Another seasonally appropriate cake

I'm sorry that I haven't written about this cake yet! You deserve this cake, especially right now, during the crisp late autumn when your bones feel chilly and your belly is growly.

This is my favorite cool-weather cake. It's wholesome, gooey, spicy, and pairs well with a good 1% milk. It's my grandmother's recipe, and when I go home, I ask for this cake. Honestly, I can't really express how good this cake is. Just make it, ok? Then leave me a comment or send me a thank-you gift card for Sephora or Williams-Sonoma to say how right I was and how good the cake was, and everyone will be so happy!

My grandmother died more than a decade ago, so the exact recipe is somewhat of a mystery, although I've seen similar recipes in the big cookbooks. We think that the recipe for the cake came from a Home Comfort Cookbook that my grandmother started housekeeping with. The icing recipe is even more mysterious! It seems to be a modified prune cake icing recipe. Oatmeal cake tastes better the next day, after it gets gooey-er, so plan ahead.

A few notes, as usual: 
  • If you don't have quick-cooking oats, process about 1.5 cups rolled oats in a food processor--just pulse them barely a few times to break them down a little, not grind them to a powder--and then measure your cup from that. 
  • If you don't have White Lily flour (shame on you!), adjust by replacing one tablespoon of flour with one tablespoon of cornstarch. If you lack self-rising flour, adjust by adding 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (If you have regular all-purpose flour, you can make all of the adjustments. If that's too fussy for you, just add the leavening ingredients.) 
  • If you don't have the 9" by 13" pan that this recipe calls for, don't fret. For this recipe, the best bets are two 9-inch round cake pans, or three 8-inch cake pans. (This handy table is a great reference for figuring out what pans to use if you don't happen to have the pan called for.)
  • Seriously, y'all: MAKE THIS CAKE THIS WEEK. And the next day, warm a slice up in the microwave for 25 seconds. Pour yourself a glass of milk (except you, Kay Marie) and eat this cake in the gray afternoon, in the dark (here in Seattle, that's 4:30), and for breakfast. It's OATMEAL, people. 

Mawmaw Grizzle's Oatmeal Cake
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup fine-cut/quick-cook oatmeal (I use Crystal Wedding Oats)
1 1/3 cups White Lily self-rising flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine water and oatmeal; cover and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, vanilla, and eggs, and add to the flour mixture. When the mixture is moistened, add the oatmeal mixture and mix well. Bake in 9x13 greased baking dish (or equivalent) for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. The edges should pull slightly away from the pan (see below). Poke holes or slits in the warm cake using a skewer or a serrated knife, and top with the hot glaze below. It will puddle and look like too much, but trust me, it is not too much.

Oatmeal Cake Glaze
In a saucepan combine:
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon white Karo syrup
½ cup butter
½ cup buttermilk
Mix well and stir constantly over medium heat. When mixture comes to a rolling boil, boil 1 minute and pour over cake while warm. 

Don't be scared of the puddles. They're just pools of deliciousness.

So go ahead. Make this cake. I'll be waiting for your gift card. 


  1. First of all, I think ALL of your blog entries should feature a cake. Second, this is one of my favorite cakes of all time - I am totally making it this weekend! I actually think that even Anderson could eat it now - fun for everyone! I love your writing style - I can totally hear your voice narrating it. Like a prettier, younger Garrison Keilor.


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