I am lucky enough to get to pick the Tuesdays With Dorie recipe for our group again! We really are coming down the homestretch with finishing all the recipes in Dorie’s book, Baking From My Home to Yours! While going through the recipes left to choose from, I had a hard time deciding. I was torn between a butternut squash pie, brownies or this cake, which obviously I chose the cake. I decided on a quick, easy fall recipe.
From the book:
This is a recipe that gives the lie to the proverb “Haste makes waste.” I had measured out all the ingredients for apple nut muffins when my brunch guests arrived, but I hadn’t prepped the muffin pan. I grabbed a nonstick silicone baking pan, scraped the batter into it and hurriedly slid the pan into the oven. When I pulled it out, I had a great-looking cake, appealingly rough and rustic and homey, and packed with all the goodness of my old-time muffins—oatmeal, raisins, nuts and, for full, true apple flavor, diced apple and apple cider.
Serving: Like muffins, this cake can be served warm or at room temperature, just cut it into squares and stack the squares on a plate or in a napkin-lined basket. It has enough flavor and more than enough texture to be eaten plain, but like muffins, it’s good with butter, jam, cottage cheese or even thick plain yogurt.
Storing: The cake is best eaten the day it is made, but it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; warm in a 350 degree F oven before serving.
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup apple cider or juice (or another 1/2 cup milk)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup moist, plump raisins
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use an 8-inch square silicone pan, or butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the milk, cider, egg, vanilla and almond extracts and butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt to combine thoroughly. Toss in the brown sugar, making sure there aren’t any lumps by running it through your fingers, then add the oats and whisk the dry ingredients a few more times to mix. Switch to a large rubber spatula and stir in the liquid ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened—as with muffins, less mixing is better than more. Gently stir in the apple, nuts and raisins, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for a couple of minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding the cake; invert and cool until warm, or to room temperature.
I made the cake twice. The first time I made it exactly as the recipe is written except I didn’t add the raisins. I used apple cider.
I found it hard to photograph a piece of the cake.
The second time I made it, I decided to make it with a few more healthy ingredients. I used skim milk (was out of apple cider). I also used Bestlife buttery baking sticks for the butter and I used whole wheat pastry flour. I left out the almond extract and I added half a teaspoon more cinnamon. I liked the flavor of this one better, but the cake was rather dry and crumbly. I suppose it didn’t have enough of that good fat I took out of it. ;) I actually think this would make better muffins, as was intended when Dorie first made them.
Thanks to all the TWDers who baked along with me this week. I’m happy to have been able to pick a recipe again and it will be fun to see everyone else’s cakes. Check out the links here to other TWD blogs.