What are your favorite toppings? Let us know in the comment section below.


We go through a lot of oatmeal at Beekman 1802 Farm during the winter. It’s one of the few breakfasts the two of us agree on…mostly. Josh usually likes a sweet breakfast – such as muffins or pancakes. But Brent generally prefers something savory – like last night’s dinner leftovers. Thankfully, oatmeal allows both of us to be happy…we just add different toppings. And we’ve found that when we have overnight guests, they usually like to choose their own toppings as well. We’ll often set out a buffet-style Oatmeal Bar, so that everyone can create their own perfect bowl. And because we make our oatmeal overnight in a slow cooker (see below slideshow for instructions) it’s hot and ready – even for the latest sleepers. (Steel cut oats are required for slow cooker method. Our favorite brand is McCann’s.)

Below you’ll find a list of our friends’ and our own favorite (and surprising) oatmeal toppings. But of course our all time favorite is our own Cinnamon Creamed Honey because, well, we originally developed it as the world’s most perfect oatmeal topping. (our Vanilla and Ginger varieties work pretty well too.)

Of course our all-time favorite oatmeal topping will always be our own

Here are some of our other topping traditions, as well as a few from our Beekman 1802 colleagues:

Josh – the “Traditionalist.”  Josh doesn’t think you should mess with tradition. So his add-in ideas are probably most peoples’ childhood favorites.

1. Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup – just a tablespoon.
2. Golden Raisins – Josh is adamant that his raisins are golden, not black. (“Black ones are for oatmeal cookies only,” he insists.)
3. Cinnamon & Nutmeg – sometimes Cardamom if he’s feeling adventurous.
4. Toasted Walnuts, Hazelnuts, or Pecans.
5. Heavy Cream.

Brent – “Southern Savory.”  Brent makes his oatmeal like he fixed his corn grits growing up in North Carolina. With salty add-ins. And why not? Like grits, oatmeal is nothing more than a simple grain, and is a great blank canvas for anything. After all, there’s no law declaring all oatmeal has to be sweet.

1. Bacon or Ham
2. Cheese – sharp cheddar or MuBock.
3. Butter, sour cream or creme fraiche with chives. Salt/Pepper to taste.
4. Leftover chicken or turkey, with soy sauce.
5. Leftover steamed vegetables and a little sesame oil.

Megan – “Health Nut.”  Megan, Beekman 1802 COO, makes sure we all get our vitamins at the Mercantile, by bringing in healthy salads and making kale smoothies. So it’s no surprise that she can make oatmeal even healthier than it already is – while still making it taste great.

1. Quinoa – which adds additional protein and vitamins to oatmeal. Just throw some in with the oats as they’re cooking.
2. Seasonal Fresh Fruit – why use dried raisins when you can pack in even more nutrition with fresh fruit. In the fall & winter use bananas, kiwi, pear, apple, dates or figs. During spring & summer try peaches, blueberries, strawberries or currants.
3. Freshly Grated Ginger & Unsweetened Coconut Flakes.
4. Ground Flax Seed – adds mega-3 fatty acids and lignans (plant estrogen & antioxidant qualities.)
5. Raw (not roasted)Walnuts, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds

Maria & Pete – “Sweet Tooths.” Husband & wife Beekman 1802 team Maria & Pete think dessert is the most important meal of the day. So if you can turn breakfast into dessert, why not?

1. Chocolate Chips – there aren’t many things adding chocolate chips to doesn’t help.
2. Red Hots – cinnamon AND sugar all in one.
3. Marshmallows – when the oatmeal is piping hot, the marshmallows melt right in.
4. Crumbled Graham Crackers or Oreos.
5. Caramel or Hot Fudge Sauce.

Let us know your favorite toppings in the comment section below the slide show.



by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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I would like to bring this to a staff breakfast at work. What would be the best way to reheat the oatmeal after the 40 minute drive? I was debating bringing the whole slow cooker and turning it back on but for how long? Or should I transfer to a bowl and microwave it when I get there? I do have access to a microwave at work but not a stove. Just don’t want it to get too mushy.

Thanks for any tips!


I made this overnight I Was actually happy with the results. Can’t wait to load it up with golden raisins and cinn. Thank you for sharing


Pecans, dried cranberries, bacon, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Depending on the morning, I may add a little cayenne!


During the week I add 2 tbsp flax seed & 1 tbsp honey. On the weekends I “treat” myself to 1 tbsp molasses and 1 tsp creamy peanut butter. Peanut butter, dear god, is my downfall. Steel cut oats cooked overnight in a crock pot are to die for. I use a recipe from Alton Brown that calls for dried cranberries & figs plus half & half: 1 cup of steel cut oats, 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1 cup dried figs, 4 cups water and 1/2 cup of half-and-half. Combine ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 8 to 9 hours. I have experimented with dried blueberries and other fruits. Yum!

Linda Turner

Mostly sweet…real maple syrup/brown sugar, sweet butter, cream….if cooking without the slow cooker (which I will have to try!) I put it in cold water, bring to a boil, cook very low ’til creamy…yum! I also love it ‘raw’ with cold milk/cream!

linda schnell-leonardi

I don’t have a slow cooker with a ” warm”. Which brand should I look for to add to my kitchen collection?


I add 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup dried figs, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. I also add 1/4 tsp. salt to bring out all the flavors. (Sometimes I add a whole can of Libby’s pureed pumpkin.) The wonderful smells in the morning coming from the crock pot fill the house and wake me up before the alarm clock! Happy eating!

Sharon F

Sprinkle of Vietnamese cinnamon, grating of fresh nutmeg, dollop of homemade unsweetened applesauce I make and freeze in quantity every fall, handful of chopped black walnuts, sliced banana and sprinkling of blueberries. Make our oatmeal with about 2/3 nonfat milk. Yummy good start to a cold day. Switch to dark maple syrup, just a small splash, only when the applesauce runs out. Will order some of your cinnamon honey to try when we run out this spring.

Suzanne Koba

I make a big batch of steel cut oats in my slow cooker, enough for about a week. I add cinnamon, pecans or pistachios to the slow cooker and when I take out my serving each morning (from the fridge) I’ll add milk and Splenda.

Erin Van Cott

Nutella, bananas and flaxseed! Or blueberries, virgin coconut oil and cardamom!


I go to bed with the oatmeal in my rice cooker with the timer set on porridge. They come out fine. Generally use Bob’s steel-cut, mixed with some thick rolled and chia seeds and a dash of salt and pumpkin pie spice. I go for lightly sweet and crunchy, such as with golden raisins and crumbled pecans cooked in, maybe also with fresh or frozen fruit. When ready to serve, add to the steaming bowl a dash of vanilla dairy or coconut milk creamer, and a spoonful of orange marmalade or lemon curd.

Sandy Handley

I have a recipe for this type done in a slow cooker. It didn’t say to use the warm setting and it was getting over done. Thanks for that very helpful tip because it s a no brainer throwing everything in a slow cooker. I use Almond Milk, chopped apples and cinnamon, then top with a little more Almond Milk. I make a large batch then just reheat in the morning. Love all the other ideas people have posted. It’s a very healthy breakfast and fills you up.


This turned out fantastic. I now make it every friday for the women that work at the middle school next door to my home. Last week I added 2jars of baby bananas & a handfull of fried banana chip that I broke up with a mallet & a half cup honey-YUMMO. Lastnite I did cinnamon & apples. Gets better every week. You 2 have the best recipes and your even better at explaining them. Thanks Again. I will not ever eat instant again!! Never


I love dried cranberries and blueberries in oats (and butter). But I find doing them overnight in the slow cooker they get mushy; I like my porridge grainier. Any tips? The oats in your photo don’t look like they’ve gone completely gluey . . . (And yes, I am using McCann’s steel cut oats).


I cannot wait to try this recipe tonite. I soaked dried apricots and raisins in applejuice allday so I can add them out an hour before its done! Im currently taking cooking classes at the local technical school but we dont cover breakfast and I love oatmeal, so THANK YOU for this recipe. I will let you know tomorrow how it turned out.

Moira Thomas

This was as easy as instant and so much better. I only added dried cranberries and some sugar and milk in the morning and it was perfect!!!! A hearty meal to help start a cold day 🙂

Sue Flansburg of Slingerlands

Last nite I tried your recipe for the steel cut oats, used almond milk,cinnimon, chopped apple and I added some Quinoa.And I thought warm would not cook it so I used low..well luckily I woke at 3am,smelled it checked and it was done! So there I was transfering to a pyrex dish so I could put it in the fridge.I do like it leftover warmed up with some more almond milk & aguave as a sweetner..Yummy thank you!!


I have never tried savory oatmeal before, it never even occured to me to do that. I tried eating my oatmeal the way I do grits today salt, butter and cheddar cheese. My first bite aws strange, but after that I really liked it. Thank you for the idea. I am going to try the cakes today with our leftovers.


I love ground flax seed, raw almonds or other nuts/seeds and either a drizzle (or a few) of honey or some brown sugar. And I like chewy fruit in my oatmeal (big fan of the steel cut oats!) like dried cherries or cranberries. Raisins are okay too. Sometimes some half and half or a couple of spoons of greek yogurt. I’m going to try the slow cooker method!


We love tropical fruits here in Hawaii. Our toppings of choice are fresh pineapple, mango, papaya and even avocado. Sprinkle with macademia nuts and coconut syrup. Yummy!

Rita Koechowski

My favorite is to add a splash of “Bailey’s” when serving. You can also add some Irish Whiskey to the cooking liquid. We had it done both ways in Ireland.

Dolores Gerber

A teaspoon of peanut butter makes my oatmeal creamy and nutty! To make it a dessert- add a teaspoon of Nutella, decadent!

Jere Greene

We enjoy steel cut oatmeal all during the winter. Bob loves his topped with a little half n’ half, cinnamon and pure, dark (grade B) maple syrup. Yum! I will plan to try your method of cooking using the slow cooker…sounds delicious!

Janan Willoughby-LaDeaux

I only use McCann’s steel cut oats and cook them in my electric pressure cooker (something every kitchen should be equiped with), which takes only 5 minutes! You are only limited by your creativity. I add a splash of buttermilk in the pot, along with the other ingredients. Sometimes I add a banana, blueberries, or rehydrated apricots which I have stewed in some OJ or apricot nectar, along with some cinnamon. For sweetener, I use Nectar of the Gods which I whip up in my Vitamix (organic Medjool dates and coconut water). In season, my favorite topping is fresh juicy strawberries. I’ve been tempted to add some macerated strawberries in Grand Marnier; haven’t taken it to that level yet. Who would have thought that “porridge” could taste so good?