Oatmeal Cake

16 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

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


    • Chocolate Chips: Fold in a ½ 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 ¼ cup butter with ½ 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 ½ cup all-purpose flour with ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. You could also add ¼ 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

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!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


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


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 inch baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oats, mix well and leave soaking until cooled.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  • Fold in cooled oatmeal mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Prepare frosting while cake is baking.

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

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


Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Oatmeal Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This was delicious! I used it to make a 2 layer whoopie pie cake filled with marshmallow filling(butter, conf sugar and fluff). I used apple juice instead of water, reduced sugar to 1 1/2 cups, added 1 tsp baking powder. Baked the 8″ layers 35 minutes. I will make this cake again. It was yummy!

  2. In the frosting – you put ‘ cream ” … does that mean ” Whipping cream like heavy cream ..??? A little confused !

    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      Yes it means heavy whipping cream.

  3. This recipe sounds great; however, I don’t see pecans listed in the frosting ingredients or directions. How many are used?

    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.