Sunday, January 29, 2012

Strawberry Jam Oatmeal Cake

I accidentally made a cake. Yeah, that happened.

It was a delicious accident, but an accident nonetheless. This cake was supposed to be a take on homemade Fig Newtons, clearly that didn’t work out. Luckily enough for my appetite friends, this cake turned out tastier than any Fig Newton I've ever had.

Initially I wanted a whole wheat fruit filled bar that was a cross between a granola bar and a cookie. I wanted oats in them, but I didn’t want a lot of that “oaty” texture. To solve that problem I used one of my new kitchen toys I got for Christmas and made my own version of oat flour by grinding up some old fashioned oats. I was on a roll.

And then the dough turned out more like batter, and that’s when I decided to scrap the idea of bars and create a delicious, simple, and healthy-ish cake that’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee.

The strawberry jam was the filling turned mix-in for these bars turned cake and imparted a slight sweetness to the cake. But I needed more than slight sweetness, so, naturally, I made a glaze. Warm jam mixed with powdered sugar and a touch of vanilla was the perfect complement to the nuttiness of the oat flour in the cake. A light drizzle and the cake was complete.

Strawberry Jam Oatmeal Cake (makes 1 9x9 cake, recipe by me)

1 cup oat flour*

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup (1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

½ cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup seedless strawberry jam**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick 
cooking spray, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla, stirring again until light and fluffy, about another two minutes. Stir in applesauce and jam.

In three batches, slowly add dry ingredients to butter, sugar, and jam mixture. Stir each addition thoroughly, making sure not streaks of flour remain.

Pour batter into pan and smooth with the back of a rubber spatula.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the center is set.

Allow to cool in pan completely before topping with glaze. 

*to make oat flour, pulse 1 1/2 cups of oats in a food processor until a coarse oat flour is produced. If you don't have a food processor or immersion blender, feel free to use all whole wheat flour, a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose, or just whole oats!
**don't be afraid to change it up! Use blackberry, raspberry, or apricot jam. Or a mixture of a flavors - just take care to make sure they're seedless jams.  

Strawberry Jam Glaze

1 TBSP seedless strawberry jam

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

In a small bowl, microwave jam for 10 – 15 seconds until melted. Add powdered sugar and extract, stirring until smooth. Add more jam or milk one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Sometimes a drizzle just isn’t enough.  

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