Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Secret

I debated long and hard about whether I should write this post. After all, it is not easy to give away closely guarded family secrets. But, due to popular demand, I am forging ahead. And by popular demand I mean when my husband came into the kitchen and saw me throwing together his annual birthday cake he said, "Oh yeah, my sister asked if you could send her the recipe for that cake."

This recipe definitely makes the Hammond "top 5 all-time favorite foods ever" list. In the past I have only let it out of my recipe box for my own daughters to copy, with the expectation that they would not be sharing it with their friends, boyfriends, or 768 Facebook friends (I'm not sure if the Queen is one of their 768 friends). It is the annual birthday cake request of both my husband and my youngest son, and occasionally one of my other children as well. So when Jay said his sister wanted the recipe my first reaction, well- my first reaction after the one that went something along the lines of "over my dead body"- was that maybe it is time to share this gem with the rest of the world.

So here it is, my recipe for oatmeal cake. The best cake recipe ever. And if you just read the name and are thinking to yourself "ICK", think again. You do not have to like oatmeal to like this cake. In fact, the only way to not like this cake is if you have had your taste buds amputated. Seriously, I have seen 12 year old boys wrinkle up their noses in disgust at being offered a piece at my son's birthday celebration, only to beg for seconds after taking their first bite.

The cake:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour- I use light spelt flour rather than white flour in an effort to make it healthier, but hey, with 2 cups of sugar in this mixture who am I trying to kid?

Pour boiling water over the oats and butter and let soak for 20 minutes. Add the sugars and beat. Then add the eggs and beat. Then the dry ingredients and mix gently one more time. Bake in a greased 9 X 13 glass pan for 35 minutes.

The frosting:

1/2 cup white sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk- possibly the most disgusting food product ever, but trust me, even this turns out to be okay in this cake!
1 cup coconut (or you can do 1/2 cup coconut and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans)

Place all of these ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil several minutes until it thickens slightly. Set the frosting aside for about 5 minutes, then pour over the cake. Important note: the cake should still be warm when you frost it.

The illustrated version:
Oats and butter soaking

Blending sugars with oat mixture

Adding in farm fresh eggs

Okay, you knew I had to do at least one quirky thing- freshly ground nutmeg

Adding the dry ingredients, including the yummy smelling nutmeg

Pouring the warm frosting over the cake

Oatmeal cake, a sure sign someone has a birthday here at the Hammond house

My recipe says at the end "stays moist and fresh for days." I always laugh when I read that bit. This cake has never made it past the 24 hour mark in our house. If any reader makes this cake and has it last longer than a day I would be interested to hear if this statement is actually true.


  1. The cake looks amazing, I'm racking my brain trying to think of justification to make it today, thank you for sharing! I had no idea that's what nutmeg looked like. I guess I pictured something more like a stick or a pod. What do you call it? A nutmeg? A nutmeg nut?

  2. I'm totally going to make this cake.

    And I didn't know that most people don't grate their nutmeg? I guess my mum always did, so I always have. Never considered you could buy it in another form.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try it.

  4. Nice pics! Will have to make that sometime soon!

  5. I suspect a trick--I just checked my kitchen cabinet and confirmed nutmeg is something that comes from a small, oddly shaped can. =)

    Thanks for sharing the great recipe. I've hinted at getting recipes from people in the past ("Would you mind sharing that recipe?"), but either I've been too subtle or they really didn't want to share.

    I'm going to try this at Thankgiving.

  6. Oatmeal cake for us today! I have been waiting to make this for a few weeks now. Thanks for sharing such a special part of your family.