Old Fashioned Irish Oatmeal Cake Recipe

My mother went back to work when I was four which sadly put an end to our leisurely afternoons together cooking in our little, sunlit kitchen.  Now at day’s end, she’d get off the Crosstown bus, walk to our front door, open it and sigh…it was so good to be home.  She’d kick of her high heels (she was 5’2″ and never seen in public without heels) and put on her soft, fuzzy, pink slippers.  Off she’d scoot down the hall to the kitchen to make dinner where she was usually attacked by our kitty who must have thought that she was a big, pink bunny.  She hated that, especially when kitty would sink his little teeth into her ankle…ouch!

Weekdays didn’t bring much to the table in terms of homemade treats.  Mostly things from the freezer thawed in the morning, left on the counter all day (oh my, how did we survive?) Or, something in tin cans from the pantry.  But on the weekends it was different.  She really didn’t make anything radical or new.  She made her tried and true recipes from scratch and that was just fine by dad and me.

We lived for the “real” dinners and desserts.  This recipe is one of them…it isn’t one of the prettiest desserts that you’ll ever serve, it’s rather homely on the outside, but has a lot of character on the inside.   It’s moist, rich and perfect with a strong cup of tea tempered with sugar and a bit of cream (which is just how we had it in Ireland).  I hope that it’ll be one of your favorites  after you serve it to your family and friends for this St. Paddy’s Day Sunday supper.

Hubs says “you’d be a fool not to make this.”  You know…I think he’s right!


Old Fashioned Irish Oatmeal Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 -15 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Lots of flavor packed into this moist treat.


1 cup old fashioned oatmeal (my mother always used Quaker)
1 1/4 cup boiling water

1 stick unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
14 teaspoon salt


6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut (my mother always used Baker)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan.

In a small, bowl, combine the oatmeal with the boiling water and let it sit for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together till well blended.

Add the egg mixture to the oatmeal mixture and stir till combined.

Add the egg/oatmeal mixture to the flour mixture and stir till combined.

Pour into baking pan and bake about 30 - 35 minutes till golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is baking make the icing.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the walnuts, coconut and vanilla. If you need to thin icing a bit, add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time. I like the icing to be think and rich and did not add the cream.

Immediately after you remove the cake from the oven, adjust your oven to "broil". Spread the icing on the hot cake and pop it under the broiler till it's a bit brown and the coconut is toasted.

If possible, serve warm.




4 Responses to “Old Fashioned Irish Oatmeal Cake Recipe”

  1. 1

    Kathy Aragaki — Sunday, March 17, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Pretty shot!
    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

    • Susie replied: — March 17th, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

      Thanks so much! It means so much coming from you!

  2. 2

    Deb — Sunday, March 17, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    From the nostalgic sentiment to the splendid recipe, a most lovely post! I also recall time spent with my Mom when she was not working. Those recipes from childhood are the best!

    • Susie replied: — March 17th, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment…this recipe really touches my heart…just as she made it.

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