Oatmeal Cake

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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a moist, rich cake filled with warm spices and a caramelized coconut frosting. Your new go-to favorite easy cake recipe!

This delicious, rich cake tastes like Oatmeal Cookies and is perfect for lazy weekends as an easy Coffee Cake or quick Dessert Recipe.

Oatmeal Cake slice on plate


Some call it Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake and some call it Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake, but we can all call this cake absolutely amazing. The rich, cinnamon-y cake is dense yet incredibly moist and the caramelized coconut pecan frosting gives every bite crunch and extra sweetness. It’s an old fashioned cake that never goes out of style.

Oatmeal Cake is not only delicious, it’s super easy. The frosting is meant to soak into the cake a bit as it broils, so there’s no waiting on the cake to cool. All of the ingredients are common pantry items, especially during the holiday baking season. Speaking of holidays, the oatmeal makes it a perfect coffee cake for holiday brunches!

This Oatmeal Cake recipe uses heavy cream instead of evaporated milk in the coconut frosting, for a richer topping. You can swap in evaporated milk without having to adjust any of the other frosting ingredients. Oatmeal Cake is meant to be easy so use what you have on hand!

If coconut isn’t your thing, cool your cake and top with rich Cream Cheese Frosting instead. You could also sprinkle the top of your cake with chocolate chips right out the oven so they melt a bit. Frosted or not, try Oatmeal Cake with a drizzle of Chocolate Ganache.

Tips for Oatmeal Cake

  • The best oats for Oatmeal Cake are either old fashioned rolled oats or quick cooking oats. You don’t want to use instant oats, they are too powdery and the texture will be off. Steel cut oats are far too dense and take longer to cook, so skip those too.
  • Even though there is sugar in the frosting, you still want to use sweetened coconut flakes. Unsweetened coconut is chewier, less moist, and is better for savory dishes. Be sure to get the larger coconut flakes versus the shredded coconut.
  • As with all cakes, don’t overmix this cake batter. Oatmeal Cake is naturally denser than normal cakes, but you still want to gently fold in the oatmeal to the other ingredients so it doesn’t become too heavy. 


Oatmeal Coconut Cake in baking pan, top-down view

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    • Chocolate Chips: Fold in a 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the cake batter and sprinkle the top of your frosted cake (after its broiled) with mini chocolate chips.
    • Applesauce: Replace 1 egg and 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce for a lighter, healthier Oatmeal Cake. 
    • Milk: For a richer Oatmeal Cake batter, you can use whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream instead of boiling water to soak your oats in.
    • Brown Sugar: Use all brown sugar in the cake batter and in the frosting to make a super caramel flavored Oatmeal Cake. You could also add a tablespoon of molasses to the batter. 
    • Banana: Add a mashed ripe banana to the batter without any adjustments to make a tasty Banana Oatmeal Cake.
    • Chocolate: To make Oatmeal Chocolate Cake, replace 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. You could also add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the frosting.
    • Cupcakes: For Oatmeal Cake Cupcakes, divide the batter into a lined 12 cup muffin tin. Batter will make 24 cupcakes, so use 2 pans or 2 batches. Bake for 18-22 minutes and then frost and broil as usual.
    • Bundt Cake: Bake the cake batter in a springform bundt pan (bottom removes) so you don’t have to invert it. Bake cake for 50-55 minutes, then frost and broil it as usual.



  • Serve: Cover baking pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and keep Oatmeal Cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Store: Store Oatmeal Cake covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature or serve chilled.
  • Freeze: Once cooled, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil tightly and freeze Oatmeal Cake for up to 2 months. Remove plastic wrap and thaw overnight in the refrigerator or leave at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Oatmeal Sheet Cake with toasted coconut in baking pan

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Oatmeal Cake

5 from 3 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a moist, rich cake filled with warm spices and a caramelized coconut frosting. Your new go-to favorite easy cake recipe!


Oatmeal Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Coconut Frosting

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 6 tablespoons butter , melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cream


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 inch baking pan.

  2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oats, mix well and leave soaking until cooled.
  3. In a large bowl, combine butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Fold in cooled oatmeal mixture until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Prepare frosting while cake is baking.

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  1. While cake is baking, whisk white sugar, brown sugar, coconut, melted butter, vanilla extract, and cream in a mixing bowl.
  2. Remove cake from oven, and turn on broiler.
  3. Spread frosting evenly over hot cake carefully.
  4. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until topping is bubbling and lightly browned.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 345 calories, Calories: 345g, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 247mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 393g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 30g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal Cake collage

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    1. Sorry about that. I decided last minute not to use the pecans in the frosting. If you still want to include them, use 1 cup chopped. I hope you enjoy it either way.