Sunday, November 24, 2013

spiced oatmeal apple carrot cake

One of the hardest things for me about creating new(-ish) recipes is probably naming them. It's just like writing the subject line of a super important email to a stranger: it needs to adequately summarize your email, but be short and interesting enough that they don't just delete it without reading. It is an ordeal, let me tell you.

Anyways, the point is that I'm not so sure the title conveys the awesomeness of this cake, mostly because adding even more adjectives in front seems a bit tacky. It's an apple cake/carrot cake hybrid, bulked up with oats, and topped with an oat flour pecan streusel. It looks like coffee cake, but is definitely acceptable for breakfast; you could probably bake it up in a loaf pan and call it bread to make it more respectable.

And if you're wondering why you can't see the streusel on my cake, it's because I, uh, dropped the pan face-down on the floor as I was moving it to the table to take pictures. So the streusel's kinda mixed into the batter of this batch. But it's still good! Parts of it got a bit caramelized like upside-down cake, which was yummy. I think the cake would be fine without the streusel as well, especially if you're not that into sweet things, and you can just stir the pecans into the batter instead (and maybe up it to 1/2 cup pecans). You've got options, people.

pretty heavily adapted from Food52

2 Tbsp (15g) oat flour (I put a scant 1/4 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats through a food processor. all-purpose flour works, too.)
1/4 cup (55g) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped pecans
2 Tbsp salted butter, but into pieces (if you only have unsalted, like me, just add a pinch of salt)

1 1/2 c (195g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (85g) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt (I used nonfat, but any should work)*
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup coarsely shredded carrot (~3 medium carrots)
1 cup coarsely shredded apple (~1 medium-large apple. I used Fuji, but any baking apple will do)

To make the streusel, mix together to oat flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized or smaller. Refrigerate as you make the cake batter.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Using a stand- or hand-mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the yogurt and eggs, one at a time, until fully combined. Then beat in the vanilla and applesauce; the mixture will look grainy and weird, but will smell amazing.

Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed, and then fold in the shredded apple and carrot, just until combined. Spread into the prepared pan, and crumble the streusel on top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and allow to completely cool before slicing and eating.

Makes 1 8x8 cake

* If you don't have yogurt, you can substitute it with another Tablespoon butter. aka cream together 3 Tbsp butter with the sugars.

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