Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a hearty and moist cake made with rolled oats, then baked, topped, and broiled with a rich, nutty coconut frosting. Enjoy a piece for breakfast with a cup of coffee (hey, there are oats in it!) or as a snack or dessert. This cake, also known as a Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake, can be enjoyed anytime! If you love everything oatmeal, you need to try my Oatmeal Cookies, too!

Pan of Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake with pieces cut up and a knife in the pan from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Oats: Look for old-fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats. They will soak in boiling water before being mixed in with the other ingredients. Letting them soften up adds even more moisture to the cake. I do not recommend quick oats.

Butter: For both the cake and the frosting, use unsalted butter. This gives you, the baker, more control over the amount of salt added to the recipe. If using salted butter, you may want to lessen the amount of salt in the cake.

Sugar: You will need both granulated sugar and light brown sugar for the cake, with more brown sugar needed for the frosting.

Coconut Flakes: Sweetened coconut flakes are added to the frosting for a tropical flair!

Walnuts: For a nutty crunch, I added chopped walnuts to the frosting.

Raw ingredients for Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake in a bowl.

Can I Make The Cake Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can get the oatmeal cake baked up to a couple of days in advance. Once you have baked the cake, let it cool to room temperature. Then, store it, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Frost the cake when ready to serve. Or, freeze the baked cake (unfrosted) for up to 2-3 months. When ready to frost and serve the cake, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

One piece of Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on a white plate from overhead.

Variations To Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

There are a few ways to customize this cake if needed. Here are a few variations to the cake:

  • Add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates to the oatmeal cake batter.
  • Try adding chocolate chips to the cake. (Yum!)
  • Make the frosting with a different kind of nut like chopped pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts.
  • If you are not a fan of coconut, leave it out of the frosting.
  • Opt for a cream cheese frosting (from my Carrot Cake recipe) if you prefer.
White plate with a piece of Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on it with coffee and a fork.

How To Store Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

To store Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake, first, let it cool to room temperature. Next, store the cake in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. It will last up to 3 days. If you are in a warm climate, you may want to store the cake in the refrigerator.

Pan of Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake on a white table from overhead.
5 from 1 vote

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 33 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake is a hearty and moist cake made with rolled oats, then baked, topped, and broiled with a rich, nutty coconut frosting. Enjoy a piece for breakfast with a cup of coffee (hey, there are oats in it!) or as a snack or dessert. This cake, also known as a Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake, can be enjoyed anytime!



  • 1 cup (90 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups (167 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (60.5 g) half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (139.5 g) sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 ½ cups (175.5 g) chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish* with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • To a small bowl, add oats and boiling water. Stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and both sugars. With the mixer on low speed, cream until combined.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add vanilla. Mix well.
  • To a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well. Add oat mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.


  • To a medium bowl add butter, brown sugar, half and half, vanilla, coconut, and walnuts. Stir to combine. Evenly spread over the hot oatmeal cake.
  • Place the frosted cake under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until the nuts are toasted, watching carefully to prevent burning.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.



*Be sure the baking dish you are using is broiler-safe; the cake with frosting will be going under the broiler for a few minutes.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


This cake sure reminds me of potlucks I have been to throughout the years! The cake is so dense and moist, and I loved the sugary frosting even with the coconut (of which I am not a huge fan)!


I love the coconut and walnut topping on this oatmeal cake. The cake has a lot of texture from the oatmeal, and the topping caramelizes a little from the broiler. Delicious!


This is such a delicious snack cake! I love the crunch from the coconut and nuts, and the texture is just great!


This cake has such an interesting texture! The coconut flavor really shines through and adds a nice sweetness. The cake itself is soft and moist!


I love the taste and texture of this cake. The flavor is sweet and a little nutty, and the frosting adds so much texture!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. This reminds me of a cake a lady would bring to work on Fridays. After she retired no one knew her recipe. Thank you so much very delicious and moist.

  2. I was very excited to see this new recipe for oatmeal cake. I am going to make a different frosting for it. It will be maple. Your maple frosting recipe on the maple frosted cookies was a BIG hit. I will be using that topping instead, he loved those.!!! Let you know as soon as I make the, Thanks Amanda

  3. I received this recipe from a neighbor around 60 years ago and it is one of my favorites that I bake frequently for special occasions. Everyone loves it.

  4. Great old time recipe. I’ve been making this for 60 years, having started with my mother. I use old-fashioned or quick cooking oats interchangeably and milk instead of cream in frosting.

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