Scotcheroo Oatmeal

TOMORROW is my 2-year vegan anniversary (aka my vegan-versary!). To celebrate, I made this beautiful baby that I’ve been trying/failing/trying/failing/trying/failing for quite some time now. But here it is, the most successful version.

Scotcheroo Oatmeal

Not sure what Scotcheroos are? No worries—you’re not alone. I myself had much confusion regarding this title, but now I can confidently give you the low-down.

Growing up, I was familiar with two similar bars: Rice Krispy bars and Special K bars. I had never heard of a Scotcheroo. However, I eventually learned that what I was calling a “Special K” bar was actually a Scotcheroo. To be a Special K bar, it has to be made with Special K cereal . . . duh.

So what is a Scotcheroo? It can be made with a variety of cereals, but wheat flakes, crispy rice, or Chex-like cereals are the most common choice. The cereal is crushed and mixed with peanut butter and butterscotch flavors (hence the name SCOTCHeroo). Then, the bar is topped with delicious chocolate frosting. 

Scotcheroo Oatmeal by the #OatmealArtist #vegan

Side note: my concept of a Special K bar was the same, but made with Special K cereal. It turns out that Special K bars a little different and do not necessarily contain butterscotch. 

I thought I would never be able to make this as a (vegan) oatmeal . . . until I looked up what butterscotch actually was. When I realized I could “fake” butterscotch flavor by mixing butter extract and molasses, I immediately got to work creating this recipe. HOWEVER, if you are not vegan (or if you magically find vegan butterscotch flavor or butterscotch chips), I recommend using that instead of the butter extract-molasses combo. Because let’s face it, butter extract is a potent force and not everyone’s cup of tea.

Scotcheroo Oatmeal by the #OatmealArtist

Note: I originally conceptualized this as a baked recipe. However, the butterscotch and peanut butter flavors were too muted when baked, making it lose its Scotcheroo taste. I finally accepted that it worked better as stovetop oatmeal . . . at least for now. 🙂

And don’t forget to participate in the contest to become December’s Oatmeal Enthusiast!

All you have to do is leave comments. See details here.

Random Recommendations:

Scotcheroo Oatmeal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

    For topping:
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • about 2 tbsp water (don't add all at once; start with one tbsp and add the rest little by little until you reach the preferred consistency)
  • For the oatmeal:
  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup (or more) grated zucchini or yellow squash (peeling is optional)*
  • 2 tbsp PB2, or regular nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp butter extract (McCormick’s is vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp molasses
  • pinch of salt
  • maple syrup to taste (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Mix the frosting topping together and set in the fridge.
  2. For the oatmeal:
  3. Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/4 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  4. Add grated zucchini and stir.
  5. While oatmeal is cooking, combine PB2, butter extract, molasses, and salt in a small bowl. Add 2-3 tbsp water and stir until combined. Add maple syrup to taste. If using regular peanut butter, you shouldn't need to add any water.
  6. Once more of the liquid has absorbed in the oatmeal, add PB2 mixture. If necessary, add more maple syrup a few drops at a time until it tastes sweet enough for you. You may feel that you don't need any! If you really want something authentic, use powdered sugar.
  7. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Top with PB2 chocolate frosting either by dropping a glob of it on top, spreading it on with a knife, or "pipe" it like traditional frosting. If you don't have a piping bag, put it in a Ziplock bag and cut off one corner on the bottom--pipe away! 🙂
  8. Add another splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (chocolate chips, crushed cereal like puffed rice or Chex, nuts, fresh fruit, etc.).

Just an FYI:

*I use yellow squash instead of zucchini so it doesn't have green streaks. They taste the same.
You can replace the butter extract/molasses mixture with butterscotch chips or extract if you are not vegan (or if you find a vegan version).

Two years vegan! Woohoo!

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About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master’s degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

14 Responses to Scotcheroo Oatmeal

  1. Christine says:

    OMG! I wish that I had seen this recipe before I had breakfast this morning (not that your Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal wasn’t delicious). I love butterscotch, but I rarely have anything that’s butterscotch-flavored. I thought that it would be a good idea for oatmeal, but wasn’t able to find any decent-looking recipes online. I had no idea that butter extract and molasses would make a butterscotch flavor. The topping looks delicious, but I have some Chocolate Better ‘N Peanut Butter to use up, so will use that instead. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Yay!! Happy veganniversary! And double yay, because I just bought butter extract when I was in the States last week, which means I can actually make this. Although, Kind David does have vegan butterscotch chips on Amazon…

  3. Kelsey says:

    When I read this I was sure I’d never heard of scotcheroos, or special k bars, before, let alone had one, but this oatmeal tasted so familiar. I’m not sure I’ve even had butterscotch before either, so now I’m super confused…

  4. Lyndsey B says:

    Congratulations!! That is such a big accomplishment, and you should be so proud of yourself for your commitment to the vegan lifestyle. I’ve never had a Scotcheroo Cookie, but after having this amaaaazing bowl of oatmeal, I think I will have to try one. 🙂

    • Lauren Smith says:

      It’s not a cookie, but a bar. Have you had a Rice Krispy bar before? Think of that, but instead of marshmallow, it has a nutty-butterscotch mix with chocolate on top. Just google it 😉

  5. Cassie says:

    Congratulations on your two year vegiversary! Is that even a word?

    Haha, I’ve never actually had Scotcheroos as a kid, but this recipe looks even better and healthier!

  6. Christine says:

    Curiosity got the better of me, so I tried this recipe this morning. The chocolate frosting was amazing! I would use that as a topping for other oatmeals (and baked goods). As for the oatmeal, maybe my mistake was using puréed spaghetti squash instead of yellow squash or zucchini. Butter extract is so potent that I thought that it would cover the taste of the squash. Unfortunately, it did not. The best bites were the ones with the chocolate frosting in them. I would try this recipe again – but with yellow squash or zucchini. I might also try unsweetened store-bought applesauce, since I have used that in oatmeal before and it added no flavor whatsoever.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      haha I love all your spaghetti squash attempts. Has it worked in any recipes so far?? You seem determined to make it work in something. 😀

      • Christine says:

        I’m glad you’re enjoying them, at least! Yes, the squash has worked a couple times. That’s why I keep trying it! The spaghetti squash worked beautifully in your salted brownie baked oatmeal. I didn’t taste the squash at all. I also used a little squash (about 2 tablespoons) to enhance a packet of banana bread flavored oatmeal yesterday. With a little vanilla and a dash of cinnamon, the squash blended right in and made a delicious bowl of oatmeal.

  7. Christine says:

    I bought some yellow squash, so was able to make this recipe as directed. The PB2/butter extract/molasses mixture tasted just like butterscotch when I tried it plain, but the flavor was muted in the oatmeal. As tedious as this recipe was to make, the oatmeal was kind of bland. Since I love butterscotch, I’m willing to give this recipe another try. Do you think it would be all right to mix the PB2, butter extract, etc. directly into the oatmeal, instead of mixing it in a separate dish? That would eliminate some of the tedium. I might also try using chocolate peanut butter instead.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Probably. I guess the intent was that you could taste the mixture on its own before stirring it into the oatmeal (to see if you want to adjust any of the flavors) but I suppose you could do that from the saucepan, too. 🙂

      • Christine says:

        The mixture tasted perfect by itself, but rather bland in the oatmeal. I suppose I could try upping the amounts of ingredients, or decreasing the amount of oats to 1/3 cup. The latter might work better (at least for me), since this oatmeal is pretty filling.

  8. Christine says:

    Okay, this is my last comment on this recipe — I promise! I made it for the third time this morning. Aside from using the microwave, instead of the stove, I used all the right ingredients with no substitutions. The first time, I used spaghetti squash instead of yellow squash. I was amazed by the frosting, but the oatmeal tasted like spaghetti squash. The second time, I had yellow squash, but was out of cocoa powder so used carob powder in the frosting. I learned the hard way that carob powder is NOT an adequate substitute for cocoa powder. Today, I made the recipe as directed. While it was better than the two previous attempts, it still wasn’t as delicious as I had hoped. I do like the frosting, so I could see making that again and using it to top baked oatmeal. I also discovered that butter extract mixed with molasses tastes like butterscotch. I have always wanted to make a butterscotch oatmeal, so I could see upping the amounts of both ingredients and then topping the oatmeal with butterscotch chips.

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