July 29, 2006

Oatmeal Sheet Cake

This is straight out of our "Joy of Cooking" cookbook. It's one of Rob's favorite cakes. I'm making it today for the potluck that will be following the girl's play. (A friend of mine organized several girls into a play that they wrote and directed themselves.)

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (i use the thick rolled from wild oats.)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (i usually use freshly ground hard red wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (i use sucanut.)
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

The recipe recommends making this a day or two before serving but I rarely plan that far in advance. It tastes just fine when it's fresh.

Combine the oatmeal and hot water and let them stand for 20 minutes.

All of the rest of the ingredients should be at room temp. (I can't even plan THAT far in advance. My ingredients are rarely at room temp.) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease one 13 x 9 inch pan.

Whisk together the flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugars until they're "lightened in color and texture." (Given that I'm using sucanut and dark brown sugar, that never happens for me. But I beat it about 5 minutes while I grease the pan and clean up the dishes from so far.)

Add the eggs and vanilla, the the oat mixture, then the four mixture. Scrape the batter into a pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. let cool briefly in the pan on a rack.

They then recommend icing it with some broiled icing recipe that I've never tried. I usually take a brick of cream cheese, beat the loofah out of it, add about 1/4 cup sucanut, beat it some more, and spread it on top of the cake. i sometimes toss a few flower petals or pieces of fruit on top to make it look nice.

(optional) When my rhubarb is going bonkers I usually pull out a bunch, chop it up and add it to the recipe. As my mom has said, "I've never been able to add too much rhubarb." I know I've added at least 2 cups and it didn't seem any more than when I had had 1 cup. It's a great way to use up rhubarb and it adds a little tartness and juiciness to the cake.


  1. Will you add a picture when it's done?

  2. if you're in a hurry, you could just pick up some keeblers country style oatmeal cookies when you run by the store. let the elves bake it like we do

  3. Yes - I'd like a picture for this one, too.

    The way you describe it, the base sounds more like a muesli bar than a cake.

  4. As I've gotten older oatmeal dishes have steadily moved up the list of favorite foods, right behind my all-time favorite indulgence of peanut butter. I'll have to ponder upon giving this a go.

  5. picture added... with "artful" backdrop of rhubarb leaves. ;-)

  6. no, there's not really quite enough oatmeal for that.

    they sell oat cakes out in the bay area that are scrumptious (kinda like oatmeal muesli packed HARD into a hockey puck shaped cake). when i asked for oat cakes out here, people would always point to something in the bakery section that's like this cake. i tried to explain the difference but people just looked at me like i was a martian.

    i got the same look when i'd ask for corn tortillas. they'd point me toward the pre-fried taco shaped things and i'd say, "no. where are the fresh tortillas." so then they'd point me toward the flour tortillas (that were shipped in from hundreds of miles away and full of preservatives), and i'd say, "no. i want Fresh, Corn tortillas." and they'd shrug their shoulders and assume i was a moron. we finally started having friends bring them in from SF for us. (but now i've found some locally (boulder, co) made ones. they're not as good but i've gotten used to them.)

  7. Wow, that looks a lot a different then I envisioned....but still deliciously nice.

  8. Mmm! Thanks for the picture! It looks delicious. I love the red-green gradient on that rhubarb too; beautiful presentation. The cream cheese with sucanut looks more spreadable than I would've expected, but I haven't tried beating cream cheese before. Interesting idea.

  9. i throw the cream cheese and sucanut into the blender and put it on high, then i go fold laundry or wash dishes or something. eventually it dawns on me that i have the blender running and by the time i get back to it it's quite spreadable. ;-) (50% of my cooking style involves impatience and forgetfulness.)


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