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Overhead photo of a baking dish with oatmeal cake. Half of the cake has been sliced into squares with a few removed.
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4.18 from 17 votes

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oatmeal cake
Servings: 16
Calories: 311kcal


  • 1 cup old-fashioned 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 canned coconut milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 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.


  • Vegan: I haven't tested a vegan version of this cake, but I bet it would turn out with flax eggs and vegan butter. If you try a vegan version, let me know how it turns out in the comments below!
  • Pecans: Feel free to swap the pecans with another nut or skip them if you have a nut allergy.
  • Coconut milk: I recommend using coconut milk as it adds a creamy texture but any milk should work here.


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