4.45 from 38 votes

Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal Cake is an incredibly moist cake that is covered in a sweet, buttery crunchy topping. It is out of this world delicious!

An oatmeal cake in a pan with a serving spatula on top.

This oatmeal cake recipe is a well-loved dessert passed down from generation to generation. It’s a vintage family favorite recipe that my grandma used to make. Do you agree that grandma has the BEST recipes? Tried and true. This was a popular cake back in the day.

The addition of oatmeal to a cake may sound strange, but let me tell you that it makes it incredibly moist. It’s not dry oats that you are adding. It’s actual cooked oatmeal. Who knew? 

You’ll also like this Vanilla Cream Cheese Cake.

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    On the top of the cake is a mixture of walnuts, coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cream. It’s sooooo decadent and is the best part, in my opinion! It reminds me a little of the topping on a German Chocolate Cake…minus the chocolate, of course.

    It is spread on after the cake is baked and then you broil it for a couple minutes to cook it. It melts and bubbles and is ready to eat shortly afterwards.

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    Why You’ll Love Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

    • A delicious cake from our family cookbook.
    • An old-fashioned recipe passed down from grandma.
    • The perfect dessert after any meal.
    • A sweet cake with moist crumbs and a sweet crunch topping.
    • Simple recipe that is easy to make.
    • Pantry ingredients (nothing fancy here!)

    Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake Ingredients

    The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

    • Quick oats or rolled oats
    • Boiling water
    • Unsalted butter
    • Brown sugar – Either dark or light brown sugar is fine.
    • White sugar
    • ​Large eggs
    • All-purpose flour
    • Baking soda
    • Cinnamon
    • Salt

    Topping Ingredients

    • Unsalted butter
    • Brown sugar – Dark or light brown sugar is fine.
      Sweetened shredded coconut
    • Walnuts
    • Cream – I used half and half (coffee cream).
    • Vanilla extract
    Oatmeal cake ingredients.

    How to Make Oatmeal Cake

    • Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    • Step Two: Pour boiling water over the quick rolled oats in a small bowl. Stir the oat mixture together and then let cool.
    • Step Three: In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
    Steps to make oatmeal cake.
    • Step Four: Add in eggs and beat until fluffy.
    • Step Five: Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
    Steps to make oatmeal cake.
    • Step Six: Add dry ingredients alternately with oatmeal mixture to butter mixture and stir to combine.
    • Step Seven: Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centre clean.
    Steps to make oatmeal cake.

    How to Make Oatmeal Cake Topping

    • Step One: In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, coconut, walnuts, cream and vanilla extract.
    Steps to make oatmeal cake.
    • Step Two: Spread mixture on top of cooked cake. Broil 4 inches from the burner until just melted, bubbly and golden brown, about 2 minutes.
    Steps to make oatmeal cake.

    Equipment Needed

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    What to Serve with Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

    A serving spatula with a slice of oatmeal cake.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Add chopped fruit to the cake batter. Try chopped apples or bananas or even raisins or dried cranberries.
    • Add nuts to the batter mixture. Try chopped walnuts or pecans to give nutty flavor and crunch.
    • Include more warm spices. Add nutmeg or cloves in addition to the cinnamon to your dry ingredients.
    • Incorporate chocolate chips. Stir in chocolate chips to the mixture before baking.
    • Switch out the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour.
    • Make a pecan topping. Substitute chopped pecans for the walnuts in the topping.
    • Leave out the nuts of the topping if you prefer.
    • Substitute whole milk or even skim milk for the cream in the topping. I like the cream for its richness.
    A piece of oatmeal cake being served on a plate with a spatula.

    Storage Instructions

    Let grandma’s oatmeal cake first cool down to room temperature. Then tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to keep out condensation and prevent it from drying out. 

    You can either store at room temperature if you plan to eat the cake in a day or two. If you want it to keep longer, it’s best to refrigerate. It’ll stay fresh for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

    Can I Freeze?

    Yes! You can definitely freeze this old-fashioned cake to enjoy later.

    ​Either wrap up individual slices or the entire cake tightly in plastic wrap. Wrap it again in aluminum foil or place in a freezer bag/ freezer-safe container. No one wants freezer burnt cake. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to add the label and date!

    When you’re ready to eat again, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter top for a few hours.

    A slice of oatmeal cake on a plate.

    Recipe Tips & Tricks

    • I’ve used both old-fashioned oats and quick oats in the recipe. I prefer to use old-fashioned oats for the best texture and flavor. However, if all you have is quick cooking oats, then use that.
    • If you prefer a less sweet cake, you can adjust the sugar used in the recipe.
    • Don’t overmix the cake batter. It’ll make your cake tough and dense. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
    • Let the cake cool before cutting into slices. It will be easier to cut neatly once the topping has had a chance to set.
    • Use a cake tester or toothpick to test for doneness. When the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake, you’ll know it’s done baking.
    • Keep an eye on the cake when the topping is broiling. It will burn quickly so don’t walk away and forget about it.
    • Don’t forget to grease the baking pan with either cooking spray or butter so the cake is easy to remove.

    Types of Oats

    • Rolled oats. They are also called old-fashioned oats and made by steaming oat groats and then flattening them with large rollers. They have a medium texture and are used in oatmeal, granola and baking recipes.
    • Quick oats. They are sometimes called instant oats or one-minute oats. They are basically rolled oats that have been processed further to make them into small, thin flakes. They are pre-cooked and dried which allows them to cook quickly. They often used in porridge and no-bake cookies.
    • Steel-cut oats. They are also called Irish oats or pinhead oats. They are whole oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces with steel blades. They take longer to cook than the other types of oats and have a chewy texture. I don’t recommend using them for this recipe.
    A piece of oatmeal cake on a fork.


    Can I make oatmeal cake ahead of time?

    Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time and store it, wrapped in the fridge, up to a day in advance.

    Can I use a different topping?

    Yes, for sure, You could use cream cheese frosting, vanilla frosting or simply sprinkle on powdered sugar.

    Can oatmeal cake be served warm or is it better at room temperature?

    It’s really a matter of personal preference if you serve it warm or at room temperature. I personally love it served warm. The cake is softer and more tender. You can warm the slices in the microwave for a few seconds to heat it up slightly.

    Oatmeal Desserts

    • Oatmeal Pie: An old fashioned dessert just like Grandma used to make!
    • Baked Oatmeal: A hearty, wholesome breakfast that will impress your family and friends!
    • Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookies: Chewy and packed full of delicious flavour and texture. These cookies are wonderful served with a cold glass of milk.
    • Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Cups: Nestled inside an oatmeal cookie cup is a layer of raisin pie filling topped with cinnamon cream cheese.
    • Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: Mega delicious cookies packed with mini chocolate chips, browned butter oats, creamy peanut butter and chopped peanuts.

    You might also like Sugar Pie, Earthquake Cake, Fruit Cocktail Cake, Carrot Cake, Pig Pickin Cake, Tornado Cake, Pineapple Cake or Fool’s Cake.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.45 from 38 votes

    Oatmeal Cake

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 8
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
    This incredibly moist vintage cake is covered in a sweet, buttery crunchy topping that is out of this world!


    • 1 cup quick cooking oats or rolled oats
    • 1 ⅓ cup boiling water
    • ½ cup unsalted butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp salt


    • 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
    • ½ cup walnuts chopped
    • ¼ cup cream
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract


    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    • Pour boiling water over the oats in a small bowl. Stir together and then let cool.
    • Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add in eggs and beat until fluffy.
    • Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
    • Add dry ingredients alternately with oatmeal to butter mixture and stir to combine.
    • Spread mixture into baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the centre clean.


    • In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, coconut, walnuts, cream and vanilla extract.
    • Spread mixture on top of cooked cake. Broil 4 inches from the burner until just melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.


    Serving: 1piece | Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 655mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 61g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword cake, oatmeal, oatmeal cake

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Saundra L. Weed says:

      The oatmeal cake tastes great with a cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, ice cream, or caramel topping if you don’t have the time or ingredients to make the original topping.

    2. The topping calls for cream. Is that coffee cream or heavy cream?

    3. Sounds delicious! What would be a good substitute for coconut and walnuts? A family member is allergic. Thanks!

        1. I make an oatmeal pie that takes 1 cup oats instead of pecans. Think I will try it with this cake recipe! Sounds delicious!

    4. Joyce Helman says:

      I LOVE this cake!! My mom used to make it for me for my b-day!
      I have an elec oven in the wall, so cant put it “under” the broiler..
      any suggestions?

    5. Cat Szuchnicki says:

      Can you use regular rolled oats instead of quick oats? If so, do I just cook them like regular (on stovetop with water) before adding to recipe? Thanks!

    6. This was so easy to make! My husband lo es it! I wouldn’t change a thing about this rec.

    7. 5 stars
      Absolutely delicious and just like I remembered at Grandma’s house! Thank you.

      If I had to change or add anything it would be to increase the topping to 1 and 1/2 times recipe. Maybe I’m just greedy for topping. I would’ve liked just a scoch more. Otherwise PERFECT!!!!

    8. Barbara Arnett says:

      5 stars
      My family loves it! Says it is the best cake!

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