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This is called Picnic Cake for many good reasons. It is the perfect cake to take on a picnic because, without frosting, it is easy to transport and it doesn’t have to be kept refrigerated.
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We got this recipe from my Aunt Cathie, who is an amazing cook! Everything she bakes is so delicious and this recipe definitely does not disappoint. (If you are looking for other tasty treats to bring to a picnic, our Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats also came from her recipe book, and they are DIVINE!) If you’re eating this cake at home, or if you bring a cooler on your picnic, this 9×13 cake is great served with whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Why is It Called a Picnic Cake?
It’s called that for two reasons – without frosting it is easy to transport and it is great for feeding a crowd! You might be thinking, “Cake without frosting…are you CRAZY??” but, trust me you won’t miss it! The cake is moist and delicious on its own, and the chocolate chip topping adds just the right amount of extra sweetness. Adding oats to the mix is what makes this cake is so rich and dense. I have never put oats in a cake before, but it is AMAZING! The richness of the cake makes it great for serving a crowd because you can serve smaller pieces and everyone is still super satisfied!
Can You Freeze It?
YES! You can freeze this Picnic Cake! This is another reason why we love this cake for picnics. You can make it ahead of time and then freeze it! Make sure to freeze it in an airtight container and then let it sit out for about an hour before you serve it.
Ingredients in Picnic Cake
- Quick oats
- Butter or margarine
- Brown sugar
- White sugar
- Baking soda
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate chips
- Chopped pecans or walnut pieces
Frequently Asked Questions about Picnic Cake
Because parchment paper is naturally slippery and non-stick, your cake will not stick, making it the perfect option to place in your cake pans before baking.
Typically, you can leave cake or cupcakes on your counter, frosted or unfrosted, for a few days (4-5) if your home is cool and isn’t humid. Although, it may start to become stale. However, if you want to keep your cake as fresh for as long as possible, you can place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
Picnic cake is typically cake that is totable, or easy to take somewhere. In this case, we have a recipe for you that is not only sweet and delicious, but doesn’t have frosting, so is easy to take with you on an adventure outdoors! This picnic cake is one of those delicious recipes perfect for any social gathering, but especially something outside.
Read next:33+ Easy Dessert Ideas
Other Cakes to Feed a Crowd
Did you sign up to bring a dessert for a potluck? We’ve got you covered! Bring any of these desserts and you’ll be the hero of the banquet:
How to Make Picnic Cake
- 9×13 inch pan
- 1 3/4 cups boiling water
- 1 cup oatmeal quick
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 ounces chocolate chips divided
- chopped pecan or walnut pieces
- In a large bowl, pour boiling water over butter and oatmeal. Let sit 10 minutes until butter is melted.
- Add sugars and mix well with a spoon.
- Add eggs and mix well.
- Stir in dry ingredients and ½ of the chocolate chips to the wet ingredients.
- Pour mixture into a greased and floured 9×13 pan.
- Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips and nuts on top.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake 30-35 minutes.
- The cake is delicious on its own, but is also good topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Try topping with fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries or even plums for a different kind of sweetness.
- Try, in a small saucepan or microwave, heating up some chocolate over medium heat or low heat (do not boil) to the perfect melted consistency to create a kind of chocolate frosting or drizzle.
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Wanted a simple but delicious cake to take to a Fathers Day picnic. Fabulous. The family loved it.
This looks incredible! Saving this recipe for sure!
This is such a fun recipe and I love the addition of the oats, so good!
What a delicious dessert; love this idea! Looking forward to baking this over the weekend; looks too good to pass up!
Super easy to whip up and delicious! I added 1 cup of coconut also! We are coconut LOVERS! Wonderful recipe for a quick dessert!