Oatmeal Cake with Streusel Topping

I’m snowed in!


Okay not really, but it did snow this morning and that’s always an event here in Austin. I wish Fuzz had been home for the selfish reason that I missed seeing her reaction, but the snow didn’t start falling until after the last school bell rang.

Along with being pretty, the snow saved me some money. Normally, I’d run to the store for ingredients, but with the weather I chose to bee resourceful and use what was on hand. This cake was the result. I’d seen the recipe in books, but never actually tried making it.  The topping is rich and flavorful with brown sugar, butter and coconut and the cake is extremely moist but not mushy. I tried it hot, but liked it better fully set and cool.I hope the rest of the family likes it.


This recipe is adapted from Maryana Vollstedt’s “Potluck Cooking” and it would definitely be perfect for a small gathering.


Oatmeal Cake with Streusel Topping
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An oatmeal cake with a broiled streusel topping
Serves: 8
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked oats, quick cooking (not instant) or rolled
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (6.7 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter -- softened (I used an I Can't Believe it Not Butter stick)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Bring water to a boil in a lidded saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in the oats, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove cover and let sit for another 10.
  2. Meanwhile, stir flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg. Beat in the vanilla and oatmeal. By hand, stir in the flour mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 8 inch square glass dish (2 quarts) and bake on center rack at 350 F for about 40 minutes.
  5. While the cake bakes, stir together all topping ingredients. When cake is done, spread topping over cake. Preheat the broiler and broil the cake until topping is golden and bubbly – be careful not to burn it! Cool in pan on a rack and cut into squares.

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  1. Louise says

    I used to take this cake, or one very similar, to work probably twenty years ago. I think the broiled topping I made had a little coconut too.

  2. says

    This looks scrumptious and would be perfect with a cup of tea on a snowy day in Austin! It reminds me of a recipe from a Junior League cookbook called Celebrated Seasons. That recipe has slightly different proportions of sugar and butter but also has orange juice concentrate in the cake as well as in the topping. The topping for that recipe also has coconut in it. It’s a crowd pleaser and everyone asks for the recipe.

    I can’t believe you have snow! It’s sunny here, but of course cold and we have piles and piles of snow.

  3. says

    Bundle up and stay inside, that looks atrocious out there! I’m so sick of snow, I can’t wait to move to Utah. Oh, wait, that won’t help…..sigh.
    Cake looks yummy. I SO want to bake. We’re gettin’ there, almost there. House goes on the market tomorrow! Aaahhh.

  4. Pam Shank says

    This looks really good. I have had cakes similar to this but not for a long time,guess I forgot about it. I need to make this…thanks.

  5. says

    What is this world coming to when it snows in Texas? haha Snow is always a good excuse to stay home and bake. I live up north in PA, and we got hit with probably 24+ inches of snow. I’ve never broiled a cake before. I bet it makes a tasty topping!

  6. Julie says

    This looks really similar to my Dad’s annual birthday cake, except the topping in his cake is much richer (and therefore he can only have it once a year.)

    Here’s the topping recipe from my mom’s recipe collection:
    1/2 c. butter
    1/2 c. whipping cream
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. coconut
    1/2 c. chopped nuts
    1 t. vanilla

    Bring to boil the butter, cream and brown sugar. Add coconut , nuts and vanilla. Mix. Spread on a hot cake and place under broiler until bubbly.

  7. Martha in KS says

    My mother used to make a similar cake. It was delicious! I’ll have to try this. Thanks, Anna.

  8. says

    Boy, I did a terrrible job typing! It’s baked in an 8 inch GLASS pan. The glass was unusual for me. I hardly ever bake in glass pans, but I thought this cake would look pretty in one.

  9. Jennifer says

    Oh, we loved this kind of cake as kids! “Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake” was what it was called! Yum!!

  10. Janis says

    Looks delicious! Do you think if you made a mild chocolate cake on the bottom that it would taste similar to German Chocolate Cake?

  11. says

    Sue, this cake with orange juice would be terrifc. I’d like to see that recipe.

    Katrina, good luck getting your house ready to show.

    Pam, I’m glad I jogged your memory :).

    Carla, I hardly ever use my broiler because I tend to burn things with it. I took this one out right on time. My pecans were starting to singe at exactly 2 minutes.

    Martha and Jennifer, yes! I forgot the name for it but the name of this cake is Lazy Daisy or “Lazy Dazy” to be made on lazy days.

    Janis, thanks to you I want to try making a chocolate version of this cake. A mild cake like a German chocolate cake halved and baked in an 8 inch glass pan or even a regular chocolate cake recipe that has some brown sugar and coconut in the batter (two flavors that might pull it all together) would work. This glaze is richer and more like coconut pecan pie than German chocolate cake glaze, though. Since it lacks the evaporated milk and eggs, it has a different flavor. But I do think chocolate would be a good base.

  12. says

    Our news station has been talking about you guys with the snow and how shocking it was! All I can say is that I am totally sick of this weather (I’m an Okie up here. Two huge snowstorms in a month? Make it STOP.)

    I look at this and I instantly think of banana nut bread, it looks SO good (even though its not banana nut bread, but I love oatmeal cake all the same) I’ll have to give this a go in the future.

  13. LinC says

    In my family’s old version of this cake, you put the oatmeal and the stick of butter into a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Then finish mixing the cake in the same bowl. Simplifies cleanup!

  14. says

    LinC, that’s the traditional way. I preferred dirtying a lidded pan to wasting a piece of plastic wrap to cover the bowl. Also, I figured a lid on a saucepan would fit tighter and lock in more steam. Then again, none of the recipes I’ve seen say how tightly the bowl needs to be covered and I wonder if covering is really even necessary. Another thing is, if you do it all in one bowl you can’t really cream the butter, sugar and eggs properly. Maybe for this cake it doesn’t matter? But I liked the results I got with well creamed butter and eggs.

  15. LinC says

    I always cover my bowl with a dinner plate, top side up. Since the butter is melted, it isn’t creamed. But from looking at your pictures, the texture of the cake from my reciipe variation is exactly the same. More than one way to skin a cake!

  16. Vanilla Swirl says

    HI Anna!

    I would like to know how many grams of oats is used in the recipe…I don’t trust the measurings cups when it comes to baking!

    Thanks 🙂

  17. Holly says

    Anna, As always, delicious recipe. I just made this cake and took a tiny corner piece while it was still hot – it is the perfect comfort sweet! I didn’t see an oven temp…assume 350? It seemed to work fine for me, though I haven’t made my way to the middle yet. I accidentally threw the nuts (I used pecans) into the cake layer instead of the topping. They taste great in the cake, though I miss their crunch in the streusel. Guess I’ll have to make it again…and again…

  18. says


    That snow was something else. Our office sent us home at 12pm for our SAFETY due to the 1 inch of powder.:)

    I love your blog!

  19. says

    Holly, thanks for trying it and I’m glad you liked it. I ended up chilling our cake and the texture became really heavy and dense, but in a good way. Thanks for mentioning 350 F. I left it out.

    Barbara, I think they should shut the city down today for high wind.

  20. Hannah says

    A shortcut for me would be just buy a can of German chocolate cake icing and spread that on top of the oatmeal cake.

  21. Katherine says

    I made this cake for my husband to bring to a work party, and everyone loved it. I will have to make it again so I can try it. I made it in a 9″ spring form pan and it took 30 mins. It made for a pretty presentation and easy transport in my cake caddy.

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