Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cake

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cake slice (A Seat at the Table)

Dad hasn’t taught me a lot of recipes, but the recipes he has passed on are always crowd pleasers.  This was the first thing to go at Carroll Cafe.  I have a vivid memory of him teaching Sister how to watch to make sure the broiler was caramelizing the top just right.  This recipe is actually from his mother, and he was in charge of lying on the floor where the broiler was and moving the cake around to make sure it caramelized properly.  I think it’s probably one of Dad’s favorites because it tastes very similar to his favorite German Chocolate Cake.  This cake has a rich coconut, pecan frosting that pairs nicely with the tender oatmeal cake.

This recipe makes a very impressively tall 9×13″ cake.  If you don’t need that much, you can halve the recipe and make it either in a 7×11″ pan (for a thinner cake), or in an 8×8 if you still want it to be tall.  I made this with a double recipe of frosting, which was a lot of frosting.  If you’re a frosting lover, go ahead and double the recipe below, but otherwise I think the single recipe is sufficient for a slightly sweet topping that doesn’t overwhelm the cake.

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal CakeCoconut Pecan Oatmeal Cake slice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 16

From June Seat aka Grammy

  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used quick cooking, but I think old-fashioned oats would work too, just a bit longer soaking time)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the boiling water with the oats and let sit.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together.  Beat in the soaked oats.  Add the eggs one at at time, beating well after each addition, then add in the vanilla.

Sift together the dry ingredients, and add to the wet, mixing until just combined.  Pour batter into the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cover with foil after about 35 minutes if it’s beginning to brown too quickly.

Frosting:Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cake (A Seat at the Table)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp milk (enough to make it spreadable)

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time.  Mix in the coconut and the pecans.  Add a little milk at a time until the frosting is spreadable.

When the cake has finished baking, spread the frosting on top.  Turn the oven to broil, and carefully watch the cake while it broils, rotating the pan if needed.  (I found that keeping the cake in the middle of the oven allowed for a more even browning.)  This will take less than 5 minutes, and can go from nothing to burnt very quickly, so no multitasking!


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