Category Finalist, Desserts. "I've been making oatmeal cake for my family for more than 45 years. Several years ago I revised the recipe, eliminating vegetable oil and using thick, chunky applesauce for added moistness. I replaced granulated sugar with honey, which gave the cake more flavor. The original frosting called for coconut, but I chose almonds, a more healthful option." —Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup chunky applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Ground cinnamon (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, combine oats and 1 cup hot water in a small bowl; set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Combine 1 1/3 cups sugar, applesauce, 1/3 cup honey, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 1 minute. Add oat mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat well. Add remaining flour mixture; beat well. Spoon batter into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place dish on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup honey; cook 2 minutes or until bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in almonds. Quickly pour frosting over cake; spread evenly using a rubber spatula.
Broil cake 1 minute or until frosting is bubbly and golden. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with whipped topping; sprinkle with ground cinnamon, if desired.