Not too long ago I mentioned that apples and cinnamon make a perfect match. If you need any formal proof for the statement, look no further, this is it. Absolutely perfect for the season, this cake keeps the apples in chunks that get deliciously sweet and soft during baking. It reminded me a bit of a famous cake by Dorie Greenspan. But this version includes oats for a slightly more substantial cake. Let’s say it walks through a rustic path I am quite fond of. Complex flavors, delicious topping… The recipe comes from Pastry Studio, a blog I visit all the time and cook from regularly. As usual, Gayle’s bench notes are perfect guidelines to highlight what is important when preparing the cake, as well as her rationale while designing the recipe. A nice lesson in baking is what I always find when I stop by her site.
APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL CAKE
(from Pastry Studio)
for the streusel:
1/3 cup (1 5/8 oz) flour
1/3 cup (1 oz) old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 oz (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) molasses
for the cake:
2 medium (about 13 oz) apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 cup (3 oz) old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup (6 oz) apple juice
1/2 cup (4 oz) canola oil
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk at room temperature
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9” square cake pan and line with parchment, leaving a short overhang on two sides.
To prepare the streusel, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar and spices. Cut the cold butter into 1/4” pieces and add. Toss until coated with the dry ingredients and drizzle the molasses. Using your fingers or a fork, press the butter pieces until they break off into smaller pieces and the mixture clumps together and is crumbly with large and small chunks. Chill until ready to use.
Peel, core and cut the apples into small cubes. You should have about 2 cups. Toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside. Combine the oats and apple juice and set aside for about 5 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk the oil, both sugars and eggs until thoroughly blended. Add in the vanilla and oat and apple juice mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with half the milk and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until there are no dry streaks of flour. Fold in the chopped apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out in an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 34 – 36 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake. Gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment overhang to assist. Using a platter, flip the cake over and peel off the parchment. Use another plate or platter to flip the cake right side up.
to print the recipe, click here
Reading Gayle’s bench notes you can tell she worked hard to perfect this cake. The batter is much more liquid than most cakes I’ve ever made, and it smells amazing as it bakes. The aroma seems to only get better as the cake sits and cools. Which brings me to the only tricky part of this recipe. Keeping the cake intact for 24 hours. Not easy. At some point Phil said if I did not cut it he would take matters into his own teeth and bite it. I was unmoved. Defended the cake as if my life depended on it. And it was worth it, because it is a cake that profits from a little time to itself, 24 hours left to evolve into its maximal deliciousness.
It was hard to wait for a full day before indulging, but worth it…
Look at the chunks of apple waiting for you…
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