Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

This Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake recipe is a rustic cake with a bit of spice and sweetness that’s the perfect balance. It’s a classic cake that’s so easy to make!

Looking for more oatmeal dessert ideas? Try these old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies, or this easy oatmeal cookie recipe!

oatmeal cake on white cake stand

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake

This is a recipe from my Great Grandma and it always makes me happy when I make it. It’s an old fashioned oatmeal cake, which if you’re not familiar is just a very dense, spiced cake made with oats, applesauce, and some simple cake ingredients! It’s an easy one, which makes it just perfect for any kind of occasion: a birthday, a brunch, or just any old dessert. You can’t go wrong with it because it’s pretty much fool proof, and the ingredients and instructions are simple and straightforward.

I love it in the cooler months because those warm spices make it the perfect dessert or sweet pick-me-up on a chilly day. You can serve it warm or at room temperature, and it’s delicious with broiled nut icing (find my favorite recipe here), store-bought cream cheese frosting, or with a dusting of powdered sugar on top. I can’t wait for you to make and fall in love with this scrumptious cake just as much as I am.

cut old fashioned oatmeal cake on white cake stand

What kind of oats do you use in old fashioned oatmeal cake?

You can use either rolled oats/old fashioned oats OR quick/instant oats in this cake! They’ll lend a similar texture to the end product. You’ll end up with a bit chewier or a cake with the rolled oats (they are a bigger cut) and the texture will be just a bit finer if you use instant or quick oats. Use what you have and what you like.

Is oatmeal cake vegan?

It is not — there’s butter and eggs in it, but if you want to make a vegan version, you can try swapping in mashed banana for the egg and avocado oil for the butter if you like, I think that it’ll work just great.

Can I make old fashioned oatmeal cake with no flour?

Flour is pretty integral in this recipe and many cake recipes, but if you want to make it with all whole wheat flour, gluten free flour, or another flour varietal, it should work just fine! You could also replace the flour with oats that you have ground in the blender to me an oat flour. Your cake will be pretty dense if you do this, but if that’s what you have on hand, I’d do it!

What does applesauce do in old fashioned oatmeal cake?

Applesauce is a natural sweetener and moistener for cakes. It adds a touch of sweetness and moisture without adding many more calories or fat! Plus I just think apples and oats are just meant to go together aren’t they?

slick of oatmeal cake on white plate with fork

How to make old fashioned oatmeal cake:

  1. Add the boiling water to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the dry oats to the water and stir to combine.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl.
  4. Stir together and make a well in the center of the mixture.
  5. In the well, add the melted butter, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Add the oat/water mixture (don’t drain off any extra water. Stir together just until a thick batter is formed.
  6. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round or 9×9 square pan. Place in preheated 350 degree F. oven.
  7. Bake for 37 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before serving.

old fashioned oatmeal cake recipe how to image

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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake with missing slice

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x

Description

This old fashioned oatmeal cake is a rustic and warming cake with a bit of spice and sweetness that’s the perfect balance.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled or old fashion oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Add the boiling water to a medium bowl. Add the dry oats to the water and stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, add the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Stir together and make a well in the center of the mixture.
  4. In the well, add the melted butter, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Add the oat/water mixture (don’t drain off any extra water. Stir together just until a thick batter is formed.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round or 9×9 square pan. Place in preheated 350 degree F. oven.
  6. Bake for 37 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before serving.
  7. You can serve this with a Broiled Nut Icing on top, a favorite cream cheese frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar, or just as it is.
  8. It’s good warm and at room temperature.

Notes

  • Did you know you can boil water in the microwave? In a 2-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup, measure 1 1/4 cups water. Place in the microwave and microwave until water is boiling (2 to 4 minutes).
  • You can serve this with a Broiled Nut Icing on top, a favorite cream cheese frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar, or just as it is.
  • This is a rustic cake that is a dense with a bit of spice. It’s not fancy but it’s so satisfying.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231 Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 41.2mg Sodium: 167.5mg Carbohydrates: 41.5g Sugars: 18.4g Protein: 4.8g Vitamin A: 45.8µg Vitamin C: 1mg

Keywords: oat cake recipe, oatmeal cake recipe, oatmeal dessert, old fashioned cake

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Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cake recipe

This post was originally published in 2010, and has been updated and rephotographed in January 2020.

Other Oatmeal Recipes You’ll Love

I love this old fashioned oatmeal cake recipe from my Great Grandma because it’s so straightforward, subtly spiced and sweet, and just plain delicious.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.