A few years ago my husband’s best friend and his wife very kindly invited us over for dinner on my husband’s birthday. We had recently returned from our honeymoon and I had started a new job earlier that week. The best part? She even made his favorite oatmeal birthday cake!
She told us that after she planned to have us over, she called my husband’s parents. His dad answered and they chatted for a while, and eventually she asked for his mom. My mother-in-law picked up and after chatting for a few minutes, our friend said, “The reason I called is actually to get your oatmeal cake recipe.” My mother-in-law replied, “Oh, honey, I don’t know it. His dad always bakes the birthday cakes!” She kindly got my father-in-law back to give the cake recipe as our friend tried to control her utter mortification.
She has since recovered from her accidental foray into the world of sexism. And she made the cake!
This is not your typical birthday cake ; it’s almost a spice cake, or like a fluffy oatmeal cookie. The frosting is a broiled combination of brown sugar, coconut, and chopped pecans. It could also be similar to a carrot cake, so if someone doesn’t like coconut, a cream cheese frosting might work, too. It may look unassuming, but it’s rich and moist and quite sweet with the topping.
The past two years I have made the cake, but upon a little Internet searching, I think my recipe is wrong. I make it in a larger pan and it always end up under-baked in the center and crispy at the corners. So instead of posting the recipe I have, I am giving you the recipe that the majority of the internet uses in the hopes that it will be more successful for you.
Normally we are throwing a sizable Halloween/birthday party, so I am making this cake in conjunction with several pies, a number of appetizers, mulled cider, and other items in a pretty large spread. This year, we went out for dinner and had cake first!
Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake
Makes one 9-inch square cake
1 cup uncooked rolled oats (instant or regular)
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cream or milk
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1.) Combine oats and boiling water in a shallow bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ square cake pan.
2.) In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter until fluffy. Add sugars and cream until light. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
3.) Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
4.) Add oat mixture to butter and sugar and stir. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
5.) Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
6.) While cake is baking, mix together topping ingredients. When cake is done baking, spread topping on the hot cake. Return the cake to the top rack and turn on the broiler (leave the oven at 350F). Cook until topping is bubbly and golden. Watch carefully as it quickly goes from golden to burned.
Let cool in the pan and serve at room temperature.
What’s your favorite birthday cake?