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.
My first bite I thought I wasn't going to like this. But then that all changed. It was delicious! I used store-bought applesauce and it wasn't the chunky variety (couldn't find it). I divided up the batter and baked it in two separate 8"X8" pans and pulled them out at 20 minutes and they were done completely. I put the frosting on and then sprinkled the almonds on top. I would definitely not skip the almonds. But I did skip the whipped cream. I am sure it would be the cherry on top. Next time.
I made the cake the day before a dinner. I used old-fashioned instead of quick-cooking oats and made the applesauce from Ida Red apples. A 7x11 pan worked well but the cake was completely done after 40 minutes. I didn't broil the frosting. The cake was moist but had little apple flavor.
Everyone loved this cake! I made it without the frosting and then whipped up some butter, pwdrd. sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a frosting that I later melted to a glaze because of what I had on on hand. Nicely moist, great texture and spice. My only problem was cooking it- I only had a 9x9" pan to cook it in, so the edges were cooked first, leaving the middle raw. It wasn't bad, though, and would be perfect with the right pan. Will make again!
fantastic cake! i made this for my grandpa while he recovers from knee surgery. he couldn't have but a sliver as he is on a special diet in the hospital, but the first thing he said next time i saw him was, "What was in that cake that you made???" mom says he never stops talking about it. the flavor is rich, the texture wonderfully moist, and the sweetness of the honey is warming, not cloying like cakes too often are. i'm already plotting the next opportunity to make this again.
This cake is delicious. I made it for our Super Bowl party and it got rave reviews. I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour, and only 1c. brown sugar. I made it the day before and it was unbelievably moist and the flavor was delightfully rich. It's hard to believe that it's fat free (without the must-have delicious frosting, of course)!
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