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Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping

This Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping recipe is the kind of cake that can be served as a coffee cake for breakfast or brunch, with a cup of coffee and at tea time or as a sweet dessert ending to your meal.

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping

Easy Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping Recipe

Oatmeal cake is one of those vintage cake recipes that needs to be preserved because it’s so darn delicious! Oatmeal cake has a dense rich texture and a combination of flavors that has made it a potluck favorite for generations. What’s the origin of old fashioned oatmeal cake? While it isn’t exactly clear, like many vintage cakes this kind of cake likely originated out of a need to use simple pantry ingredients to make something delicious. The decadent broiled coconut pecan frosting is what sets this oatmeal cake apart and takes it over-the-top.How to make simple Oatmeal Cake:

  • Oatmeal – Quick cooking oats softened in hot water.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour sifted with baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and ground nutmeg.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter, softened.
  • Milk – Evaporated milk
  • Sugar – Light brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – Large eggs.
  • Flavoring – Pure vanilla extract.
  • Topping – Sweetened flaked coconut, roughly chopped pecans or walnuts, light brown sugar, melted butter, evaporated milk, pure vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
How To Make Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping

How to Make the BEST Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping Recipe

This homemade oatmeal cake recipe is one that can take you from breakfast and brunch to a mid morning snack with a mug of coffee or tea and dessert.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe for homemade Oatmeal Cake: Quick cooking oats, hot water, all purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, butter, evaporated milk, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, large eggs and vanilla extract.
  • For the Coconut Pecan Topping you’ll need: 2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut, 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, light brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: 13 x 9 inch baking dish or cake pan, stand mixer or hand mixer, small saucepan , large bowl, medium bowl, small bowl, whisk, nut chopper, measuring cups and spoons.
  • To make this cake you begin by softening the quick cooking oats in hot water before adding them to the batter. It’s important to allow ample time for them to cool.
  • While the oatmeal cools, sift together the dry ingredients in a separate medium bowl using a whisk.
  • Next, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to cream the wet ingredients together. By the time this is done, the oatmeal has likely cooled enough to proceed with the recipe and you can safely add it to the creamed mixture.
  • The topping for this cake is broiled in the oven. It’s important that once you place it under the broiler in the oven that you don’t walk away. It could burn easily due to the brown sugar in the topping.
  • You could use chopped walnuts or chopped pecans in the icing.
  • This cake can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled.
  • Store leftover oatmeal cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or on the counter for up to 3-4 days.

More Southern Style Cake Recipes to Make

Sheet cakes are one of my go to desserts to make and you can find me baking year-round regardless of the season or weather. More homemade single layer cake recipes you may like to try:


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Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut-Pecan Topping

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: oatmeal-cake-broiled-frosting, oatmeal-cake-recipe
Servings: 16 pieces
Calories: 453kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • Cake:
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Broiled Topping:
  • 2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3 Tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Mix together the oats and hot water in a small bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the oats to soften and cool.
  • Use a whisk to sift together all purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, evaporated milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla.
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  • Add the cooled oats and dry ingredients to the creamed butter. Continue to beat with a mixer just until fully combined. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back with moist crumbs.
  • Topping: Melt butter in a medium size microwave safe bowl.
  • Add the remaining topping ingredients mixing until fully combined.
  • Spread the topping evenly onto the cake immediately after it’s removed from the oven. Increase the oven setting to broil moving the rack to the upper third of the oven.
  • Broil for 3-5 minutes until the topping has melted and is bubbly. Do not walk away the topping can burn easily if left unattended.
  • Cool to warm or serve at room temperature.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! A +++++
    I love the coconut topping. I did cut back on all the sugar amts by half, and replaced the flour with ground oatmeal flour: personal preference, it was absolutely wonderful. Added 2 tsp of chia seeds to up the nutrition. Used cream instead of evaporated milk. Soo good warm with a little butter.
    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    My sister made this cake for my birthday this year. Yummy Yummy. Reminds me of a cake that we had when we were kids. Lovely
    Enjoyed very it very much.

    1. If you use old fashioned oats, give them a quick pulse in the food processor to make them a slightly smaller and finer. You would still use the same amount as quick cooking for the recipe.

    2. 5 stars
      I love this cake! I used more cinnamon and nutmeg than the recipe called for, but the cake is fabulous! I saw another comment about using less sugar which I would like to try, along with the chia seeds. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    The cake is easy and very good, my entire family loved it. I used oat flour instead of all purpose and it tasted great. I recommend giving it a try.

  4. My Mom used to make this cake a lot when I was young. I have looked for the exact recipe for years, I am so glad that you shared it. Brings back so many good memories.

      1. 5 stars
        This cake was delicious very moist but made a lot hoping I can freeze some for later.

  5. 5 stars
    My mom made this cake for many years.we lost her 4 years ago and never had this cake again
    I am going to try this and surprise my family.i was so happy that you have shared this treat

  6. did you broil the cake and topping in a glass pan? I cooked a pork tenderloin in a glass pan at450 degrees. When I took it out of the oven the glass cracked.
    I want to try making this cake. I tasted it, thought it was very good. Although the girl said she did not broil it.
    Does broiling it make that much of a difference?

    1. This cake was broiled in the ceramic pan that’s pictured and yes, it does make a difference. Please follow the manufacturer instructions regarding temperature tolerance for any pan that you choose to use.

    1. I’ve never tried either with this recipe but, sounds like a great experiment! Let me know how it goes and which you chose.

  7. I am so excited to find your oatmeal cake recipe with the boiled topping. I have searched and. Searched but missing details made it hard to FIND the right recipe.

    My grandmother from Texarkana, Arkansas used to make I saw the photo, My heart stopped for a second. Then I read through the recipe and I was transported back to my summer farm childhood of gathering eggs to make this cake with her. She used regular oats and we had jersey milk cows so we didn’t use evaporated milk.

    Making this soon. Grocery shopping first!!
    Thanks so much!!

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