Easy Oatmeal Cake Recipe with Amazing Coconut Walnut Icing

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I think we can all agree that great icing can take a cake to new heights. After all, people always say, that’s the “icing on the cake” when they are talking about something that’s an extra benefit to something  that is already good. That phrase certainly holds true when talking about the icing on this Oatmeal Cake (literally). Today we are going to teach you how to make one of our all time favorite cakes (we often struggle to decide between this cake an Heath Bar Cake), our Easy Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Walnut frosting.

easy oatmeal cake

You might be wondering…

What makes the icing so special?

Well, it’s hard to go wrong with brown sugar, butter, vanilla, evaporated milk, coconut, and chopped walnuts (You might want to schedule some extra exercise in the days surrounding cake consumption). It’s a little indulgent, but sometimes you’ve gotta splurge and go for the flavor. I believe this icing is very close to the icing you find on a traditional German Chocolate Cake. This Betty Crocker recipe for German Chocolate Cake uses many of the same ingredients. I also found this Lazy Daisy Coconut Oatmeal Cake which looks similar. I had never heard of “Lazy Daisy” Oatmeal Cake before, but it looks quite delicious. While the oatmeal cake by itself is very good, the sugary coconut walnut infused icing of this cake definitely take it to the next level. Sometimes the icing on the cake is the icing on the cake!

I know. By now you’re craving this. I know I am!

And you might also be wondering:

Is Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Walnut Icing Easy to Make?

Good news. We call it Easy Oatmeal Cake for a reason. It may be more involved than boxed cake mix, but, once you practice this a few times, it really is pretty easy to make. The Oatmeal Cake part is pretty straight forward. Mix brown sugar, sugar, and shortening. Stir in eggs. Add in your oatmeal mixture (We just use Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal) and stir. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Nothing to it.

As for the icing:

The key to perfect icing

Practice! I find the taste of the icing is always great, but it took me a little practice to get the texture of this icing just right. Trust me, making this Oatmeal Cake a few times is the type of practice you can handle (and eat!).

This Oatmeal cake really has found it’s way into our hearts. Besides the amazing icing which I could eat all by itself, it also reminds me how much I enjoy baking with Oats. We use Quaker’s Quick Oats when we make our homemade granola, we love baking oatmeal cookies, and I can’t wait to try out making oatmeal bars and some other oat based recipes.

On to the recipe I know you’ve been waiting for:

Easy Oatmeal Cake Recipe with Amazing Coconut Walnut Icing

5 from 1 vote
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For the cake

  • 1 cup oatmeal (We use Old Fashioned or Quick Quaker Oats)
  • 1.5 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the icing

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Add boiling water to oatmeal. Stir slightly and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • Mix brown sugar, sugar, and shortening.
  • Stir in eggs.
  • Add oatmeal mixture and stir.
  • Mix in remaining cake ingredients.
  • Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter, sugar, and evaporated milk.
  • Cook until bubbles and remove from heat.
  • Add coconut, walnuts, and vanilla and stir.
  • Pour immediately onto slightly cooled cake.

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  • Reply
    Nicoletta @sugarlovespices
    May 19, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hi there! Shared the love ๐Ÿ™‚ Your cake looks fantastic. I’m going to give it a try! Cheers!

    • Reply
      April 27, 2016 at 6:20 am

      what do you mean by 1.5 cups flour. is that 1an1’2cups or what?

      • Reply
        April 27, 2016 at 9:12 am

        Thanks for the question Jerry, yes 1.5 cups equals 1 and 1/2 cups.

  • Reply
    Greg (mywifecancook)
    May 19, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Thanks Nicoletta! Yes, the icing on this cake is dangerously good. Proceed with caution. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the share, much appreciated.

    • Reply
      Susan Mercurio
      October 26, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Basically, the frosting is the same as the one for German Chocolate cake.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2016 at 1:27 am

    You will love this cake and frosting even more if you put it under the broiler for just a minute or two after frosting the cake – it’s unbelievably good! ๐Ÿค—

  • Reply
    December 24, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    The ease of this cake, & then the taste of the frosting….wow! I just made it, haven’t had a piece yet, but I can’t wait! This is a great, easy recipe. I toasted the coconut for the frosting. I have no doubt this will be a family favorite!

    • Reply
      January 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Thank you. Toasted coconut in the frosting sounds delicious! It has been a favorite in my family for decades!

  • Reply
    kathi phillips
    May 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Is the frosting recipe mixed in with the cake recipe? Where does the cake recipe stop and the frosting begin? Instructions say add the rest of the ingredients so it is somewhat confusing to me.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks for the question! We’ve updated the recipe to separate the icing and cake ingredients. Hope that clears up the confusion!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    5 stars
    My mother makes this every Christmas for my dad’s birthday. We were told that it was the trade mark cake for the Desert Inn in Vegas. We also place it under broiler after iced. Yummy!

    • Reply
      September 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Really? No idea where my family first got it. The broiler idea sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2018 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    This is the exact oatmeal cake recipe that I make and it is awesome! The only difference is I make it into a two layer cake and double the icing recipe. It is my favorite cake that I make and I highly recommend it!

    • Reply
      April 5, 2018 at 6:38 am

      I love the idea of making it a layered cake! It is one of my favorite cakes as well! Thanks.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    I got this recipe at least 40 years ago. I donโ€™t really like coconut but I LOVE this cake. I also make it in 2
    layers with double icing. Very moist and super delicious!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      I love the idea of two layers!

    • Reply
      February 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

      If you donโ€™t care for coconut or walnuts, you can ice it with a cream cheese frosting . Instead of walnuts you can use pecans.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    What can you substitute the shortening for

    • Reply
      December 7, 2019 at 6:03 am

      I have used both coconut oil and vegan butter instead of shortening and been happy with the results. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Radcliffe
    July 9, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    5 stars
    This cake is delicious. The icing really makes the cake!

  • Reply
    Julia Kinsley
    January 28, 2024 at 2:03 pm


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