This old-fashioned oatmeal cake is made from delicious rolled oats and topped with a toasted coconut and pecan topping that you will die for! This cake is an oldie but a goodie!
I love old-fashioned recipes that have been passed along for years! You must try my grandma’s perfect fluffy pancakes, her delicious homemade bread, or her simple but perfectly delicious pie crust. You can’t go wrong with tried and true recipes like that!
What is Oatmeal Cake?
Classic recipes go down in history because they are the best! There is just no arguing that people love a good ol’ chocolate cake, a delicious pumpkin pie, or even (especially) homemade bread. This Old fashioned oatmeal cake is one of those! The cake base batter reminds me of a bit of homemade banana bread without the bananas. The texture is a bit different because of the oats, but it has classic nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
While you cook the oatmeal cake, the best part (in my opinion!) comes next. The topping. I can hardly say that part without my mouth watering. This frosting is made with brown sugar, butter, shredded coconut, and pecans… And you all know that my love for butter pecan runs deep, so of course, I love this recipe! (For all you out there who don’t like nuts, don’t worry, you can leave them out!). The frosting is put on the cake and then bakes for a minute or two until slightly crisp. The taste together… Well, you will have to make it to find out for yourself!
Ingredients in Oatmeal Cake
Using traditional ingredients, this homemade old-fashioned oatmeal cake pulls out all of the stops to impress your tastebuds. It’s so delicious that it will be love at first bite!
- Rolled Oats: Rolled oats have the best flavor and texture for this cake.
- Boiling Water: You will soak the oats in boiling water while you put together all of the ingredients.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter in this recipe. Leave it out so that it can soften to room temperature before you mix it in.
- Granulated Sugar: This of course adds a sweet flavor to the cake!
- Brown Sugar: Don’t miss out on the deep and delcious flavor that brown sugar
- Eggs: This will bind the base mixture together.
- Baking Soda: This will help your cake rise and be soft:
- Salt: The salt enhances all of the flavors in the cake.
- Ground Cinnamon and Ground Nutmeg: These two flavors together get me every time in a recipe! They are so good and do not disappoint in this oatmeal cake.
- Vanilla Extract: Add a splash of vanilla flavor with this extract.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter in the frosting and in the cake.
- Milk: The milk will help to mix everything together.
- Vanilla Extract: Adding some vannila really enhances the sweet flavor of the frosting.
- Brown Sugar: This sweet taste caramelizes and binds the ingredients together into a frosting.
- Shredded Coconut: I get sweetened shredded coconut for the frosting.
- Chopped Pecans: These are totally optional but they add in a delcious taste and texture!
How to Make a Homemade Oatmeal Cake
This cake is simple and once you’ve made it once, you will keep coming back and making it over and over again! I can’t wait for you to try it!
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
- Soak the oats: In a medium bowl add the oats and boiling water. Let stand while the rest of the batter is prepared.
- Beat: In a large bowl beat the butter and both sugars on medium high until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Whisk and combine: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and soaked oats. Mix until combined.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
- Make frosting and add to cake: While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting by stirring together the melted butter. milk, vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, and pecans. Once the cake has finished baking, pour the frosting over the hot cake.
- Broil: Switch the oven to the broiler and broil the frosted cake for 1-2 minutes, just until the edges of the coconut start to toast. This happens quickly, so don’t walk away from the oven while it broils.
- Cool: Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. You may also cool the oatmeal cake completely before serving.
Quick Oats vs Rolled Oats
This oatmeal cake recipe calls for using rolled oats and I highly suggest that you stick to that when you make this recipe! Quick oats are much thinner than rolled oats. Because of this difference in texture, rolled oats will result in a much chewier and better texture in this oatmeal cake!
Can I Make Oatmeal Cake Ahead of Time?
Yes! This cake keeps so well, you will never know when it was cooked! Make just to store it on your counter in an airtight container. It will last for 2-3 days!
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1 ¼ Cup Boiling Water
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter Softened
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar Packed
- 2 Eggs
- 1 ⅓ Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter Melted
- 3 Tablespoons Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar Packed
- 1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- ½ Cup Chopped Pecans Optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 pan and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl add the oats and boiling water. Let stand while the rest of the batter is prepared.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and both sugars on medium high until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and soaked oats. Mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting by stirring together the melted butter. milk, vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, and pecans. Once the cake has finished baking, pour the frosting over the hot cake.
- Switch the oven to the broiler and broil the frosted cake for 1-2 minutes, just until the edges of the coconut start to toast. This happens quickly, so don’t walk away from the oven while it broils.
- Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. You may also cool the cake completely before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
This makes a VERY flat cake–so little batter for a 9″ x 13″ pan! If I make this again, I will use a 9″ x 9″ pan and increase baking time.
I made this cake several years ago while tending to my mother who was sick I actually made if for her after receiving some from a party Let me say this,this cake was divine and I’m going to the store to buy the ingredients I don’t have on hand I love love love this cake It’s just me now so I’ll have to freeze some Thanks again for the recipe
Are you using light brown or dark brown sugar in the cake portion of the recipe? What are you using in the frosting recipe , light or dark brown sugar?
Light brown sugar for both!
When i soaked the oats, some water didn’t absorb and remained in the bowl.
The question is, add a soaked oats with the remained water or without to main bowl
Without the water!
Can this be made in a jelly roll pan?
I haven’t tried that before but I imagine that you could. You would have to adjust the cooking time to be less.
My great grandma made this cake for years. Every time I make it, it’s a big hit. I like to cook my frosting and just pour it on top of the cake without baking it further. I also prefer walnuts.
I love your recipes. I swear we could be from the same family. Thanks for all you share with us.
Thank you SO much for this kind message!
Can I use left over oatmeal, made from my morning meal, and if yes, how much would I need???
Can I use unsweetened coconut?
Sure! It will just have a bit different taste.
I want to make this cake! It sounds wonderful. If I were to cut the measurements in 1/2 and use an 8/8 pan, then watch my bake time very carefully, do you think it would work?
I never need a bigger cake, and haven’t much freezer space.
Thanks so much.
I haven’t tried that before but it should work! Let me know how it turns out.
Love your recipes! Are there any instructions for high altitude baking for this particular cake. I’m in Colorado at 6,600 ft. Thank you for your reply
Hello! I actually cook this at a high altitude so just follow these instructions and it should work out great for you!
How much flour – I can’t seem to find this. I have made many of your recipes.
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour. The recipe card is at the bottom of the post and has all of the exact measurements! 🙂