Oatmeal Walnut Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

The world’s gone mad, it seems. Crazy weather, violence, tragic accidents are all things we cannot control. When I feel as if my world is out of control, I bake something, using a recipe from long ago. Long before we lived in a world where cameras caught our every move and crazies lurked around every corner. No, food can’t soothe our anxious minds or feed our sense of security, but it can bring us back to a calmer place, if even for a few moments.

The scent of this cake will make you think of your grandmother, I’ll bet. The original recipe came from an old church cookbook my Grandma Zola gave me in 1976. I cut out some of the sugar and added a few extra ingredients to give it more fiber and flavor. It’s melt in the mouth goodness that you can easily whip up and enjoy with someone you love.
The cake is wonderful even without the frosting. It’s a moist and dense cake that you can alter by add other nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit of your choice.

baked cake without frosting

frosting before broiling

gooey after broiling

The frosting is rather thin as you spread it on the cake. After you broil it, it’s still gooey and it will thicken as it cools.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup quick oats

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 eggs
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped (optional)

Mix boiling water and oats in a saucepan and let them stand for 20 min.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugars
Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
Add flour, soda, cinnamon and salt.
Finally, add oatmeal and mix just until incorporated.
Fold in the walnuts and dates.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

coconut walnut frosting

Coconut Frosting
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (or more, to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut

oatmeal cake slice

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until blended.
Heat just until the frosting starts to boil, then take it off the heat.

When the cake has finished baking, take it out of the oven and pour the frosting evenly over the cake.
Put the cake under the broiler for about a minute until it bubbles all over. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

It will be gooey, but that’s ok. You can poke a few holes in the cake with a fork after you’ve broiled the frosting to allow some of it to seep into the cake. The caramel frosting is a great pairing with the moist, nutty cake. The dates are optional, but if you love dates, don’t omit them.
Eat it warm or cooled. This cake is a classic, pure and simple.

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2 thoughts on “Oatmeal Walnut Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

  1. Our mother made a variation of this. She used a yellow cake for the base and then the broiled frosting. I liked it to get some of the coconut almost burnt! I often haven’t had a broiler that worked and was big enough for this!

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