Oatmeal Cake with Vanilla Sauce

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Old-fashioned oatmeal cake like mom used to make but taken up 10 notches with the tastiest, rich homemade vanilla sauce. 

piece of cake on a plate with fork taking a bite out

You all know growing up my mom made some amazing dishes. Meals that are forever seared into my brain as some of the best foods I’ve ever eaten, ones that I’ve recreated here to get them written down and to pass them on for others to enjoy. Her baking was no different — especially this oatmeal cake. It’s a throwback for sure but top it with a delicious, rich vanilla sauce and it brings this cake into a whole new era! 

pieces of oatmeal cake on table with fork and jar of sauce

Here’s How You Make It 

four steps of preparing oatmeal cake batter
  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Then, take out a medium mixing bowl and combine the oats with the hot water, stir them together, and let them soak while you move on to the next steps. 
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nuts (if you’re including them in this oatmeal cake recipe).
  4. Now, get out a large bowl and cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Then to that mix in the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Add the oatmeal to the wet ingredients, then mix in all of the dry ingredients just until combined.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly in a prepared pan. Put it in the oven to bake for 35 minutes or until it’s set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with no wet batter. Allow the oatmeal cake to cool for 15-20 minutes. While the cake is cooking, you can prepare the vanilla sauce.
  7. In a thick-bottomed, medium saucepan (do not use stainless steel) set on the stove over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Stir the sauce continuously for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  8. Finally cut the cake into squares, drizzle the vanilla sauce over the top, and serve. 
four steps of preparing oatmeal cake and vanilla sauce

Why This Recipe Works

Simple — Don’t let the various bowls you have to get out throw you. It’s a super simple cake to make and one bite of this oatmeal cake and you’ll see how simple — and worth it — it is!
Vanilla sauce — Okay this vanilla sauce is next-level. You’ll want to make this and put it on top of all the things. So rich and creamy and with just the right amount of vanilla. So. Good.
Rich and creamy — The oatmeal cake is rich and creamy, the vanilla sauce is rich and creamy, put these two together and it’s just the best cake ever.
Fan favorite — By “fans” I mean mostly my family (right now). I’ve been asked to make this oatmeal cake recipe for just about every family gathering (immediate and extended). 

wooden spoon drizzling sauce onto piece of cake

What Is Oatmeal Cake? 

Oatmeal cake is an old-fashioned recipe if you will. Flip through your mom’s or grandma’s recipe books and you’ll be sure to find it. Instead of making a cake with all flour, you use half flour and half cooked oats. The oats help make the cake not only tasty but moist and tender, too. 
The oats are first soaked in boiling water to cook them and then added to the wet ingredients before adding the rest of the dry ingredients in to make the cake. Sometimes coconut is added to this recipe too, or nuts. I prefer my cake with pecans or walnuts. 

What Can I Make with Old Fashioned Oatmeal?

Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. In fact the possibilities are nearly endless! Try these delicious treats made with plain, old fashioned oatmeal: 

oatmeal cake slices on parchment paper with jar of vanilla sauce

Expert Tips

  • Be sure to use old fashioned rolled oats in this recipe. If you use steel cut, the cake will not work. Steel cut oats take a long time to cook and the oats will taste nutty and seedy in the cake. You need the whole grains and moistness of the soaked oatmeal. 
  • This oatmeal cake will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. 
  • Other ways to top this oatmeal cake include a cream cheese frosting, a buttercream frosting, or a simple vanilla glaze. 
  • You can freeze this oatmeal cake for up to 3 months, though it won’t thaw and be nearly as moist, it will still taste delicious! 

More Dessert Recipes

For more amazingly delicious desserts, check out my popular posts for Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting, Raspberry Crumb Bars, and One Bowl Lemon Cake.

oatmeal cake with vanilla sauce on a plate with a fork

If you make this Sheet Pan Gnocchi recipe, please come back and let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating the recipe! And be sure to snap a photo and email it or tag me on social media, I love connecting with you and seeing your CDLC creations!

piece of cake on a plate with fork taking a bite out

Oatmeal Cake with Vanilla Sauce

Old-fashioned oatmeal cake like mom used to make but taken up 10 notches with the tastiest, rich homemade vanilla sauce.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12 servings

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

  • In a medium bowl combine oats and hot water, stir, let soak while you prepare next steps.

  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nuts (if including).

  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

  • Mix in oatmeal, then mix in dry ingredients just until combined.

  • Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with no wet batter. Allow cake to cool for 15-20 minutes, meanwhile prepare the vanilla sauce.

  • In a thick-bottom medium sauce pan (do not use stainless steel) over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  • Cut cake into squares, drizzle vanilla sauce over the top, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 363 kcal, Carbohydrates: 70 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 44 mg, Sodium: 314 mg, Potassium: 131 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 53 g, Vitamin A: 225 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 80 mg, Iron: 1 mg

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