Baked Coconut Oatmeal with Pepper Nut Topping

Healthy whole grain oatmeal breakfast with coconut milk and walnuts. Pepper, coconut and oatmeal. Almost like an exotic rice pudding – for breakfast. Peppercorns are usually thought of paired with savories. With sweet and creamy oatmeal pepper takes on a whole new taste profile. Just a dash and a bowl of oats transforms into something a little more. Not to mention in this recipe it combines with dreamy coconut milk. So enjoy some baked oats for breakfast or snack, with a flavor twist.

Healthy steel cut oats breakfast with coconut milk and chopped walnuts.

Aren’t these heart shaped bowls cute? Love that I can take them from oven to table. I found them a few years ago at Williams Sonoma. They get used all year round, not just for Valentine’s Day.

Pouring coconut milk onto oatmeal with cow porcelain creamer pitcher.

Oatmeal combined with coconut milk are go-to ingredients for me. Last year I posted these delicious Cocoa Coconut Oat Parfaits using some of my favorite oats, Coach’s Oats.

Baked steel cut oats in heart shaped bowls for Valentine's Day Breakfast

Traditionally peppercorns have infused many sweets. I have been seeing them used more and more the past few years. It is an ingredient in chai tea and chocolate manufacturers often include it. David Lebovitz uses it in ice cream in his recipe for Milk Chocolate and Black Pepper Ice Cream. Martha even has it here in her Chocolate Black Pepper Cookies.

Freshly picked mandarins with green leafy stems.

When at the market, keep an eye out for all different kinds of pepper. I keep our pantry stocked with white, pink and black. They have subtle taste variations and are fun to use alone or together. Using coarse or fine ground will change things up too. Top your baked oatmeal with any dried or fresh fruit. I love raisins and dates in mine. Mandarins were also very tasty. They paired really well with the pepper and coconut. Come to think of it raspberries and strawberries would too.

Healthy, whole grain, organic steel cut oats breakfast. This is a one of my go-to breakfasts for big ski days in Telluride. Oats give you lots of energy and are a great slow burning, high energy carb. A warm bowl of oats is both satisfying & pleasurable on so many levels. How do you like your oatmeal?


Baked Coconut Oatmeal with Pepper Nut Topping

Makes four servings


  • Use your favorite pepper, I like cracked black pepper. You can also use pink or white pepper or a combination of all three. The white will infuse a more mild taste.
  • Stir in a handful of diced dried or fresh fruit to your oatmeal before you bake it if desired.
  • I use toasted Walnuts in this recipe. Pecans, hazelnuts and many others would be great too. To toast nuts pre heat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the center. Place nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until slightly browned and fragrant about 10 minutes. Let cool in baking sheet. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • You can also use oat bran or old fashioned rolled oats, you will not need to soak these the night before. Prepare them in the microwave or over the stove according to package directions and then bake with the recipe ingredients.


  • 1 cup dry Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 cup light Coconut Milk
  • 1 large Egg, whisked
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • Cooking Spray
  • a few pinches Cracked Black Pepper
  • Stevia or favorite natural sweetener to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted Walnuts or Pecans


  • extra chopped, toasted Nuts
  • Coconut Milk, Cream or Fat Free Yogurt
  • toasted, unsweetened Coconut
  • more spices such as Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ginger, Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • any fresh or dried fruit
  • Maple Syrup or any sweetener you like


Soak steel cut oats overnight in 1 cup water. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Toast the nuts if you have not all ready. Spray a 8 X 8 baking dish or individual bake safe bowls with cooking spray. If using smaller bowls put onto a baking sheet so they are easy to transfer to the oven. In a medium bowl, combine soaked oats with coconut milk, egg, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla extract. Sweeten to taste. Divide mixture evenly into bowls or spread into baking dish. Divide nuts evenly over the top of the oatmeal, sprinkle on the pepper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Garnish with fruit, nuts, cream, etc.


Oatmeal Recipe Links

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

58 thoughts on “Baked Coconut Oatmeal with Pepper Nut Topping

  1. Your posts always make me so happy, so colorful and such exquisite photography! I foresee your work in magazines girl!! xoxo Let’s do lunch this week, miss you!

  2. Your little heart-shaped bowls are too cute, Marla! Love
    the idea of adding peppercorns to oats…what an exciting way to
    wake up the palate!

  3. You KNOW I am in love with this… you just blow me away
    with your creativity!!! The pictures and the recipe and the
    ingredients… and just perfection!!

  4. New header looks so awesome! Love coconut. All your photos
    are so bright and happy! Where do you find those sweet heart bowls?
    So yummy. Great comfort food.

  5. You go Girl! The composition in those photos is wonderful! I especially like the white on white to add some texture. Very nice.

    Oh! and the recipe…WOW! Sounds like a great way to start out the day, and with a whole heck of a lot of flavor. Delish!

    Love the new header, too.
    I’ve been meaning to thank you for introducing me to Stevia, especially the drops. Just wonderful. I’m enjoying them very much. Glad I have your shop to find them in, too. 🙂

  6. First, the recipe is wonderful! The food photography is out
    of this world!!! ( i am buying that lens…very soon!) And your new
    header, your new “look” here, less pink, more white/crisp…LOVE
    IT! You look beyond beautiful in that header pic, btw. Amazing!

    1. Averie: I am so happy we switched to a white header. It shows off the colors of the photos better. I agree with you-way cleaner. Was time to ditch the heavy pink 😉

  7. What great timing! I just discovered the joys of baked
    oatmeal from my college friend. Hers was filled with berries, but
    your coconut pepper nut version sounds even more intriguing and
    just as tasty!

    1. Xialou: I love baked oatmeal with berries too! Really any combo of flavors works for me when it comes to oats. The coconut milk adds so much, subtle sweetness and tons of flavor.

  8. This looks so yummy. Love your new profile and pictures,
    you are so beautiful in them. Your new look on the blog is so
    professional and brings your site to the next level. xoxo,

  9. The pepper infusion definitely elevates these from being an every day breakfast to a truly gourmet one! Only you could make oats look this good, Marla!

  10. I’ve been toying with the idea of adding coconut milk to
    oatmeal for a while now, but I haven’t had the guts to fully commit
    by opening a can!

  11. As always, you have such a great way of combining healthy
    ingredients in a very innovative, delicious way, Marla. Although I
    often use coarse grained pepper and coconut milk to perk up my
    fresh fruit sorbets, it never occurred to me to try them with
    fruity breakfast oatmeal, as you’ve done here. A great combo, which
    I will try with the carambola, oranges, and tangerines I have in
    the garden now. LOVE this recipe!

  12. i could live for a million years and never consider combining
    these ingredients. thank goodness i read your blog, marla, because
    i think they’d be magical together!

  13. just discovered coconut milk & steel cut oats this week Marla! am going Vegan for a week trying to figure out some tummy stuff – so eliminating all dairy & meat. i have to say that i was quite surprised at how much i like the combo – i add just a teaspoon of raisins and a splash of cinnamon & the coconut milk – yum! your recipe looks great too!

  14. I never would have thought of this combination but it
    obviously works. Your recipe sounds delicious and you have done a
    wonderful job with its presentation. I hope you have a wonderful
    Day. Blessings…Mary

  15. Love your new header, Marla! Beautiful. As are these lovely
    little heart shaped dishes with heart healthy food! That’s the
    Marla I know! Now, your kiddies are getting old enough to assist in
    the kitchen and it would be WONDERFUL to see them cooking with you!
    🙂 Valerie

  16. This looks like a hearty healthy breakfast treat! I love coconut milk, it adds sweetness and for non-dairy users, it’s a perfect substitute in moderation.

    1. Bren: Those cute heart shaped bowls I got a few years ago at Williams Sonoma. Not sure if they still make them. You might want to check. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. I made this today and I am a steel cut oats convert! I can’t wait to try more recipes on your site, especially the sugar free recipes! Thanks for posting!!

    1. KittyKat: I am so happy you have converted to steel cut oats. Once you start making them there is no turning back. They really are very simple to prepare and full of flavor. I am thinking of posting some more recipes using them some time again soon. I hope you enjoy my other sugar free recipes too!