When my little family lived in North Carolina, one thing I ALWAYS looked forward to in our visits “home” to Milwaukee was a morning (or five) at Colectivo Coffee Roasters. I love everything about Colectivo: the coffee, the atmosphere, the friendly staff, the coffee, the baked goods, the music, the coffee, the COFFEE, the COFFEE.

Then we moved back to Wisconsin and rented a little duplex. We loved our location because of the walkable proximity to a number of great spots, not the least of which was our neighborhood Colectivo Cafe.

The Magic of Copycat Colectivo Baked Oatmeal

I try to live by a pretty strict budget, but when my daughter was born last May, I confess that there may have been more than one morning a week I would load up the kids in the stroller and walk us over to Colectivo for my caffeine needs and a treat for my toddler. Usually I could get by with something small and inexpensive for him to munch on during our “special coffee dates,” until the day my husband gave him a taste of his baked oatmeal.


Have you tried Colectivo baked oatmeal? HOLY YUM. The rich, sweet, nutty, fruity warm-your-belly goodness is almost too much to handle. Served with seasonal fruit and a serving of milk on the side, once you’ve had Colectivo’s baked oatmeal, you’re absolutely hooked. And, much to my dismay, this was the case with my two year old.

From that first taste forward, any mention of going for a walk resulted in a hopeful plea, “MOMMY! CAN WE GET SPECIAL OATMEAL TODAY!??!”

And as much as I would love to indulge my sweet son every time he asked for his bowl of oatmeal, we really don’t have the budget for us to go out for coffee and oatmeal every morning (or even really once a week), nor should I be that caffeinated. PLUS, if you’ve had a two-year-old boy, you know they can eat about as much as a high school football team. One bowl of oatmeal was rarely enough for him. So I began to scour the internet for a recipe that would hold a candle to the Colectivo delectability. I tried dozens. They were never quite right. Too mushy, not sweet enough, too crumbly, too fruity, etc…it seemed no one had mastered the recipe.

Then, a few months ago, our pastor was preaching a sermon on something (I’m ashamed to say I haven’t a CLUE what the message was about that day) and he mentioned having mastered the art of copying Colectivo’s baked oatmeal recipe, at HOME. I was thrilled. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and with a few tweaks of my own, I have finally tricked my son into thinking we are getting *THE* “special oatmeal” at home, every weekend!!

Besides the obvious trickery, the best part? You prepare the entire recipe the night before, add eggs in the morning, and in 40 minutes you have an entire pan of the stuff to eat on all weekend long.



  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (more for serving to desired sweetness – Colectivo sweetness is closer to 1 cup, but I can’t in good health tell you to add that much to your oatmeal without tasting it with less sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon1 1/2 cups milk (buttermilk produces the creamiest result, but any milk will do!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • extra additions: craisins, pecans, blueberries, peaches, the kitchen sink
  • 2 beaten eggs


Mix all ingredients together except for the eggs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Remove from fridge and mix in the two beaten eggs.  Pour into a 8×8 oven-proof dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 min, or until slightly browned on top and center is no longer gooey (like a cookie).

***And of course, I still TREASURE my coffee dates with my little buddy. You can’t put a price on the conversation that comes out when he’s holding his own little coffee cup filled with “special coffee” (water) and munching on his favorite treat. We just can’t do it EVERY day.***

A Milwaukee native, Heather married her best friend 10 years ago, and has lived something of a nomadic lifestyle ever since. Schooling, family, disaster relief work, and a sense of adventure have moved them fourteen times (via 5 states) in 10 years. Regardless of her immediate location, Heather has continually heard Milwaukee calling her "home". Now raising a six year old, four year old, and two year old twins, and a newborn, she and her husband finally decided to plant roots, and are thrilled to be calling the Milwaukee area their (maybe) forever home. When she's not chasing around her growing brood or sweeping up cheerios, Heather can be found experimenting with recipes, failing at the Pinterest life, or finding new outlets for her singing and theatrical passions. Heather is currently working on her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and has a special interest in community development and adolescent issues.


  1. A sever at collectivo once made a list of ingredients for me when I raved about it. Sadly, I can’t find the list today, but I’ll try yours. I do know, however, according to their staff, there is no banana in it.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! When I lived in Madison, I absolutely loved getting the baked oatmeal at Colectivo. It was one of my favorite coffee shop things to get, besides coffee of course 😀

    Since moving, I have missed this baked oatmeal. I tried another recipe for baked oatmeal, but it was nowhere close to what Colectivo’s tasted like. I was so disappointed!

    Then I stumpled upon your recipe, and WOW! It is amazing! I must have baked this at least 5 times since finding it. It is such a perfect breakfast for those colder mornings when I want something comforting.

    Thanks!! 😀

  3. GUYS IT TASTES EXACTLY LIKE IT! I added large granny smith apple and a generous handful of dried cranberries. used whole milk and cooked in my dutch oven. SHE NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am no longer going to go broke on saturday monrings at colectivo.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love Colectivo baked oatmeal and this recipe is spot on. You have no idea how happy this makes me.


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