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Coffee Overnight Oats

This summer I fell head over heels for overnight oats and am in the midst of making just about every flavor I can image. I look forward to my coffee every morning, which is what inspired me to make these coffee overnight oats.

This recipe also uses a bit of brown sugar and vanilla to add a touch of sweetness and enhances the coffee flavor in these oats.

image of coffee overnight oats topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup

Incorporating Coffee or Espresso into These Coffee Overnight Oats

I like to mix instant espresso or coffee into the milk before adding it into my overnight oats. Milk gives these oats a wonderful creaminess and adds a lot of protein.

By using instant espresso or coffee, I’m able to pack these oats with a delicious, creamy coffee flavor without throwing off their consistency.

There’s only so much liquid you can add into your oats and adding both coffee and milk would be too much liquid. However, if you really love brewing your own coffee you can use that in place the milk in this recipe.

You can also add in a shot of espresso in place of the instant coffee and just use 1/2 cup of milk.

Getting the Ratios Just Right in These Coffee Overnight Oats

Oatmeal can be a divisive topic. Most people prefer their oatmeal one of two ways. Either thick like paste, or thinner and a bit wetter. I’m going to be honest with you, I like my oatmeal a bit “wetter.”

However, that’s not how this recipe is formulated. I created this recipe to make a thicker oatmeal once it comes out of the fridge. This way everyone is happy in the end!

People who like a thicker oatmeal can eat it straight out of the fridge and anyone who wants it a bit thinner can add a splash of milk or water.

The proper ratio of liquid to oats varies based on a lot of factors. For instance, I love adding chia seeds to my oats because they’re a great source of fiber, omega-3s and protein. But they absorb a ton of water!

Usually I stick to a 1:1 ratio of oats to water or milk, but I use 2/3 of a cup of water in this recipe because of the chia seeds.

How Far in Advance Do You Need To Make These Coffee Overnight Oats?

Despite their name, overnight oats don’t actually have to sit in the fridge overnight.

However, they do need a bit of time to soak up the water or milk and soften. If I forget to make my overnight oats ahead of time, I find they only need about 3 hours to soak before they’re ready to go.

They’re definitely a bit thinner when they soak for less time though.

Letting them sit overnight not only helps them fully soften, it also gives the flavors a chance to develop.

Long story short, an overnight soak is ideal but not necessary if you are short on time.

Can Overnight Oats Be Eaten Warm?

Not everyone can get behind the idea of eating uncooked, cold oats. And I get it, if you haven’t tried overnight oats before it does seem like an odd concept.

But trust me on this one, cold overnight oats are absolutely delicious and have an amazing texture. They’re also an incredibly refreshing breakfast on a warm day.

With that be said, you can eat overnight oats warm. They can be heated just like any other bowl of oatmeal. Pop them into the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals until they’re warm.

Substitutions & Swaps

While I love this recipe for coffee overnight oats just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

image of ingredients in a bowl to make coffee overnight oats
  • Rolled Oats – This recipe turns out best with rolled or old-fashioned oats. You can use quick oats if that’s all you have, but you should reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 a cup.
  • Chia Seeds – If you don’t have chia seeds, you can omit them from this recipe. They absorb a lot of liquid though, so you will need to reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 cup to get the right consistency.
  • Brown Sugar – This recipe uses brown sugar which gives it great flavor. I prefer using light brown sugar but you can use dark too. You can also use granulated sugar, honey or any sweetener you like in its place and adjust the amount to suit your taste.
  • Vanilla – The vanilla extract in this recipe is optional but it really helps enhance the coffee flavor in these oats.
  • Instant Espresso or Instant Coffee – You can use a cup of coffee in place of the milk and instant coffee/ espresso in this recipe.
  • Milk – I prefer making these oats with milk but you can also use coffee (and omit the instant espresso) or use dairy free milk like oat, soy, or almond milk.

Customizing These Overnight Oats

One of the best things about coffee overnight oats is that they are totally customizable to your dietary preferences!

In addition to the substitutions discussed above, you can easily make these overnight oats vegan, gluten-free or low-sugar. Below are some specific swaps for these coffee overnight oats:

  • Vegan substitutions: Use plant-based milk or water and maple syrup for sweetener.
  • Gluten-free substitutions: Use gluten-free oats.
  • Low Sugar substitutions: Skip adding the brown sugar or use stevia or monk fruit sweetener instead.

Tips for Making The Best Coffee Overnight Oats

  • Make your oats in a sealable container like a mason jar!
  • Double this recipe or make multiple jars to last the entire week.
  • Adjust the amount or type of sugar in this recipe as needed to suit your preferences!
  • These coffee overnight oats stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • If you like your oatmeal a bit thinner, I suggest adding a splash of water or your favorite milk before eating.
  • Top your overnight oats with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a dollop of whipped cream to take them to the next level.
image of a mason jar of overnight oats shot from overhead to show the whipped cream and chocolate syrup topping

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for coffee overnight oats, I’d love to hear what think! Please leave a rating and comment below.

Tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

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Yield: 1

Coffee Overnight Oats

image of coffee overnight oats topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup

These coffee overnight oats are the ultimate breakfast! They come together in a few minutes and are the best way to start your day!!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


Coffee Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or rolled oats (50g)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds (7g)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (20g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract - optional (4g)
  • 2/3 cup milk of your choice (160g)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee or espresso (5g)

Optional Toppings:

  • whipped cream
  • chocolate syrup
  • cocoa powder


  1. Add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  2. Mix 2 tsp of instant coffee into 2/3 cup milk and pour into the oats. Give them a good stir to mix the ingredients together.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. When you're ready to eat the oats, remove from the fridge. You’ll see that the oats absorbed a lot of the liquid, so you might want to add a little more water or milk of your choice before eating.
  5. If desired, top with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and/or a dusting of cocoa powder.
  6. These coffee overnight oats keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.


How To Make the Best Coffee Overnight Oats:

  • Make your oats in a sealable container like a mason jar!
  • Feel free to double this recipe or make multiple jars to last the entire week.
  • These coffee overnight oats stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • If you like your oatmeal a bit thinner, I suggest adding a splash of water or your favorite milk before eating.
  • Top your overnight oats with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup to take them to the next level.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 512Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 22mgSodium 191mgCarbohydrates 80gFiber 7gSugar 29gProtein 14g

Coffee in Blog

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Thanks for such an awesome recipe, Coffee Overnight Oats are really amazing :D xD

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