Monday, January 16, 2012

Oatmeal Snack Cake

Sometimes things come along that really surprise me.  

Like california sushi rolls.  Man I hate regular sushi but california rolls, oh my, they are pretty delightful.

Or what about beets.  Okay that might be a little too weird for most of you but my husband LOVES them (it came from spending 2 years in Ukraine) and until a couple years ago I detested them.  Now I think they are quite tasty, especially with a little butter and salt-n-pepper.

Another thing that has come into my life recently and completely surprised me is nuts.  I have always liked nuts but I HATED them in anything.  If my mom (or anyone else) so much as added one nut to the cookies, brownies, cake, etc. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Then in the past month my husband convinced me to add some chopped almonds to some homemade ice cream, and as they say, the rest is history.  I have been adding nuts to everything, especially pecans, and I am in heaven.

So if any of you are nut haters, I recommend giving them a chance again.  Who knows you might totally fall in love with them. Just sayin'!!

This cake was moist, relatively healthy (come on, it has nuts and oatmeal), and delicious.  I found myself snitching pieces all day long because the flavor of the coconut and nuts was a perfect combination with the cake.  

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Oatmeal Snack Cake

(click here for printable version)

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup water, at room temperature
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1.  To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine the oats and water.  Stir together, then let sit until completely absorbed, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-4 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions and mix just until incorporated.  Add in the soaked oats and mix until combined, about 15 seconds.

3.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan and tap lightly against the counter to remove any air bubbles.  Smooth with a spatula.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.  Let the cake cool slightly in the pan, at least 10 minutes.

4.  While the cake cools, place an oven rack about 9 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler.  In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter and milk.  Stir in the coconut and pecans.  Spread the mixture evenly over the warm cake.  Return the pan to the oven and broil until the topping is bubbling and golden, about 3-5 minutes, watching carefully.  Let cool in the pan at least 1 hour.  Use the foil to lift the cake from the pan, then discard.  Slice and serve.  Enjoy!

Source:  Annie's Eats via Cook's Illustrated
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