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Yield: 6 or more, depending on the serving size

This recipe was adapted from Budget Bytes, with apologies again for the US-centric measurements. Once I locate my kitchen scale, I will update these recipes accordingly. Also, have you seen the kitchen garbage can? That’s missing too.


  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (See recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk — dairy or not
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, sugar/syrup, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Whisk in the milk.

Mix the dry oats into the pumpkin mixture. Coat an 8×8 (or similar sized) baking dish with non-stick spray. If you plan to store this for later breakfasts, line the pan with parchment paper — a large enough sheet so it hangs over the edges (and you can use it to easily lift your cake out when it’s done cooling). Pour in the pumpkin oat mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the center no longer looks wet and the edges are lightly golden brown.

Serve hot right out of the oven or refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be eaten cold or reheated. I cut mine into serving-size pieces and store in one of the many, many, many plastic containers that now are overwhelming my tiny kitchen.

Adapted from Budget Bytes, with apologies again for the US-centric measurements. Once I locate my kitchen scale, I will update these recipes accordingly.

Pumpkin Pie Spice


  • 3 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


Stir to combine. Store in a canning jar. (If you need to borrow one, HMU. My kitchen is so full of them.)