Cranberry-Ginger Baked Oatmeal Cups

Make-ahead breakfast recipes have been key for me lately, especially during the busy holiday season. I've been known to eat leftover pie or Christmas cookies before 9am...and let me tell you, the sugar crash that later ensues isn't pretty. There's a reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day - and I'm guessing they didn't mean you should eat last night's dessert first thing in the morning.

These baked oatmeal cups are the perfect make-ahead solution. They freeze well, you can make them healthy or decadent and you can mix and match with whatever fruit or spices you have on hand.

For my cranberry and ginger version, the oatmeal mix itself doesn't have much sugar added, but since I used fresh cranberries, a little sweetness was definitely needed. If you prefer to avoid the added sugar, swap out the cranberries for a sweeter alternative like blueberries or raisins, and leave out the brown sugar mentioned in the recipe below.

I prefer to serve these warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, but you can dress them up just like you would your regular bowl of oatmeal. Try mixing up the spices, adding nuts or serving alongside fresh fruit or yogurt.

What are some of your favorite make-ahead breakfast recipes? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Cranberry-Ginger Baked Oatmeal Cups
Yields 12 oatmeal cups
Adapted from The Kitchn

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2-2 cups fresh cranberries
Maple syrup (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper baking cups. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, brown sugar, crystallized ginger, ground ginger, cloves and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter and milk.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in the cranberries. Divide the oatmeal mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup. Oatmeal cups can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or you can freeze them.