Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with a delicious comforting bowl for breakfast.

There’s a slow cooker category on this site and after almost four years, it has a whopping six recipes in it. For a “small” appliance that takes up an entire shelf of a corner cabinet, that’s pretty pathetic. None of them happen to be breakfast recipes either and after a week of single digit temperatures and a freezing cold house in the morning before we get the wood stove going again (because of course the year we get a wood stove to offset the insane cost of heating a house in NY, the price of oil plummets), I could really get behind an already cooked comforting breakfast that I can eat under my wool blanket on the couch with a cup of coffee. Since it happens to be National Oatmeal Month (yeah, that’s a thing apparently), slow cooker steel cut oats seemed like the perfect solution.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

A boring bowl of beige oats didn’t seem too exciting though which is exactly where dark chocolate and cherries come in. Any morning that starts with chocolate is a win by me but adding cherries and not just any cherries, but deliciously tangy and good- for- you tart cherries, makes this breakfast even better.

Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

Montmorency tart cherries (sometimes known as sour cherries) are rich in vitamin A and pack a nutrient punch to your breakfast that’s just an added bonus to their amazing sweet and sour taste. The combination of chocolate and tart cherries in this recipe is like taking a bite of black forest cake with every spoonful. Cake for breakfast? Um yes, please.

Crock Pot Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

So while these cherries are great in everything from smoothies, to drinking the tart cherry juice straight up or even throwing them in your bowl of cereal, I’ll be cozying up with a bowl of this comforting chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal until the temps reach at least freezing again.

Serves 4     adjust servings

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

Preparation 10 min Prep Time
Cook Time 8 hr Cook Time
Total Time 8 hrs 10 mins Total Time

This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with a delicious comforting bowl for breakfast.


  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce chopped unsweetened bakers chocolate
  • 1/4cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

For the cherry sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the oatmeal in a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker (*see note) and stir together.
  2. Cover, cook on low for 8 hours the night before and set so that the slow cooker stays on warm after itâ??s done cooking.
  3. In the morning, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 7-10 minutes until thickened.
  5. Uncover the oatmeal, stir and add a bit more milk if itâ??s thickened up too much.
  6. Spoon the oatmeal into serving bowls and top with the cherry sauce.

Recipe Notes

If your slow cooker is larger than this, you will want to double the recipe so that the oatmeal doesnâ??t burn as it will be spread too thin in a larger slow cooker.

*This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute as part of my ongoing partnership with them. All content and opinions are my own.


  1. Julie | This Gal Cooks

    All of the national food holidays sorta crack me up and I do not keep up with them. I appreciate your sarcasm pertaining to National Oatmeal Day. What? That exists? LOL. :)

    Totally digging this oatmeal, Gina. Those cherries, WHOA. I might have to make some just to eat straight from a bowl solo!

  2. lori

    I would love to do this but I’m a diabetic. That would send my blood sugar soaring. Not to mention that I am the only one that will eat it in my house. So if u make adjustments I would love to give it a try.

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    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Of course! Will change the taste a little but will definitely still turn out fine.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      probably, I might add a touch more liquid as cooking oats on high tends to burn around the edges. If you can stir on occasion while it cooks, that would help too.

  5. Patricia

    With fall in the air, time to think about oatmeal, which I live preparing in the slow cooker. This recipe looks enticing, but can anyone name grocery chains that sell dried or frozen tart cherries? I’ve been looking unsuccessfully in the mid-Atlantic area for years – wish they were not so scarce!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Dried are probably easier to find than frozen. I know Trader Joe’s always has dried in their fruit + nuts section if you have one nearby. If not – you can always find them on Amazon!


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