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Dinner Tonight! | LEARNING TO COOK

Just Your Basic Oatmeal Cake With Personality

April 25, 2001|MARION CUNNINGHAM | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This oatmeal cake is a recipe with a big personality. Everyone loves it, and with good reason. It has a fine texture and wonderful taste.

You can also turn this into cupcakes, which I've become more fond of over the years. They're so handy to have on hand, they're easy to eat and you can freeze them, thawing only as many as you need at a time. Cake, to the contrary, requires slicing a portion, and you almost have to be seated to eat a slice of cake as it calls for a plate and a fork.

If you hesitate to bake because it seems daunting to you, just give this recipe a try. I predict you too will become a Lazy Daisy addict. This recipe comes from a small loose-leaf cookbook called "Maren's Pine Tavern Menus and Recipes" from Bend, Ore.

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

CAKE

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the oatmeal in a bowl. When the water comes to a boil, pour the water over the oatmeal and stir. Cover the bowl and let the oatmeal stand for about 20 minutes, then uncover and stir. The oats should have cooled down so they're not hot when you add them to the batter.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9-inch cake pan or muffin tins.

You can either mix this batter using an electric mixer, which is easier and quicker, or beat the batter by hand using a large mixing spoon. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and gradually add the granulated and brown sugars, beating with each addition until the mixture is blended and creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add the oatmeal and mix until the oats are well blended in the batter.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended, then add them to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly so the batter is all one color.

Spoon the batter into the cake pan or muffin tins. (The muffin cups should be half full of batter.)

Bake the cake until it's lightly browned and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes for the cake, 20 minutes for the cupcakes. Test the cake at 40 minutes. Test the cupcakes after 15 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

LAZY DAISY FROSTING

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3 tablespoons half-and-half

1/3 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut

Melt the butter and pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and half-and-half and mix well. Add the nuts and coconut and mix well. The frosting will be very thick.

Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake or cupcakes.

If you want to have the frosting finished with a sheen, put the frosted cake or cupcakes under the oven broiler about 6 inches from the broiler element and heat until the frosting bubbles a little, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

12 servings. Each serving: 424 calories; 447 mg sodium; 67 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 63 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.43 grams fiber.

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