Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake

GF V

This traditional old-fashioned oatmeal cake is made with rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, butter and has a delicious crunchy coconut pecan topping. It’s moist, rich and perfect for special occasions. Can easily be made gluten-free.

I am so excited about this recipe because it involves one of my favorite ingredients (oatmeal) in a brand new way… oatmeal cupcakes! These cakes are crazy delicious, vegan and gluten-free. The oatmeal cake is similar to a coffee cake or quick bread and it’s topped with a delicious coconut pecan topping. It’s sweet and crunchy and so tasty!

Overhead photo of a baking dish with oatmeal cake. Half of the cake has been sliced into squares with a few removed.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Oatmeal + cake?! It doesn’t get much better. This hearty cake is made with a base of oatmeal but sweet enough for dessert.
  • It’s an upgraded version of a decadent cake. Fancy enough for special occasions or just any ol’ Tuesday.
  • Can easily be made gluten-free by making sure you’re using gluten-free oats and all-purpose gluten-free flour.

Ingredients Needed

  • rolled oats – the star of the show! Make sure you grab gluten-free rolled oats if needed.
  • water – you’ll let the oats sit in boiling water for a few minutes before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.
  • eggs – helps bind the cake together. I haven’t tried swapping for a flaxseed egg but that should work!
  • butter – traditional butter or vegan butter works in this recipe!
  • cane sugar – I opted for organic cane sugar for the main sweetener in this cake.
  • organic brown sugar – you can swap for coconut sugar if you’d like. This will be mixed into the cake and used in the topping.
  • vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
  • all-purpose flour – all-purpose gluten-free flour works as well
  • baking soda and baking powder – helps the cake rise.
  • sea salt – brings all of the flavors together.
  • cinnamon and nutmeg – the perfect spice pairing.
  • shredded coconut – I usually opt for unsweetened but for this recipe I recommend sweetened shredded coconut! It adds a delicious crispy and sweet topping for this cake.
  • pecans – part of the coconut topping. You could swap for a different nut but I love the slightly sweet crunch pecans add.
  • coconut milk – I recommend full-fat coconut milk in a can to make this topping super decadent!

How to Make Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

You’ll start by letting the oats soak in boiling water for a bit! In a small mixing bowl, mix the oats and boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes.

Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the sugar, brown sugar and butter on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the oatmeal mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground nutmeg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Grease a 9×13 baking pan and carefully pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350ºF for 45-50 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to let cool.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the coconut pecan topping. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, pecans, shredded coconut and milk in a small mixing bowl. Spread the topping over the cake and place the cake back in the oven set to broil for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you watch carefully so the topping doesn’t burn! It’s done when the topping is bubbly and the coconut is golden brown. Let cool for 30-60 minutes before serving.

An overhead photo of 3 squares of oatmeal cake on a wire cooling rack.

How to Store Leftovers

Cover the cake and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze in a freezer safe, airtight container for up to 3 months. You can eat at room temperature or reheat in the microwave, oven or toaster oven!

Two pieces of oatmeal cake stacked on top of each other.

More Cake Recipes to Try

Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake

4 from 3 votes
This traditional old-fashioned oatmeal cake is made with rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, butter and has a delicious crunchy coconut pecan topping. It's moist, rich and perfect for special occasions. Can easily be made gluten-free.
Overhead photo of a baking dish with oatmeal cake. Half of the cake has been sliced into squares with a few removed.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, all-purpose gluten-free flour works as well
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg

Coconut Pecan Topping

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.
    A 9x13 baking dish that has been greased.
  • In a small mixing bowl add oats and boiling water. Let stand for 20 minutes.
    Boiling water added to a bowl of rolled oats.
  • Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat sugar, brown sugar and butter on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Fold in oatmeal.
    A medium mixing bowl with sugar, brown sugar and butter combined and fluffy. 2 Eggs and vanilla are being mixed in with a hand mixer.
  • Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground nutmeg. Add wet to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    A small bowl containing flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and ground nutmeg.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
    Cake batter poured into the prepared 9x13 baking dish. A wooden spoon is leveling the mixture.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool while preparing the topping — combine melted butter, brown sugar, pecans, coconut, milk in a small mixing bowl.
    Melted butter, brown sugar, pecans, and coconut milk combined in a small mixing bowl.
  • Spread topping over the cake and place the cake back in the oven on broil for 2-3 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and the coconut is golden brown. Watch carefully so your coconut doesn’t burn!
    The coconut brown sugar mixture added to the 9x13 baking dish.
  • Cool on a wire rack for about 30-60 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece Calories: 311kcal Carbohydrates: 44g Protein: 3g Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 6g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 46mg Sodium: 149mg Potassium: 21mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 33g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    15 comments
    1. Katie
      October 8, 2020 AT 2:07 pm

      5 stars
      These were absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
      Do you have any recommendations for storing them, where the should be stored and for how long?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 9, 2020 AT 1:33 am

        Hey Katie – So glad you loved this recipe. I would store these in an airtight container. They’ll last about a week in the fridge or 3-4 days stored at room temp.

    2. Chelsea
      April 23, 2020 AT 2:45 pm

      Would replacing the butter spread with coconut oil work?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 23, 2020 AT 5:09 pm

        Hey Chelsea – That should work just fine!

        1. Chelsea Scott
          April 23, 2020 AT 9:48 pm

          Awesome!!! Making them tomorrow! I can’t wait to try. Everything I have made from your blog so far has been AMAZING!

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 24, 2020 AT 2:19 pm

            Awww I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes!! Definitely come back and let me know how the cupcakes turn out. 🙂

    3. Pamela
      January 10, 2018 AT 11:06 pm

      We cannot use flaxseed how many eggs do I substitute for in the recipe

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 10, 2018 AT 11:17 pm

        Hi Pamela. You’ll want to do two eggs in place of the 2 Tablespoons of flaxseed and 6 Tablespoons of water.

    4. Valerie
      March 9, 2017 AT 6:00 pm

      These look amazing!!! Two quick questions: Is it canned coconut milk you used? And, can I use the Earth Balance sticks instead of the spread?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 10, 2017 AT 7:26 am

        Thank you! It was canned coconut milk, but I think the bottled variety would work as well since it’s such a small amount. And I’m pretty sure the Earth Balance sticks will work instead of the spread too! Enjoy these.

    5. Mary
      April 3, 2016 AT 2:12 am

      How many eggs do you add?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 3, 2016 AT 4:25 pm

        Hi Mary. There are no eggs in this recipe.

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