Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

While doing a little spring cleaning around the house, I stumbled upon my copy of Baked: Explorations and decided to flip through the pages (mostly because I was procrastinating.What else is new?). I’ve made quite a few recipes (ahem Malted Waffles & Farmstand Buttermilk Doughnuts) from the book…and yet I keep coming back for more. I find all of their interesting combinations incredibly alluring.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

What was the hook that brought me back? A cake for the cookie lover– also known as this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! A cake that will tame the cookie & cake loving voice inside your head that tells you YOU MUST HAVE CAKE and YOU MUST HAVE COOKIES and you MUST HAVE THEM RIGHT NOW. This voice & I go way back. Problem is this voice always wants both. Now this voice is like…Cool Tracy…This will tide me over. Now get me another slice. Make it an edge piece. What other two awesome things can we combine? Melted Cheese & Tater Tots? Cool. Cool.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

This cake is super simple to prepare. At first you think you’re eating carrot cake (cream cheese frosting!) and then you think you’re eating banana bread and suddenly you bite into a chocolate chip and there it is…something cookie and cake-like. A cake that tastes like cookie! It should be made & eaten on only days that end in Y.

And we’re off! Get your ingredients together.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

First we take the bourbon and mix it in with the chocolate chips. Now we add flour on top, stir and set aside.

This prevents the chocolate chips from sinking straight to the bottom. Any excuse to use bourbon is cool with me.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Here’s a cool step. You melt the butter with the oats with hot boiling water.

Let it sit for 30 seconds. Then stir and let it sit for 30 minutes to cool. This add a little bite to the cake.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

So after about 30 minutes we’re going to work on the cake. Eggs & sugars get mixed.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Add in salt, baking powder, cinnamon & baking soda. STIR.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Merge the egg/sugar mixture with the buttery oatmeal. Stir. Now add in the flour. Stir.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

The chocolate chips get folded in and we’re ready to make cake!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Pour the batter into a prepared 9 x 13 pan.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Let’s get that cake in the oven.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Cake is done! Let it cool. Dude…be patient.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Now we get on with the cream cheese frosting.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Cream the butter & cream cheese. Add in the confectioner’s sugar & vanilla. BEAT.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Does it get any better?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Transfer the cream cheese to the top of the cake. Spread it out!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Really lather it on. This is RELAXING, isn’t it?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Cut out a few pieces.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Get that fork in there.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean

Serve it with some milk or coffee.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake // shutterbean


Weep a little…cuz it’s SO DANG GOOD.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

serves 12-14

recipe slightly adapted from Baked: Explorations

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed-at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

for the frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan.

Toss chocolate chips with bourbon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the chips and toss until coated. Set aside.

Heat 1 & 1/4 cups water to boiling. Place the oats and butter in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over oat mixture. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and melt the butter. Set aside for 25-30 minutes.

Whisk eggs, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold in oatmeal, stirring until well combined. Fold in remaining flour, and then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

To make the frosting:

Beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth (about 1 minute). Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake. Chill for 15 minutes before serving.

Store covered cake in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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  • Jenna

    Wow, these look sooo good. Except I’m depriving my thighs right now so I’ll have to hold off on making them as long as that bit of willpower lasts. Wait, it has oats, so must be totally healthy… Right?

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I bought Baked on Amazon 3 weeks ago and something happened with my shipment and it’s been delayed and now I want the book even more after seeing your cake. Gorgeous! And your rows/squares are so neat. I’d be tempted to go in with a fork and straighten the rows, bite by bite, if they weren’t already so neat :)

  • Ellen

    Oatmeal, chocolate, and cream cheese frosting…three of my favorite food groups.

  • Denisa Ratulovská

    I need To make this!

  • Kathy H.

    This looks delish! What can I substitute for the bourbon?

    • Tracy

      You can totally use water. It’s just to help adhere the flour on…but it adds a subtle liquor element.

  • Morgan

    “It should be made & eaten on only days that end in Y.” Hahaha. Made my morning.

    Looks delicious! As always!

  • Jane M

    Now I get your Instagram photo! Cooper ate the frosting and left the cake! He’s my kinda boy – I’m a glutton for the frosting too! Sweeeeeet!

    Happy Monday!

  • Tieghan

    My kind of cake! I love oatmeal chocolate anything!! I also now need the book Baked. Like I need it now! LOL

  • Brenna

    Does this count as oatmeal for breakfast? Seems legit.

  • Katy @ Katy's Kitchen

    I totally just laughed out loud at that comment “on days that end in a Y”. I started saying the days out loud to see which those would be, and then I figured it out. 😉 Totally agree with you on that one. That batter, and that frosting…..I don’t think I could wait to cook it!

  • Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    I’m so glad the hook brought you back… to that book! This recipe looks dangerous. I need it now! I actually think I have everything to make this today. I just have to wait for my ingredients to come to room temperature.

  • McKel | Nutrition Stripped

    Wow, every word in that recipe title caught my interest! This sounds delicious, thanks for sharing :)

  • jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

    I can tell that this cake would become a “dish soap pastry” reaaaaaally fast. Yum!

    • Tracy

      HAHAHAHAHA. EXACTLY THAT. It’s a good thing I have company this week or I’d be in major trouble.

  • Maggie

    this is one of my absolute favorites from their cookbook!! thanks for reminding me I need to make it again ASAP.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    I need this NOW! It’s ok to eat all of it before lunch, right?!

  • Jessica W

    Love your blog, Tracy! Just started listening to your podcast as well. In other words, I’ve been extremely un-productive the last few days. Keep up the great work!

  • joy the baker

    seriously. SO GOOD!

  • Dana

    YUM FACE. Can I have some like, NOW? Looks so good! Love your true-to-life photography – always so fun to look at.

  • Kahala

    Imagine that…I have all the ingredients…no sense waiting for another day…thank you Tracy…

  • tracy {pale yellow}

    I love the photo of Cooper digging in paying no attention to you, exactly what I’d be doing. This looks like a delightful cake!

  • SandraM

    Yep, this is a good recipe. Now I need to bake it again! Baked boys have some great recipes. I highly recommend all three of their cookbooks!!

  • Amy

    Why did I look at this post at 12am – I now have a huge urge to gorge myself on cake! hahah

    Looks so delicious x


  • Jamie

    Ask and you shall receive (darn you!): I’ve been wanting to bake something new and have all these darn ingredients at home. I’ve been wanting to exercise and get in shape, too, but I think that’ll have to wait a bit… = )

  • thenik

    Could I use fat free or low fat cream cheese? Have you ever tried? Don’t judge me. :)

  • Maria Tadic

    Granted…I’ll eat just about nething topped with cream cheese icing, these cake is genius. I love oatmeal cookies, but also love the moistness of cake. That means, I’ll be making this cake quite soon!

  • Nicole @ Infinite Little Pleasures

    Looks delicious! The icing! Yumm…

  • Jayne

    This looks like such an easy recipe with tons of things going on inside. Chocolate chips, oats, crumbly texture, nutty brown sugar. I might even add some chopped pecans to vary the texture even more. Pinning for later :-)

  • Krystal

    We must be on the same brain wavelength! I just got this book from the library and bookmarked this recipe to make. Looks amazing!

  • Jenny

    Now I just need to come up with some sort of excuse for this. :)

  • Joannabee

    Yum! Made this last night – darn good and so easy. Just one comment for others – not sure why but it took mine MUCH less time to bake than suggested – about 20-25 minutes. Also I accidentally bought the large chocolate chips – not sure if that’s why they all sank to the bottom. Doesn’t really matter – still tasted amazing!

  • Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen

    This looks so delicious! I love your photos too!

  • Annie

    This is the second recipe I have made from you (i’m a new reader), I’m sold, woman! You inspire me to really enjoy my food!

  • Michelle

    This cake is happening today. Every ingredient is calling my name.

  • Valerie

    There is breakfast for dinner–well now we have dessert for breakfast! The cake is baking in my oven and my house smells absolutely divine!

  • colleen

    this is just straight up brilliant. thank you! x

  • Abbe@This is How I Cook

    A perfect, old fashioned cake. Sometimes I get tired of sprinkles.

  • Bea @ Bea's Bites

    This is in my mouth right now… delish.
    Fyi, in the oats/butter paragraph, it says to “Seat aside for 25-30 minutes.” I think that should be set aside?

  • Laura

    Tracy! This looks amazing! I think I will have go home and make this cake tonight :)

  • Katie

    Everything I love + bourbon + frosting brought to life with your gorgeous pics. Yum.

  • Laura@bakinginpyjamas

    I’ve made a few recipes from their other book, Baked, New frontiers in Baking but I’ve yet to flick through this book. Maybe I Should I do so very soon if this cake is to go by. It looks really good Tracey.

  • natalie@thesweetslife

    I’ve looked at this recipe so many times with the intention of making it but your post finally convinced me I need to GET ON WITH IT already!!!!!

  • Hannah

    Hi Tracy,
    This is my first visit to your beautiful blog, as I was looking for feedback re this cake.
    I’ve received Baked Explorations a couple weeks ago and tried this cake last week, using quick cooking oatmeal. It came out great, a bit less moist than I have expected.
    I was wondering- have you used whole (old fashioned) rolled oats? From the picture they seem thicker than the instant ones.

    • Tracy

      I used rolled oats. Yes! It gives it a really nice texture. I highly suggest doing so!

  • Hilary

    Holy heck. I made this yesterday. IT IS SO DANG GOOD!
    Even better cause I added a few additional bits of chips and bourbon. 😉

  • Goldie

    Hi Tracy!

    I love your blog and I’ve made several of your recipes that have been fabulous!!!!
    I made this one for brunch on Saturday and I think I did something wrong! My cake was quite dry and it stuck to the bottom of the pan even though i greased the pan very well. I floured the chips to keep them suspended in the batter but they sunk to the bottom. I’m not sure if it was a good idea for me to preheat the oven first. I think it may have ended up being too hot when I put the cake in. The batter looked just like your picture but the baked and sliced cake did not :(
    Any ideas?


    • Tracy

      I wonder if your oven isn’t reading the temperature correctly. It sounds like it was overcooked! You should get an oven thermometer and test it out. What a shame! I’m so sorry that happened to you!

      • Goldie

        I’m going to try again this weekend because, despite being over baked, it was YUMMY!! Your blog is so wonderful and it makes me think of home every time I see your pictures of Marin and SF. I don’t live in California anymore and your pictures always make me happy and nostalgic! Thanks for your advice and a fabulous blog!!

  • Jamie

    Wow this was good! I used Kahlua instead of bourbon for the chocolate chips cause that’s what we had on hand and it worked just fine. I think I’ll put a thicker layer of frosting on next time – hard to go wrong with cream cheese frosting on anything. So good!

    • Jessica Donnovan

      I’ll definitely try that next time. I love cream cheese too! I use it for my blueberry + cream cheese + ice cream waffle recipe. I have never experimented with the cream cheese before but I think this is the time to do so!

      I’ll be trying this oatmeal chocolate chip cake recipe once more with a little tweak with the cream cheese. I’m thinking of adding vanilla and raisins to it..

      I’m so excited for this experiment.

  • dkw1975

    I’d love to add raisins or craisins to this. Do you think I’d need to alter any other ingredient?

    • Tracy

      In addition to the chocolate chips or instead of? I think it would work either way!

  • Mackie

    Cream cheese or cream cheese frosting to make the frosting?

    Looks delish!

    • Tracy

      HAHAHA. Just cream cheese. Sometimes my hands have a way of taking over when I’m typing.

  • Erin

    Um, can I just say that I appreciate that this is under the “breakfast” category of your recipe index? You’re speaking my language, girl.

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  • Miss Vinagre

    I just made it… and wow…

    Even without the icing it´s just amazing.

    May I ask your permission to link you and translate the recipe to spanish? The world just need to knows!

  • Jenny

    I just made this today and it is delicious! For some reason, I baked it in a 9×13 pan the cake sank a little bit in the middle and my layer of cream cheese frosting didn’t quite cover the cake as well as yours. The frosting recipe worked out great though. Nice thickness and I think the chilling helped thicken it so it wasn’t too runny. I baked it in one of those disposable aluminum pans and it was done in 30 mins.

    • Tracy

      Bizarre! Sounds like something might be up with your oven! Also- perhaps you didn’t spread the frosting evening?

    • Hilary

      I also baked it in a 9×13 pan and it did the exact same thing! I sure hope it’s not my oven. :( I probably should have doubled the frosting to give an added thickness but it was delicious otherwise!

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  • Christina

    I am mid-way through my first piece of this bad boy and oh man is it good! This was my first cake (ever!) from scratch and it came together beautifully. I made a little extra frosting for an extra-thick layer ( and for dipping strawberries into… do this.) and I’m so glad I did. Thank you Tracy for this phenomenal cake that totally satisfies a cookie-lover like me. I have loved everything I’ve tried from your site so far (that arugula hazelnut salad? oh man) and don’t even get me started on the awesomeness that is the jtb podcast. You rock!

    • Tracy

      YOUR FIRST CAKE?!!! OMG that’s awesome!!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe. The whole world of cake is yours now!

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  • Shelley

    I am mixing this up right now and I’m to the point of adding the remaining flour. I don’t see the measurement for flour other than the flour added to the chocolate chips. Am I blind? I suppose I can wing it, but I would appreciate that measurement if anyone has it.

    • Shelley

      Thank you anyways, but I am blind…my 7 year old just pointed the measurement out to me.

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  • Crystal

    This is one dangerous dessert! I was supposed to be starting my new workout diet tomorrow but it may have to be delayed….

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  • Kimberly Brown

    I have been searching for this recipe for a few weeks now so thank you so much…I made the cake last night for my small family of three and it’s almost gone. We don’t eat a lot of sweets so I figured this may last about a week but I was wrong…my hubby is even taking some to work with him and he never does that with desserts. Thanks again!

    • Kimberly Brown

      I meant to tell you I used butterscotch chips since we like them better and it was awesome!

  • April

    I bet this cake would be amazing with coconut-pecan or chocolate frosting!

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  • Annie

    Tracy, All I can say is that it took everything in me to not just eat the bowl of oats and butter while it was resting… Pour a little salt and sugar/cinnamon mixture on it… Oh my. My heart rate is beating a little too quickly as I await the timer going off for this cake… Yummy!
    Eat on :)

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  • Kristine

    What a fantastic cake! Made it for a friend’s birthday last weekend and we were all so pleased. I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half all purpose in the cake and Neufchatel in the frosting. This recipe’s a keeper.

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  • Erin

    Tracy, Do you think it would work as a stacked cake in two 8 inch round pans?

    • Tracy

      I think it could. Keep an eye on it when it’s baking!

    • Christina

      Erin, did this work? I’m thinking about turning this into a layer cake and serving it for friendsgiving!

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