Oatmeal Spice Cake

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I must confess, I am not a huge fan of cake unless it is homemade.  And by homemade, I mean from scratch and not from a box.  Bakery cakes (especially those from grocery stores) are way too sweet and box cakes taste artificial.  When I do bake a cake I tend to make bundt cakes.  However, once in a while I do really like a frosted cake and one that can be baked in a 9-x13-inch pan is even better.  The best reason is that you don’t have to worry about removing it from the pan in one piece.  Just cool, frost, cut in pieces and serve.  Easy peasy and oh so delicious.  Although, if you are feeling ambitious you can bake this cake in two 9-inch round cake pans for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out the cake rounds to cool until room temperature.  You will also need to double the amount of frosting.

This cake is lightly spiced and has a wonderful nubby texture from the oats.  Don’t wait for a special occasion to enjoy this cake.

Cake:

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 chunks
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the oatmeal, butter and boiling water.  Stir just until mixed together.  Set aside for 20 minutes.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Add both kinds of sugar, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat with a mixer set to medium speed for 2 minutes until thick and light colored.  Gently mix in the flour mixture in 2  batches, beating just long enough for the flour to disappear.  Fold in the oatmeal mixture just until combined.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack until room temperature.

To make the frosting, add the butter, evaporated milk, and sugar to a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium until it gently boils and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and add the pecan, coconut and vanilla extract.  Using an electric mixer set to low, beat the frosting until thick and slightly warm.  Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake.

serves 12-15

adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

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