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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Oatmeal and Laser
This easy to bake homemade oatmeal cake is a family favorite from my grandmother!
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Table of Contents
  1. OATMEAL CAKE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE OATMEAL CAKE
  3. STORAGE
  4. More Cake Recipes You Will Love
  5. More Easy Desserts:
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

My grandma’s oatmeal cake might be classed as a ‘lazy cake’ but it is far from bland. Super easy to bake from scratch, this oatmeal cake recipe has been a family favorite ever since I can remember.

I love that the cake manages to stay moist, even when you bake it because the oats have been soaked in the boiling water. 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. Chocoholics will also want to checkout our chocolate lasagna.

A piece of cake on a plate, with Oatmeal

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

A wooden door

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 powdered sugar
  • ½ a cup of margarine
  • ½ a cup of shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

HOW TO MAKE OATMEAL CAKE

A plate of food and a cup of coffee, with Cake and Oatmeal

STEP ONE: 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.

STEP TWO: 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.

A plastic container of food, with Cake and Oatmeal

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

STEP FOUR: Transfer the mixture to a large greased 9×13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Pro 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.

Cake and Oatmeal

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.

STORAGE

at room temperature

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.

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.

in the fridge

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.

A plate of food on a table, with Cake and Oat

Nothing beats a slice of this old fashioned oatmeal cake recipe made from scratch with oats, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon, topped off with a generous smothering of frosting and a nice warm drink. It also goes perfectly with a latte or a cappuccino.

More Cake Recipes You Will Love

More Easy Desserts:

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A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Oatmeal and Laser

Oatmeal Cake

5 from 4 votes
This easy to bake homemade oatmeal cake is a family favorite from my grandmother!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12

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 powdered 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 9×13 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
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Robin Whitesell says

    5 stars
    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!

  2. Carrie says

    5 stars
    This was such a moist and delicious cake! I did sub in an equal amount of butter for the shortening in the cake recipe, and decided to go with a glaze vs. frosting because I was short on confectioner’s sugar. Will definitely add this to my go-to cake recipe collection!

  3. Bridget says

    First I read loaf pan, which seemed wrong to me then the printout version of the recipe says to use a 9″ x 13″ pan. So the posted pics look like a 13x 9 cake pan too….Clarify, please. Thank you.

  4. Cindy says

    5 stars
    This cake look SOOO delicious. I don’t have shortening at home. Can I replace it all with margarine ?
    Thanks !!

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