Oatmeal Cake {Coconut Topping} – Two Peas & Their Pod


Quick Summary

Oatmeal Cake- this old-fashioned oatmeal cake with a sweet coconut topping is easy to make and a favorite family dessert. It’s the perfect cake for potlucks, parties, or just because you are craving cake!

oatmeal cake with coconut topping

Oatmeal has always been one of my favorite comfort foods. I love a hearty bowl of oatmeal, but I also love creating oatmeal recipes. A few of my favorites include: baked oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, breakfast cookies, and oatmeal chocolate chip bars.

I also LOVE this Oatmeal Cake. This recipe has been a family favorite for YEARS but I’ve never shared it on the blog because it isn’t the prettiest cake, ha! BUT we can’t judge a cake (or anything) on looks. Trust me on this one, this cake is absolutely DELICIOUS and you need to make it!

The cake is really easy to make, but it is a little different. First, you combine oats with boiling water and let them soak for a bit. I know this sounds odd, but again, trust me. You want the oats to soften up before adding them to the cake batter.

After you bake the oatmeal cake, you cover it in a sweet brown sugar coconut topping that is incredible. It kind of reminds me German chocolate cake frosting.

Ok, and now for the weird part, you put the cake under the broiler to toast coconut and to get the topping all crispy and caramelized.

So yeah, this cake has some odd steps and it isn’t the prettiest cake, but every time I make it, it gets devoured by friends and family. The cake is tender, moist, perfectly spiced with cinnamon and the coconut topping is to die for! It’s not fancy, but it is irresistible.

The next time you need a dessert, make this easy oatmeal cake. And if you end up eating it for breakfast, no judgement here, it is oatmeal:)

piece of oatmeal cake

Cake Ingredients

I love this cake because it is made with basic ingredients. You can bake this cake anytime and all of the time! No excuses!

  • Oats– the star of the cake! Make sure you use old fashioned oats.
  • Boiling water– sounds odd, but you soak the oats in boiling water so they can soften up a bit.
  • Flour– use all-purpose flour. If you want to make the cake gluten-free, you can use all-purpose gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats.
  • Cinnamon– a MUST for oatmeal!
  • Baking soda– to help the cake rise.
  • Salt– for flavor!
  • Brown sugar– make sure you pack your brown sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar, both work well.
  • Granulated sugar– it is cake, so bring on the sugar:)
  • Butter– use unsalted butter and make sure it is at room temperature.
  • Eggs– large eggs that are at room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract– the best!

Coconut Topping

The cake gets covered in a coconut topping instead of a traditional frosting. It may sound odd, but it is my favorite part of the cake. Don’t skip it!

  • Butter– bring on the butter!
  • Brown sugar– to sweeten the topping! It also gives it a caramel flavor that is incredible!
  • Milk– use whole milk to make the topping rich and delicious!
  • Vanilla extract– a splash!
  • Coconut– use sweetened shredded (flaked) coconut.
oatmeal cake cut into pieces in pan

How to Make Oatmeal Cake

  • Preheat the oven and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Place the oats in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oats and let sit while you prepare the cake, about 10 minutes. You want to make sure you give them enough time to soften before adding them to the cake batter.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  • Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add the oat mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check early to be safe! Remove the pan from the oven and set aside while you make the coconut topping.
  • Preheat the oven to broil. Yes, you broil the cake. I know it sounds weird but trust me:)
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and milk. Heat over medium-high, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and coconut.
  • Pour the coconut topping over the warm cake and evenly spread with a spatula.
  • Place the cake back in the oven, under the broiler, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the coconut is toasted. Don’t walk away, this won’t take long!
  • Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Variations

  • Spice it up! Add a little nutmeg or cardamom to the cake.
  • Add raisins or dried cranberries to the cake! Dried fruit goes great with oatmeal.
  • Stir in chocolate chips! Chocolate is always a good idea!
  • Feeling nutty? Stir in chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • You can also add nuts to the coconut topping. Pecans, almonds, or walnuts work well.

FAQ

Can I use quick oats instead of old fashioned oats?

No, use old fashioned rolled oats for this recipe. You soak the oats before adding them to the cake. If you use quick oats, the texture will be too soggy.

Can I add nuts to the coconut topping?

Yes, you can add chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts to the coconut topping if you want a little extra crunch.

How do I store oatmeal cake?

Let the cake cool completely. You can leave it in the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Store on the counter for up to 3 days. If your house is super humid and hot, you can store the cake in the refrigerator. Let the came come to room temperature before serving.

pieces of oatmeal cake on plates with forks

More Cake Recipes

Oatmeal Cake

This old-fashioned oatmeal cake with a sweet coconut topping is easy to make and a favorite family dessert. It’s the perfect cake for potlucks, parties, or just because you are craving cake!

For the oatmeal cake:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  • Place the oats in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oats and let sit while you prepare the cake, about 10 minutes.

  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  • Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat the butter and sugars together until creamy. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, as necessary.

  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add the oat mixture and mix until combined.

  • Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside while you make the topping.

  • Preheat the oven to broil. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and milk. Heat over medium-high, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and coconut.

  • Pour the coconut topping over the warm cake and evenly spread with a spatula.

  • Place the cake back in the oven, under the broiler, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the coconut is toasted. Don’t walk away, this won’t take long!

  • Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Calories: 264kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 139mg, Potassium: 79mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 309IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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