This oatmeal chocolate chip cake is like a big ol’ oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in cake form! Top it with fluffy cream cheese frosting or serve warm with ice cream. Yum!

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Let’s hear it for cakes that taste like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in cake form!

Are you cheering?

I am.

This oatmeal chocolate chip cake is decadent and at the same time, totally homey (and kind of homely if I’m being honest, but as we all know, looks aren’t everything).

Like, I wouldn’t be surprised  if my grandma had this exact same recipe languishing in her tattered and stained stack of recipe cards printed with colorful chickens on the borders.

Yet, it’s delicious enough to be worthy of company or other special occasions.

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

The versatility. It’s killing me.

AND.

It gets better.

Not only is this moist (sorry) and tender oatmeal chocolate chip cake surprisingly fantastic with that fluffy cream cheese frosting, it is equally yummy when warm squares of cake are served with a heaping scoop of creamy, melty vanilla ice cream.

I can’t really say which way I prefer…cream cheese frosting or ice cream? That would be like asking me to choose a favorite child (which I don’t do out of principle…well, most days).

I was skeptical the cream cheese frosting would work here. I mean, I’ve never slathered an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with cream cheese frosting, but after tasting the combo, I’m thinking I’ve been missing out all these years.

But be warned, a scoop of ice cream melting it’s way into the nooks and crannies of the oatmeal chocolate chip cake is also other-worldly.

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Also, a quick Public Service Announcement:

DON’T FREAK OUT IF YOUR CHOCOLATE CHIPS SINK TO THE BOTTOM.

They probably will.

And yes, I’ve tossed the chips with flour and spritzed them with milk first and stood on my head and counted to 58 in a British accent…and they still sunk to the bottom of the cake.

I kind of freaked out (shocker) the first few times, and then I realized, hey, I kind of like the decadent layer of chocolate that forms on the bottom of the super tender, tasty cake as the chocolate chips (bittersweet, always, but you can use whatever kind you like) fall to the bottom.

Enough so, that the time the chocolate chips actually honored their space requirements and floated throughout (even though I made the cake exactly the same way), I was a little bummed.

So embrace the sinking chocolate chips, ok?

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

With a soft texture, made wholesome and slightly nutty thanks to the oats, and a light cinnamon hint to follow up the chocolate chips, this one-bowl oatmeal chocolate chip cake is a strong contender for Sunday night desserts around here.

I just can’t even tell you how much I love that chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie factor all loaded up in an easy cake.

It’s divine.

And now I can’t wait to hear how YOU prefer the cake…with cream cheese frosting? Ice cream? Or all plain and humble?

Do report back, pretty please!

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

One Year Ago: 30-Minute Asian Garlic Noodles with Shrimp {or Chicken}
Two Years Ago: Scripture Bars {i.e. Mud Hen Bars or Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars}
Three Years Ago: Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 1 9X13-inch cake

Ingredients

Cake: 

  • 1 cup (3.5 ounces) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (9.25 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 8 ounces) chocolate chips, milk, semisweet or bittersweet

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional): 

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a metal 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray (if using a glass or dark-coated pan, lower the baking temperature to 325 degrees F).
  2. In a medium bowl, add the oats and butter. Pour in the boiling water; stir, and set aside to cool for about 15-20 minutes (until it is just warm but not hot).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. 
  4. Stir in the cooled oatmeal mixture until well-combined. 
  5. Add the flour and chocolate chips (at the same time), and stir until just combined. 
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. 
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out with moist or no crumbs (don't overbake!). 
  8. Let cool completely in the pan. 
  9. For the cream cheese frosting, whip together (with a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  10. Frost the cooled cake with cream cheese frosting or serve plain pieces of cake (slightly warm is divine) with a scoop of ice cream. 

Recipe Source: adapted from Baked Explorations (added weights, changed up amount of cinnamon and adapted the method, also adapted the cream cheese frosting)


71 Responses to Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. lorell says:

    I made two cakes. One with semi-sweet and one with milk chocolate. I prefer the semi-sweet as the cake was pretty sweet to begin with. I love cream cheese frosting on anything and everything. Well sort of. I felt this was overkill and the warm cake with vanilla ice cream would have been superior. The cream cheese was just too many competing sweet/rich things.

  2. Paula says:

    I’m making this now and think you should rename it TWO bowl oatmeal chocolate chip cake. Which bowl doesn’t count?

    • Mel says:

      You are right, Paula! I actually changed that in the recipe post title as I was getting the recipe all ready to post but forgot to change it in the actual recipe title. I had played around with a one-bowl version, but it wasn’t as light and tender. Sorry about the confusion. 🙂

  3. Ellen says:

    my chips didn’t sink, and I was a teensy bit sad. but…. yum. (warm w/ice cream)

    • Mel says:

      I’m not going to lie, I’m sad for you. But mostly, I’m sitting here thinking I must be inept in the kitchen because so many of you didn’t have any sinking problems at all. I think I’ll just pretend like my chocolate chips are heavier than all of yours. 🙂

  4. Alexis says:

    Made this tonight. Delicious!!!! We had it with ice cream. Will have to try it with the icing next time.

  5. Kerry says:

    I followed your recipe exactly and my chips didn’t sink. Perhaps the oatmeal was a bit too warm when I added it in because some of my chips got a bit melty when I stirred them in with the flour. It is super yummy! It’s also great the next day (right now as I sneak a bite or two after breakfast) when the chocolate chips have hardened a little bit.

  6. Becky mendoza says:

    Melanie!!! I am so sorry to hear about your poor cute nose. What a hard thing to go through. It’s hard to live a normal life when you have something so scary and heavy to deal with. It’s not small and insignificant. I love that you shared that your heart was pounding as you were typing because it just goes to show that you are human. You seem so superhuman with your recipes and your blog and all of your amazing accomplishments! I love your vulnerable side too. I hope you know I think about you often. I’m so sorry you have to go through this and that it is so hard. Give yourself a break, allow yourself to be sad. Rest. ❤

    P.S. you are my go to place for any recipe!!

    • Mel says:

      Becky! What a sweet comment and so fun to hear from you…thank you so much for your kindness. Seriously (and maybe one of these days our paths will cross again??).

  7. Victoria says:

    Does this taste as good as it looks. I love a good cream cheese frosting. I never herd of it on chocolate chip cake before. It is like the best of both worlds. 🙂

  8. Amanda says:

    I made this for my family tonight and it was really good! Everyone loved it! I didn’t have ice cream so we had it with frosting. Half of my chocolate chips sunk to the bottom and I really liked it that way! I love all your recipes! Thanks for another great one!!!

  9. Sharon says:

    Loved this cake and the frosting. Next time I might try switching out the chocolate chips for raisins. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. When I’m trying something new, my husband always asks if it a Mel’s recipe? 99% of the time it is!!! My daughter-in-law turned me on to you and now I sing your praises to anyone who will listen.

  10. Julie says:

    Oh Mel – please don’t wait months next time! This was very good unfrosted. Has anyone tried to freeze this yet?

  11. Teresa says:

    This cake was really yummy, and yes, so homey. I love this kind of old-fashioned cake. I only used about 3/4 c. of chips and I sprinkled them on top, and I thought the cake was plenty sweet. In fact, I may even eliminate the chips next time or use a reduced amount of mini chips sprinkled on top. They did not sink, maybe because I used fewer chips and did not mix them in. I served it plain and we loved it just like that. So delicious!!!

  12. Leona says:

    Hi Mel, thank you for your news letter and the yummy recipes you share making our lives easier and more delicious!
    Your letter today made me catch my breath – I’m SO glad it was caught in the early stage this time around. It makes me a lot more confident in good news in your future!! Take good care of you, enjoy your ice cream to the max…your fans are out here holding you up just cuz we love your guts too honey!! 🙂

  13. Ashlee T says:

    Your newsletter made my little heart melt. I love you sharing your real life stories! You are so beautiful inside and out Mel. Cancer or not- and I wish you the very best! You Rock that swimsuit I love your stories and of course your food❤

    • Mel says:

      Ah, Ashlee, don’t make me cry. Seriously. You are the sweetest. Thank you. (And my swimsuit…dude, it’s hot…literally!) 🙂

  14. Jill says:

    Hi Mel…This I’d totally random…BUT what do you think of making vanilla in the Instapot…they say you don’t have to wait 6 months? I’m totally in love with making it your way…and I’d love it even more if it were quicker…my sisters and I have been wondering and I said I’d ask? Any thought about this? Have to thank you for the sour cream pancakes…I told my grandchildren I was making them special pancakes this morning…and they loved them so much…We had to save some for supper! You make my life in the kitchen so much fun! Thanks…Jill

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jill! Glad you and the grandbabes loved those pancakes! About vanilla…well, I wouldn’t talk anyone out of trying it, but I have some reservations about the method myself. Maybe it will be the kind of thing I’m raving about when I finally try it, but I haven’t tried it myself. I had a friend try it several times and she said it tasted and smelled strange (kind of “off”) each time so she’s gone back to the old-fashioned way. 🙂 If you try it, let me know!

  15. Jodi says:

    Oh My heck, I love this cake Mel, I actually posted it a few years ago. I love the cookbook it’s from. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  16. Angelina says:

    Sorry this isn’t related to this recipe but I have a question..I’ve made your slow cooker chocolate pudding cake before and it was awesome but it had the ceramic insert. I’ve recently become an instant pot convert and I was wondering if it would work in it. I mean would it stick because it is metal ?

    • Mel says:

      Ah, that’s a great question. I think if you buttered the metal insert really well, it will help, but I do think it will have a tendency to stick more than the ceramic.

  17. Anna Marie says:

    Was wondering if this cake was firm enough to cut into bars. For platter presentation. To eat with fingers without a plate.

  18. Anne says:

    I made this today because I had leftover cream cheese frosting in the freezer. This cake is scrumptious even though I don’t like cake. I’m a rebel and used quick oats because I have a ton in food storage. Thanks for the great, simple wholesome recipe!

  19. Anna Marie says:

    Hello there. Is this cake firm enough to frost and cut into bars? Was wondering if this would work as an option for catering.

    • Mel says:

      I cut it into squares for serving…but we ate it with a fork. Not sure it’s quite sturdy enough to serve on a napkin like a cookie bar or brownie.

  20. Jocy says:

    I made this today as cupcakes! Everybody loved them! I used whole wheat flour so I think they could be consider breakfast . I also dusted the chocolate chips in flour and added to the end, no sinking ‘problem’ Thanks for a delicious recipe!

  21. Irene Fry says:

    I made a gluten free version (just substituted the flour for a gluten free version), and just used 1 cup mini chocolate chips. I also used the cream cheese frosting…it was great!!

  22. Linda says:

    My husband found the chocolate a bit too sweet and wondered whether raisins would work. I loved it just as it was, sinking chips and all.

  23. Jen T says:

    I am a strong believer in Sunday night desserts! This is on our menu for this Sunday. Thanks Mel!

  24. Sarah Jones says:

    Your recipes are appetizing and yummy AND – your posts make me laugh!! Thanks for being a bit of brightness in our day!

  25. Holly says:

    Mel, made this last night and it was almost shockingly delicious. The cream cheese frosting is perfect and divine. I could see a skeptical look in my husbands eyes when I told him what kind of frosting I was making. Once he tried it he couldn’t stop going on about it and how it was amazing and silky like ribbons haha. Thanks for the scrumptious recipe once again!

  26. Joy says:

    Don’t mix all the chocolate chips into your cake batter. Let it bake about 10 minutes and then quickly sprinkle the remaining chips on top without removing from oven. Finish baking and chips don’t sink. Coating the chips with flour is a great trick too. Love this recipe. Thank you.

  27. Natasha says:

    Made this tonight – loved it.
    Also noticed the “moist” apology while I was prepping and was reminded why you are the greatest. Thanks for another great recipe!

  28. Paige says:

    Do you know what causes the chocolate chips to sink to the bottom? I did that with banana bread a couple months ago and the same thing happened.

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  29. Bryn says:

    If I made the batter as listed, put in the pan and then added additional chocolate chips to the top do you think I’d get the best of both worlds? Chocolate layer on the bottom and chocolate throughout?

  30. Shirlene says:

    I have an oatmeal cake recipe that is almost an exact replica of yours (minus the chocolate chips). I have made it for my husband’s birthday every single year we have been married (33 to be exact). He is a creature of habit and will not change to anything but. Just to throw a curve ball into the versatility, he likes it with coconut pecan frosting, and it is yummy! I am going to try your recipe with the cream cheese frosting and then the ice cream and see if I can win my husband over to something different and new!

    • Mel says:

      Oh yum, Shirlene! I’ll be shocked if he’s won over (can’t blame him for loving that coconut pecan version). 🙂

      • Tiffany S says:

        I love an oatmeal cake with coconut-pecan frosting too! I wonder if the coconut pecan frosting would be good on this cake.

  31. Jana says:

    Looks delicious! I also would have no problem with the sinking chips….But wonder if mini chocolate chips might work well here? Just an idea! Thanks for all your fantastic recipes, Mel!

  32. Nicole says:

    I think I would try it first with the cream cheese frosting. I love frosting. Did you really stand on your head and count to 58 in a British accent?????!!!! :D:D:D

  33. Brittany says:

    I am thinking why not cream cheese frosting AND vanilla ice cream? 😉 looks wonderful!

  34. Heather bell says:

    I have to laugh bc of “moist”. One of my least favorite words. And now you have to click here and watch this video of Jamie foxx singing “unsexy words sexily.” You will cry laughing! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_o8V7Eeh5DU

  35. Kelsey says:

    We make a chocolate version of this cake and it is SO YUMMY! Can’t wait to try this one!

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