Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mom's Oatmeal Cake

It doesn't look too much like winter around here yet (this pic is from last year) ... in fact, we're dealing with freezing rain this weekend. I'd much rather have snow! Even though I'm not much of a fan of winter, I still enjoy the beauty of early winter snowfalls...especially when holiday lights brighten the city landscape.

But it is the perfect day for staying in and off the roads. A little baking makes things nice and toasty inside. Yesterday I baked my Mom's Oatmeal Cake. It should be called "Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cake", because the brown sugar adds such a rich taste to the cake. 

Watching my mother bake this cake is a vivid childhood mother was a stay-at-home mom and a frequent baker...and this cake was one of her best recipes. I remember anxiously waiting for the cake to come out of the oven, being topped with this wonderful brown sugar-butter-coconut  mixture, and then going back in the oven, under the broiler for a few minutes, to create the perfect sweet and chewy topping.  We would let it cool just a bit before we would dish it into our bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. Oh, yum. I didn't have the ice cream yesterday, but the cake still lived up to its memory.

So here is the recipe--

1. Boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a pan. Add 1 cup of oatmeal. Reduce heat. Add 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter. After butter melts, turn off heat. Let it sit as you mix other ingredients.

2. Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup sugar. Add 2 eggs.

3. Mix in 1 tsp each of baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add 1/4 tsp of salt.

4. Mix in the slightly cooled oatmeal mixture. 

5. Mix in 1 1/3 cups flour. 

6. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

7. When cake is almost done, prepare cake topping on stove top. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 cup brown sugar and then 1/2 cup of Carnation Evaporated Milk. Finally add 1 cup of coconut. 

8. When the cake comes out of the oven, turn up the heat on the topping until it starts to bubble. Cook it until it starts to thicken up...just a bit. Meanwhile, poke a few holes into the cake (I used a small knitting needle). Pour the topping over the cake and put the cake back into the oven, close under the broiler. Watch the cake carefully...allow it to bubble for a bit. This will help the topping caramelize and become slightly chewy.

9. Let it cool a bit...or until you can't stand it any longer...then enjoy! Preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Still a great cake when it cools too!

There you have, a lovely cake for winter! Enjoy

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