This perfectly divine and flavorful gluten-free, double-layer cinnamon oatmeal cake is topped with an easy, lightly-spiced cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s a popular cake frequently requested at family birthday parties!
This is a gluten-free cake that you’ll actually want to eat.
It’s ridiculous how tasty it is.
It’s definitely not another sad, dry, gluten-free cake that mimics the flavors of sawdust and cardboard. No mama. This cake is ridiculously divine, ridiculously hard to just eat one slice of so you’ll eat three instead, and ridiculously perfect.
If you share it with others, expect to be asked to make it for the next bazillion birthday parties.
🎂 What is an oatmeal cake?
Yep, it’s a cake…made with oatmeal.
But it’s magical oatmeal 💫 because with just a few other ingredients we’re turning our lumpy oatmeal-in-a-bowl into something that tastes like a cake from a high-end dessert shop.
Surprisingly (at least to me), oatmeal cake has been around for aaaaages. Like your grandma’s grandmother probably had a grandma who made it way back when. This recipe came to me from a scenario like that but then I decided to add my own riff to this cake’s long history by making it gluten-free with a cinnamon-ey flair and decadent cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s not cancel culture if you’re just making it better right?
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Hot water: Make it boiling hot. This is how we’ll soften those oats.
- Gluten-free quick cooking oats: Quick-cooking oats are the way to go in order to get that perfect crumb.
- Unsalted butter: Always the way to go so you can control the salt without the salt controlling your food.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Flour: The ingredient make-up and proportions of every gluten-free flour you’ll find on the grocery store shelves are nowhere close to being similar to each other. This is the gluten-free flour I suggest for this cake. If you opt to try a different brand, it’s at your own cake’s risk.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Add hot, boiling water and quick cooking oats to a large bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes or so.
Step 2: After the oats have soaked, it’s time to transform them from plain oatmeal to something amazing. With an electric mixer, add in butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla to start the magic.
Step 3: Add in a couple of beaten eggs.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Step 5: Add the dry ingredients to the wet, but probably a little at a time so that the flour doesn’t poof up into your face when you turn on the electric mixer.
Step 6: Grease and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. To get those parchment paper circles set the cake pans on the parchment paper, trace the bottom, and cut out with scissors.
Step 7: Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.
Step 8: Bake until golden and perfectly spongey. Allow the cake layers to rest in their pans for several minutes. Then gently remove cakes from their pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- For perfect, spreadable frosting make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature prior to blending. This will ensure that you don’t end up with little clumps of butter and cream cheese in your frosting.
- Do not frost a warm cake. Allow the cake layers to completely cool to room temperature prior to frosting the cake so that you don’t end up with sloppy, melted frosting.
- How to frost a layer cake: I prefer to leave both of my cake rounds intact versus slicing off their rounded tops to make them flat. So to make my cake still look flat once finished, I place the first cake layer top-side-up on the cake plate. Once I frost the top of that layer, I place the second cake layer top-side-down on the first cake. Then I just fill in the space between the layers with more frosting and continue frosting until the sides and top of the cake are covered completely and evenly with frosting. There are definitely other ‘professional’ methods to frosting a layer cake which can be found with a quick Google search if you desire.
- To prevent your bottom cake layer from sliding on the cake plate when frosting just add a dollop of frosting to the center of the cake plate before laying the first cake layer down.
- If you need to refrigerate your cake prior to serving, make sure to remove it from the refrigerator about an hour beforehand. Room temperature cake is usually more enjoyable to eat than cold cake straight from the refrigerator.
💭 Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can. It will change the texture of the cake slightly but it will still be delicious.
A coconut pecan frosting, like what would typically be used on a German chocolate cake, is a great substitute for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting in this recipe.
Nope, this cake (even with its cream cheese frosting) will be absolutely fine hanging out on the counter for 2-3 days as long as your house stays around 70 degrees or cooler. Just cover it with a cake dome or aluminum foil. If refrigerated, the cake will typically keep for 5-6 days.
Yes! Slice it into individual portions and store in freezer-safe containers. When you’re ready to eat a slice of cake, just set the cake out at room temperature to thaw for 20-30 minutes prior to eating.
Here’s something funny (at least to me). If you Google oatmeal cake, there are a bunch of people claiming that the recipe was their grandma’s recipe, with hand-scripted recipe cards to prove it (there were no computers back then so of course they wrote it on a recipe card). Now unless everyone had the same grandma, I’m calling malarkey on that.
So here’s the real question. Who was the OG (‘original grandma’) that all the grandmas took the recipe from? Because that grandma was definitely the original gangsta when she figured out how to transform oatmeal into a decadent cake.
Nice work g-ma. ♡
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