Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake


Oatmeal Cake is the perfect dessert to make for your mom this weekend! It’s an old fashioned style recipe, like a delicious cake your grandma might have made you growing up. It’s an oatmeal based cake, and since they oats are soaked in boiling water it softens them up perfectly so you end with a moist and tender crumb in every bite.

Oatmeal Cake in 9 by 9-inch pan

Oatmeal Cake

There are many reasons I love this cake. First, like I said, it reminds me of something my grandma would have made. Second, the taste is simply divine – talk about savoring every bite.

And third could cake get any easier? You don’t even need to make a frosting, and bonus that means you don’t have to wait hours for a cake to cool.

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

  • Boiling water
  • Oats
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar and white sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Coconut

Ingredients for Oatmeal Cake milk water baking soda salt butter eggs granulated sugar brown sugar coconut cinnamon nutmeg vanilla coconut flour oats

How to Make Oatmeal Cake

First you’ll add the boiling water to the oats and let them soak until the mixture cools.

mixing boiling water with oats

Then in a separate mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric stand mixer) whip together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.

mixing sugars and butter

Mix in eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

adding eggs vanilla and spices

Blend in that cooled oat mixture.

mixing in soaked oat mixture

Sprinkle in baking soda, salt and flour and mix.

adding in flour

Pour into pan and bake.

pour into prepared pan and bake

Meanwhile stir together the topping mixture in a mixing bowl.

oatmeal cake coconut pecan topping

Once cake is set add the topping then return to oven and broil for a minute or two.

oatmeal cake finished baking

Let cool as long as you can handle then cut into slices and serve.

Oatmeal Cake in 9 by 9-inch pan

Variations on this Recipe

  • If you hate coconut it can be omitted.
  • If you don’t like nuts those can be omitted, if you love them feel free to double them up.
  • For a more caramely flavor in the cake use all brown sugar and omit the granulated.
  • Add raisins if you like raisins in cake.
  • Use cream or half and half in place of the milk for even more richness.
  • Skip the nutmeg if you don’t have it.

oatmeal cake

More Cake Recipes to Try

Oatmeal Cake in 9 by 9-inch pan

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Oatmeal Cake

5 from 10 votes

A soft and amazingly moist oatmeal based cake that tastes just like what grandma would have made! It has a delicious spiced flavor and it's finished with a super easy, sweet coconut topping.

Servings: 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup (97g) rolled oats (old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (105g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)


  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (105g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (85g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (a 7 by 11-inch dish would work as well).

  2. Add oats to a medium mixing bowl the pour boiling water over oats, let rest until cool.

  3. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer (or use electric stand mixer), whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy.

  4. Mix in eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg then mix in cooled oat mixture.

  5. Sprinkle baking soda and salt across top then pour in flour and mix until combined.

  6. Pour into prepared baking dish, bake in preheated oven until just cooked through, about 30 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile in a medium mixing bowl stir together melted butter, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, coconut, and pecans.

  8. Remove cake from oven once cooked through and pour and spread mixture evenly over top.

  9. Preheat oven to broil then return cake to oven (in center) and broil until mixture is bubbly and coconut is just starting to toast on ends, about 1 - 2 minutes (don't walk away from it while broiling!).

  10. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes then cut into slices and serve.

  11. Recipe source: inspired by Allrecipes

Nutrition Facts
Oatmeal Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 247mg11%
Potassium 175mg5%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Oatmeal Cake
Calories: 456 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Allie Foster: I’m 62 yr old and have been making this cake since i was 8. Before that my mom made for us all the time, then she took on her first job and i being the oldest was left to do the cooking. January 29, 2019 at 3:02pm Reply

  • Amy: What is a serving size…based on your nutritional info listed!
    Amy January 27, 2019 at 11:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t know in cups or inches, it’s 1/12 of the cake. January 27, 2019 at 11:38pm Reply

  • Ellie C: Could I add a streusel topping before I bake this instead of the topping you provided? Or do you think it would dry it out or burn on top? January 18, 2019 at 1:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ve added streusel to cakes with the same or greater cook time so that should be fine. If it did start to brown more than you liked them just tent with foil and continue to bake through. January 22, 2019 at 10:26pm Reply

  • Richa Patel: Oatmeal can be healthy also for us. oats can now be favourite dish for my kids. it is way easy and quick to make. and ingridients can be also easily availaible. any substitute for egless cakes?? September 17, 2018 at 4:16am Reply

  • Milena: So glad I found this recipe. Had no idea what ‘old fashioned’ oatmeal cake was supposed to be, glad you knew:) Now can proceed making my mother-in-law’s favorite, lol. June 21, 2018 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Jessica Simmons: This recipe is amazingly easy. The ingredients used are easily available in most households. Seems like a great choice of dessert, and oatmeal is really healthy as it contains soluble and insoluble fiber. June 11, 2018 at 5:35am Reply

  • Keisha-Gaye: Can I use quick oats instead of old fashion oats May 20, 2018 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The way they absorb is different from old fashioned rolled oats so I’d recommend sticking with the rolled oats for best results. May 20, 2018 at 9:46pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: This is a delicious, homey cake that my family enjoyed for brunch this morning. Thank you for recommending a 7 x 11 pan, as I don’t have an 8 x 8 one.

    Just out of curiosity, what is pink popcorn?! May 20, 2018 at 2:12pm Reply

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