Emma's Oatmeal Cake

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I've been baking cakes since I was old enough to climb on a stool, eager to help my mom in the kitchen.  Whipping up a batter from scratch to satisfy my father's endless craving for something sweet with his oatmeal for breakfast was a common theme at our house.  And it wasn't just my father who loved cake with breakfast - I inherited that love. While my mother kept us supplied with pie - custard, pumpkin, cherry, apple - I kept us supplied with cake. And oatmeal was my favorite.

In my younger years, I was a finicky eater and didn't appreciate anything with nuts or coconut, so my oatmeal cakes were served plain.  But this was okay, since we generally ate oatmeal cake for breakfast with our cooked oatmeal (can you tell we liked oatmeal?), and without frosting it seemed less of a dessert and more of a breakfast sweet.

When my father passed away last week, an Amish neighbor stopped by to offer his condolences, carrying a warm oatmeal cake his wife had just pulled for the oven. What memories that brought!  I promptly cut a generous square out of the center (no regrets about that) and took my portion out to the picnic table under the maple tree  as nostalgia found its way into every crevice of my heart.

Several days later, at my father's funeral, this kindly Amish neighbor lady slipped the recipe into my hand as she told me what fond memories she had of my parents.  I knew then that I would be baking this oatmeal cake before the week was over.

So here it is, in all its gooey glory, with a caramelized glaze of nuts and coconut.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Emma's Oatmeal Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cup of boiling water, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup butter. Set aside for 10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Pour batter into a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for approximately 30 - 35 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cream

Cook this on medium heat for about 3 minutes, then add 1 cup of toasted, chopped pecans and 1 cup coconut.  Spread this mixture on the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Turn oven to Broil and slide cake back into oven for several minutes (2 or 3 minutes - watch closely) until lightly browned.