Mom’s Oatmeal Cake

For Christmas 2020, I was given the best present. My mom made copies of my grandmother’s (who we actually call Mom) recipes. I love this little treasure and being able to see her handwritten recipes. This recipe actually came from one of Mom’s good friends, Diane Long, back in 1962 when my grandparents were living in Manhattan, Kansas.

A year or so ago when I was making an oatmeal cake for a friend, my mom was reminiscing about an oatmeal cake that Mom used to make. When I saw the recipe, I immediately knew I needed to make it. I was just expecting a plain oatmeal cake, and thought I would add a browned butter frosting or a caramel glaze. Little did I know, this recipe already came with a topping, and boy is it ah-mazing!

If you’ve never had an oatmeal cake before, you have to try this recipe. The texture of the cake is so light and fluffy. The hint of cinnamon and nutmeg gives it a nice warmth. Once you add the topping of pecans and coconut on top, you get the perfect sweetness and crunch.

I try to give a lot of the desserts away that I make, but this one I could NOT stay out of. I definitely ate more than my fair share of cake. Even my husband kept asking if there was more left, and I had to embarrassingly say no more than once.

The great thing about this cake is it is baked in a 9×13 pan and comes together really quickly. The topping may seem like its not enough, but it melts and spreads as you broil it.

Mom’s Oatmeal Cake


  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the Topping

  • 6 TBS. butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or nut of your choice)


Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. In pot, bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boiling. Remove from heat, and add the stick of butter and oatmeal. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes until the oatmeal has absorbed all of the water and the butter is melted. Once the oatmeal mixture is ready, combine sugars, eggs, and oatmeal mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Pour batter into your greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake bounces back in the center.

Once the cake has come out of the oven, start making the coconut pecan topping. Start by mixing the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in cream and vanilla. Finally, add in coconut and pecans. Carefully spread over the top of the cake, making sure not to press to hard and tear your cake to pieces. Spread as evenly as possible. Stick the cake under the broiler and let it toast until the coconut and pecans are slightly brown and toasty. Make sure to keep a close eye on it because it can turn from golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds.

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