Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 5 minutes

This cozy slow cooker gingerbread oatmeal is full of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger then drizzled with molasses, brown sugar and chopped pecans. Perfect for busy weekday mornings or a make-ahead dish for lazy weekends!

Spoon in slow cooker gingerbread oatmeal.

Since we can’t eat cookies for breakfast (or can we?), I decided to combine my favorite Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats with all the flavors I love about Rich’s hermit bars. The result? A warm and cozy Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal that you’ll be making again and again this holiday season. This make-ahead slow cooker oatmeal is not only a great time-saver on busy weekday mornings, but it’s perfect for putting together when you have visitors in from out of town or are hosting a casual brunch. This breakfast is everything you love about gingerbread minus all the fat and calories. As an added bonus, it’s naturally gluten-free!


Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal ingredients
  • Milk: Any milk would work. I use low-fat, but you could use almond milk or oat milk, too!
  • Water: Adds moisture needed to cook the oats.
  • Molasses: Deep, rich flavor that adds sweetness as well as some of that syrupy gingerbread taste.
  • Brown sugar: Sweetens the oatmeal, and is a bit richer than white sugar.
  • Vanilla: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Warm spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves give this oatmeal that warm, holiday, gingerbread flavor.
  • Oats: I prefer to use steel cut oats for this dish, but you could use rolled oats as well.

How to Make Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Adding warm spices to bowl

Start your slow cooker gingerbread oatmeal by mixing your sugar and spices in a bowl.

Whisking milk

Mix the water and milk with molasses and vanilla, then whisk in the spice and sugar mixture.

Adding oats to slow cooker

Add the mixture to your slow cooker, then stir in your steel cut oats. Cook on low overnight for 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Come morning, give it a stir, then serve top with chopped walnuts or pecans, and enjoy your Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are steel-cut oats healthier?

Steel-cut oats aren’t really any healthier than other kinds of oats, but they do take a bit longer to digest, so they’ll help you to feel full for longer.

Do you need to soak oats before cooking?

Doing so will shorten the cook time, but it isn’t required.

Can you make oatmeal ahead of time?

Yes! You can make this oatmeal ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Easily reheat in the microwave.

Slow cooker gingerbread oatmeal up close.

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Liz eating slow cooker gingerbread oatmeal.

One of our favorite ways to taste the holidays, I know your family will enjoy this Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal, too.

Your spoon is waiting.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

4.39 stars average
This cozy breakfast is full of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger then drizzled with molasses, brown sugar and chopped pecans.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 8 hours
TOTAL: 8 hours 5 minutes



  • Spray the slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook overnight on low for 8 hours.
  • In the morning, stir oatmeal with a fork to loosen the steel cut oats and make sure everything is fully incorporated. Serve warm with chopped pecans and additional brown sugar and molasses to taste.


For easier clean-up and to avoid the slight “crusty” residue inside the slow cooker, place all ingredients in a glass bowl that fits into the slow cooker then add enough water to fill the lower half of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.


Calories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 48.8gProtein: 9.6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 360mgFiber: 7.1gSugar: 12.5g

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Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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35 responses to “Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal”

  1. Brooke Avatar

    These came out perfectly! Definitely not runny and I loved the spices because they gave it flavor without adding a ton of sugar. My 16mo loves them too

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Brooke! Let me know if you try any other recipes of mine!

  2. Lola Avatar

    Unfortunately, these came out a soggy sloppy mess. They didn’t taste of ginger bread either. That being said I was not happy waking to that. But my daughter, who is 6 ate some.
    I followed the directions perfectly, everything the same. So I don’t know what happened. This is definitely a one star.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh no Lola -I’m so sorry these didn’t turn out for you! To answer your question, yes they are supposed to be soup at first because the oats absorb the liquid as it cooks. Out of curiosity – did you quick cooking steel cut oats? Because this isn’t meant for quick cooking but the standard long cooking. Would love to help you figure out what went wrong because my boys literally devoured these!!

  3. Lola Avatar

    Is it supposed to be soupy when you add it all together at first?
    I hope it turns out, I have followed every step. It smells delicious though.

  4. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog Avatar
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog

    NEED to try this asap! My mother in law just gave me some steel cut oats and I’ve been debating what to do with them. I love your tips on how to keep it from not burning in the slow cooker!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you try these girl!!!!

  5. Katherine Avatar

    I tried this gingerbread oatmeal- used slow cooker overnight. It was runny and overly spicy. I followed the recipe except I substituted rice milk for regular milk. Not sure what happened.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Hi Katherine – I’m afraid rice milk is not a great replacement as it’s much thinner and not as creamy/fatty as regular milk. As for the spice level, we found it to be ideal but of course that is a matter of preference so next time you can always just season it to taste. My kids had four bowls of it so that’s how I knew the recipe was a keeper for us but I totally understand not everyone likes spices as strong. :)

  6. Megan {Country Cleaver} Avatar
    Megan {Country Cleaver}

    Okay, I just found my next week of breakfastss right here! It’s pouring rain here, I need comfort and cozy breakfasts for this chilly weather!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You would love this girl! Asher had 3 bowls haha!

  7. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness Avatar
    Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    Can I just IV this oatmeal in my veins? Because I totally would! I love love pumpkin recipes on the fall but gingersnap/molasses/snickernoodle treats might have an edge over the pumpkin! Can’t wait to make this breakfast!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      haha Oatmeal IV Coming your way!

  8. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking Avatar
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking

    Cookies in a bowl for breakfast?? Count me in Liz — for a double serving! :) I know I’m sheltered living in sunny California where it never snows, but… I get cold and lose my circulation easily. As in walking down the freezer aisle while looking at ice cream. It’s absurd! But this looks like just the breakfast for my cold fingers and my tummy!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh my gosh that is so funny!! My Berkeley relatives always come to michigan in the winter to experience a real “christmas” haha!!

  9. Meghan | Fox and Briar Avatar
    Meghan | Fox and Briar

    Oh yum, I love gingerbread! This sounds so wonderful on those cold morning coming up. The one and only time I made slow cooker oatmeal it burned and stuck horribly to my crock pot :/ I think mine runs super hot or something. I like the idea of putting the bowl inside the insert, that sounds like it would help to keep it from burning.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You know I think some do run hotter than others!!!! We usually do well with ours but I have heard that some run hot. Either way this is also good just cooked on the stove!

    2. mandy arsenault Avatar
      mandy arsenault

      I use my “keep warm” setting for overnight oatmeal and it comes out great!

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        What a great idea!!

  10. Nikki @Seeded at the Table Avatar
    Nikki @Seeded at the Table

    I still need to make Rich’s Hermit Bars! It’s a MUST this year! I bet this oatmeal is fantastic!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Girl you MUST make them!!

  11. Liv Faye Avatar
    Liv Faye

    This looks so delicious! Never had gingerbread oatmeal, it’s such a great idea :) Thanks for the tip about the slow cooker. If I want this quickly, can I just cook it on the stove? would it taste the same?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh man it was so good! And yes you can absolutely make on stove top!! We have done it both ways and both taste great!!

  12. Sam @ PancakeWarriors Avatar
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    I love the idea of slow cooker steel cut oats – I can only imagine waking up to the smell of this after letting it cook all night – heavenly!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It smelled SO good Sam!!

  13. Barb Avatar

    Do you think I could substitute coconut nectar for the molasses (I know there will be a taste difference) and almond milk for the regular milk?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You absolutely could but yes, it won’t taste quite like gingerbread. :)

  14. Susan Avatar

    This sounds like a real winner. Since we already enjoy gingerbread overnight oats, it makes sense to have a warm version for winter.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love this one Susan!! I Think you will!

  15. Leah @ Grain Changer Avatar
    Leah @ Grain Changer

    What a perfect fall breakfast! Now I know what I’ll be making for our guests this weekend ;)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love it Leah!! :)

  16. Liz S. Avatar
    Liz S.

    Such a comforting bowl of oats! Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite oats brand as well :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Mine too!! They are truly a great company!

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.