Meme’s Oatmeal Cake is a buttery, autumnal treat for even the most beginner baker

Inspired by a much-treasured mom-and-pop restaurant on the Bon Secour River

By Bibi Hutchings


Published October 17, 2022 7:00PM (EDT)

Homemade baked granola bar (Getty Images/yipengge)
Homemade baked granola bar (Getty Images/yipengge)

In "Bibi's Gulf Coast Kitchen," columnist Bibi Hutchings takes you on a culinary journey across the coastal south. Come for the great food writing, stay for the delicious recipes.

This is my family's favorite autumn cake! The warming spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, the hearty moistness of oatmeal, the simple yet decadent coconut-pecan topping—it is absolute perfection. 

My mother began making this cake for us in the 1980s, but the recipe originally came from a much-treasured, mom-and-pop restaurant in the southern part of Baldwin County (in coastal Alabama) called Meme's on the Bon Secour River. Meme's served perfectly prepared fresh seafood that came right off the daily fishing boats tied up just steps away from their front door. 

From the time it opened in 1953 to when it closed due to damage from Hurricane Frederick in 1979, Meme's was the place for local seafood…..and for this cake!!

This is one of those desserts you will come to rely on. It always turns out, it is easy to make, it is a crowd pleaser and it stands up to every "special diet" substitution I have ever thrown at it. I have made it gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. You can even reduce the sugar or use alternative sweeteners like Swerve.  It is a remarkably good cake every time. I know it will become a holiday staple once you try it.

Meme's oatmeal cake 
1 9"-by-13" cake
Prep Time
15 minutes, plus cooling
Cook Time
45  minutes


1 cup regular oatmeal 

1 1/2 cups boiling water 

1 stick of butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs


1/2 stick of butter, softened

1/4 cup cream

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup brown sugar 

1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut





  1. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, boiling water and butter. Mix to combine and set aside until it is room temperature. 
  2. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, Add to the oatmeal mixture. 
  3. Fold the two eggs into the batter until the mixture is smooth and cohesive. 
  4. Place the batter in a buttered 9"-by-13" cake tin or pan. Place that in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean. 
  5. While the cake is baking, make the icing. Combine the butter, cream, chopped pecans, brown sugar and dried, shredded coconut. 
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place the icing on the hot cake. Place the cake under the broiler for 1 minute, just until the coconut and pecans are golden brown. 
  7. Remove and allow the cake to cool. 

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By Bibi Hutchings

Bibi Hutchings, a lifelong Southerner, lives along a quiet coastal Alabama bay with her cat, Zulu, and husband, Tom. She writes about the magical way food evokes memories, instantly bringing you back to the people, places and experiences of your life. Her stories take you all around the South and are accompanied with tried-and-true recipes that are destined to become a part of your memory-making as you share them with your friends and family.         

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