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Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

This Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a dense but moist cake made with oatmeal and a broiled pecan and coconut icing. This type of cake has been popular for years and has stood the test of time, but considering how good it is, I don’t think people (including me) make it nearly enough.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on a plate and a jug of milk.

Lazy Daisy Cake

This cake is somtimes called Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake. Flavored with a little cinnamon and nutmeg, it is such a great dessert recipe. The name “Lazy Daisy” likely comes from the ease of preparation of the cake, making it a delightful choice for a quick and delicious cake.

Oatmeal Cake isn’t the prettiest or most glamorous cake, but it is plenty sweet and delicious and just the thing to satisfy any sweet tooth.

This cake is super easy to make in a 9×13-inch pan and you can be sure this classic cake will bring a smile to everyone who tries it.

Oatmeal Spice Cake Batter

The batter is the foundation of any great cake, and this Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake is no exception. The cake batter is made from a mixture of oatmeal, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour along with butter, eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. The list of ingredients is fairly long, but they are all common items that you most likely have on hand. The batter creates a fairly dense but moist cake that is loaded with flavor.

A little cinnamon and nutmeg give this Oatmeal Cake some fall flavor and make it smell heavenly.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on a blue plate.

Broiled Coconut-Pecan Icing.

The icing, which is made from butter, half-and-half, brown sugar, coconut, and pecans is the perfect compliment to the cinnamon and nutmeg flavored oatmeal batter. Once the icing gets spread on the cake, it’s placed under the broiler to get the icing gooey and warm and the coconut and pecans nicely browned. It’s the perfect marriage of batter and icing that makes this Oatmeal Spice Cake truly irresistible.

Since this cake has oats in it and is named Oatmeal Cake, it can be eaten for breakfast don’t ya think?

Fork with piece of cake on it.


Try adding 1/3 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the cake batter for extra flavor and sweetness. Or you can add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves for more fall flavor.

Recipe Tips:

Instead of using a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour, you can use all all-purpose flour.

Cake can be served warm or at room temperature.

How To Store

Can be stored at room temperature for about 4 days. Leftovers go great with coffee for breakfast.

Cake in a 9x13-inch pan.

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Try These Other Old-Fashioned Desserts

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on a plate and a jug of milk.

Oatmeal Cake

Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a dense but moist cake made with oatmeal and a broiled pecan and coconut icing.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 16 servings


  • 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13-inch pan.
  • In a small bowl combine oats and boiling water. Let sit 15 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • With electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add 1 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat until mixed well.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with oatmeal, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar and half-and-half and stir until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and stir in coconut, pecans, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Pour icing on top of hot cake. Place under broiler until icing is bubbly and starting to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cool in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Can be stored at room temperature for 4 days.


Calories: 436kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut, old-fashioned pound cake

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Originally published November 4, 2015.


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23 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake”

  1. I had a recipe for this cake which I have misplaced. My daughter requests it for her birthday every year, so I searched out another copy of the recipe and found this one. My original recipe asked for evaporated milk instead of half and half, but I don’t think it makes a difference. I was really happy to find it! She especially likes this recipe because she now has to be GF/DF, and this recipe does very well with GF flours along with the oatmeal, and coconut milk instead of half and half in the icing (she can eat butter), so it is her perfect cake. FYI – I only do part of the cake with her icing, and part with the regular recipe because I have a big family who don’t need the special icing and I always doubled the icing anyway. The whole family loves this cake!

  2. Joan Miller

    It comes mighty close to the oatmeal cake I made 45 – 50 years ago in my Suzy Homemaker days. I don’t remember using whole wheat flour, just all purpose flour. The second day, the cake absorbs moisture, becoming heavier but more delicious that the day before. Wonderful with vanilla ice cream, or just as is with coffee. And yes, it has been a good breakfast option.

  3. I love this cake. I made it for my kids when they were growing up and would like to make for my grandkids but they are so into healthy and carbs etc. can you tell me the breakdown of calories and carbs?
    Thank you

  4. I have had this cake all my life… it’s wonderful. My mother made this cake in a snap, Being from the South we always had expected unexpected company, and being from the South my Mama fix three meals a day, breakfast, dinner and supper. This cake was always a staple , along with all the country fixings, fried okra, pinto beans, fried potatoes sliced home grown tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers. I could go on and on. Yes, we had a lot of fried food lol. And a meal was not complete without cornbread

    1. Cinda Kellogg

      I am from Kansas originally, and we always said dinner and supper. When I moved here to New Mexico, I was at work and I said…”what are we doing for dinner?” They all looked at me like I was crazy! They said ..”that is not for hours”…then I was informed it was called lunch! HA Even Grandpa Walton made the same reference in an episode…said lunch should be called dinner! Right on, Grandpa. And you are correct, this cake is heavenly..when the recipe came out, early 70’s my mom made it all the time. I ate the same way you did…

    2. Those were the days weren’t they! I made suppers like that for my family, and now they’re all grown and gone. I sure do miss those days. I bake this cake for my daughter’s shop in Lafayette Louisiana.Everyone loved it!

  5. Carol at Wild Goose Mama

    Yes I do remember this recipe. It’s associated with a very good, but now lost friend. Only lost track of her.
    But her cake lives on with me Very popular cake at pot lucks. Frankly I have forgotten about it. Thanx for the reminder and the recipe. Not sure where mine is.

  6. Awesome cake. Took it out of the oven 45 mins ago. My sister came over a couple of minutes ago (she’s my neighbor) and begged for a piece. I gave her about a third of it. She just called me. And all I could hear is blissful moaning and groaning. It taste divine and it’s so easy to make. I had everything on hand except pecans so I used walnuts. Perfect cake. This recipe is a keeper.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Lol! And how nice of you to share so much of your cake with your sister. Glad you both enjoyed it Danielle! 🙂

  7. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    You may say this cake isn’t pretty, but it looks stunning to me! So moist and packed full of flavor 🙂

  8. This looks so gooey and delicious, and I love that the frosting is like german chocolate (my favorite!). And oats in the cake make it healthy right? 🙂

  9. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I’ve actually never heard of oatmeal cake before, but it looks delicious! I love how moist and full of flavor this is. Just perfect!

  10. annie@ciaochowbambina

    Goodness this cake looks amazing…they say we eat with our eyes first – I love it! Oatmeal has never looked so moist and delicious!

  11. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes

    I Just wanna shove this entire cake in my face right now! LOL It looks to die for!

  12. Oooh, that sounds so warm and inviting! My husband loves anything oatmeal… I’ll have to whip this up for him one day!

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