Lazy-Daisy Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut-Pecan Icing

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes one 9 inch single-layer cake; serves about


Appears in

An old American favorite—a one-layer spiced oatmeal cake topped with a gooey nut-and-coconut icing that’s quickly browned under the broiler.

This cake comes from Kerri Conan, my former editor at Simon & Schuster. The recipe is from Kerri’s grandmother.



  • cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (not instant oatmeal)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg


  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light cream or milk


  1. CAKE: Pour the boiling water over the oats; cover and let stand for about 20 minutes. Butter and flour a 9-inch square cake pan; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. Gradually add the white and brown sugars and beat until fluffy. Blend in the vanilla and eggs. Beat in the oatmeal mixture.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture and blend well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top.
  4. Bake just until the cake springs back when pressed lightly with your fingertip and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. ICING: While the cake bakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, brown sugar and cream or milk until blended.
  6. When the cake is done, preheat the broiler, with a rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Very gently spread the topping on the cake. Broil until bubbly and beginning to turn pale golden, usually about 2 minutes. Since the timing can vary, watch the cake carefully to avoid burning the topping.
  7. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve directly from the pan.