Food & Drink

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

250 Country Desserts Cake

Andrea Chesman is a food writer and gardener and the author of several cookbooks, including Recipes from the Root Cellar, Serving Up the Harvest, and The Pickled Pantry. A resident of Vermont, she has been a contributing editor for Vermont Life and Edible Green Mountains.

Fran Raboff is a sculptor and culinary arts instructor who is also the co-author of Recipes from a Kitchen Garden, Virtuous Desserts, and How to Beat Those Cordon Bleus. This recipe for a sweet, easy, and comforting pantry cake comes from their book 250 Treasured Country Desserts.

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

Serves 6 to 9

Lazy daisy cakes were popularized when a recipe appeared on a Quaker Oats carton in the 1960s. The “lazy” refers to the ease of making both the cake and the frosting. This is a casual cake, a snack cake, something to feed the family when there is no special occasion to justify a special effort.

  • 1¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Lazy Daisy Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
  • ¾ cup lightly packed, sweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

1. Pour boiling water over the oats in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and fl our a 9-inch square baking pan.

3. Beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually add the brown sugar, beating until fluff y. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the oat mixture and blend well.

4. In another bowl, mix together the fl our, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture and blend well. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

6. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, cream, coconut, and pecans in a medium bowl. Mix well.

7. When the cake is done, transfer it to a rack, but do not remove the cake from the pan. Let stand for 5 minutes, while you preheat the broiler. Spread the frosting on top of the warm cake by dropping teaspoons of the frosting on the cake and
spreading with the back of the spoon.

8. Place the cake 3 inches from the heat source and broil until the frosting becomes light brown and bubbly. Watch carefully because the topping browns very quickly. Serve warm or cold.



Harvest-celebrating pies and cobblers. Puddings, breads, and pull-out-all-the-stops cakes. These are the sweet, simple, and timeless country desserts  your family will request again and again.

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