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Cool Cakes

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

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My grandma’s oatmeal cake might be classed as a ‘lazy cake’ but it is far from bland. This oatmeal cake recipe has been a family favorite ever since I can remember. It’s super easy to bake from scratch. And I love that the cake manages to stay moist, even when you bake it because the oats have been soaked in the boiling water.

Best of all, you probably have all of the ingredients right now in your pantry. The flavorful layer cake is topped by a thick layer of creamy white frosting. For me, the frosting is always the best part of this oatmeal cake.

Looking for some other delicious cake options? Make sure you try our Better Than Sex Cake, chocolate poke cake, and our lemon poke cake.

square slice of oatmeal cake with white frosting

Oatmeal Cake:

An oatmeal cake is an old fashioned sponge-like dessert. The cake itself is brown in color and has a moist, sweet taste. Because this type of cake is so easy to make, some people refer to it as a lazy cake.

This oatmeal cake recipe is full of good ingredients that would have lined pantries back in the good old days. In fact, you likely have most of the ingredients needed already. (The same goes for our classic carrot cake.)

So, what do you say? Are you ready to get baking?

Oatmeal Cake Ingredients You Will Need

For the oatmeal cake:

  • 1 ½ cups of boiling water
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 1 ½ cups of shortening
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ a cup of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ a cup of margarine
  • ½ a cup of shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

collage of steps for making oatmeal cake

How to Make an Oatmeal Cake

To bake this oatmeal cake from scratch, you will first need to put your oats into a bowl and pour the boiling water over the oats. Cover the bowl and leave the oats to stand for 20 minutes so they swell and thicken.

While the oats are in the hot water doing their thing, cream together the shortening, the white sugar, and the brown sugar. Then mix in the eggs, flour, salt, nutmeg, soda, and cinnamon.

Once all the ingredients are combined, uncover your oats and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Transfer the mixture to a large greased loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

TIP: Before you remove the oatmeal cake from the oven, stick a knife for skewer into the middle of the cake and make sure it comes out clean. That way you know the middle of your oatmeal cake is cooked and you avoid the disappointment of an uncooked center.

How Long to Bake an Oatmeal Cake

Your homemade oatmeal cake will take 40 – 45 minutes to bake in the oven at 325 degrees.

However, if you would rather, you can always put the oatmeal cake mixture into cupcake or muffin cases and bake for 15 – 20 minutes to have oatmeal muffins.

Less cooking time and individual portions ready to go – sounds heavenly to me!

Oatmeal Cake Frosting

To make the oatmeal cake icing, you need to cook the milk and flour in a saucepan over the stove on low heat until the mixture becomes thick.

Once the milk and flour thicken, remove it from the hob and leave to cool. Cream together the sugar, margarine, and shortening.

Once the milk and flour mixture has cooled, beat together with the creamed sugar, margarine, and shortening and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

When the cake has cooled, generously spread the oatmeal cake frosting over the top. All that’s left to do is cut into portions, serve and enjoy.

What to Serve with Oatmeal Cake

A homemade oatmeal cake is one of the best coffee cake type treats. Nothing beats a slice of this old fashioned oatmeal cake with a generous smothering of frosting and a nice warm drink. It goes perfectly with a latte or a cappuccino.

two pieces of oatmeal cake besides cup of tea and casserole dish full of unserved cake

Storing Oatmeal Cake

If your oatmeal cake is unfrosted, you can use plastic wrap to tightly seal the cake. You will be able to keep the oatmeal cake at room temperature for up to five days in this way. Just be sure to let the cake cool completely before you wrap it.

If the cake has been frosted, cake keepers are one of the best devices ever! If you don’t have a cake keeper, a large overturned bowl or tin will do the same trick.

When the cake is iced, don’t worry about wrapping it up. Your frosted oatmeal cake will keep at room temperature for up to five days when stored in a cake keeper or overturned bowl on the counter.

If the cake has been cut, that’s when all that lovely moisture will start to seep out. There are two things you can do. Either cover the cut sides with some more frosting or tightly press some plastic wrap onto the cut sides. 

The only time you will need to refrigerate this oatmeal cake is if it’s a very hot summers day and the temperature of your kitchen is far too high to store it on the counter.

If you’re not planning to serve your oatmeal cake right away, it’s also best to keep it stored in the refrigerator so it will last a few more days.

square slice of oatmeal cake with white frosting on a white plate

More Cake Recipes You Will Love

Easy Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal Cake

This easy to bake homemade oatmeal cake is a family favorite from my grandmother!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Oatmeal Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Calories: 600kcal

Ingredients

For the oatmeal cake:

  • 1 ½ cups of boiling water
  • 1 cup of quick oats
  • 1 ½ cups of shortening
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ a cup of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ a cup of margarine
  • ½ a cup of shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

For the oatmeal cake:

  • Pour boiling water over the oats and let them sit for 20 minutes.
  • Cream shortening, then add sugar and rest of cake ingredients. Mix in the oats.
  • Use baking spray to evenly coat a 9x13 pan and then pour your batter in.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

For the frosting:

  • Cook the milk and flour until they're thick and then cool.
  • Cream together with the sugar, margarine, and shortening, then add vanilla.
  • Spread evenly over cooled cake and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 600kcal
Tried this recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it's okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.

    1 Comment

    1. Avatar

      Robin Whitesell

      March 6, 2019 at 6:39 pm


      My 10 year old and 6 year old grandsons LOVED! They don’t care for cakes, pies., homebaked goods… But they fought over the last piece. I will be baking again!

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