According to William Shatner, yesterday was National Coffee Cake Day. Well. If Monsieur Shatner says so, it must be. I decided to make some last night (so technically it was made on NCCD) to bring to work today, since every Wednesday a bunch of lasses have decided to meet up and have a quick half-hour coffee/lunch vibe on campus. Much like the banana crisis, we also had two bags of apples to get rid of, and what a wonderful way to munch through the little buggers – covered in cake! Yes please!
This…is so sweet, so delicious, so UTTERLY indulgent! I usually forgo non-natural sugar but HOMG I completely see why people are determined to bake with it in lieu of more natural options, because yowza! I still cut out some of the sugar where I could and replaced it with natural vibes, but oh yes, there is no messing around with this cake and it is worth it! Caramelized topping with lovely apples fried in chili ginger jam atop an oat cake sensation steeped in happiness? You know, those cakes where you take one bit and suddenly your face bursts out into a big grin? This may just be the sugar talking but damn. This is not an everyday cake…or perhaps even something you eat once a month. This is “special occasion tea party/William Shatner said so/life is sad” cake.
I based this recipe off the awesome, scrumptious-looking one I found at Cake Duchess, with some heavy-handed mods here and there. I wanted as little refined sugar as possible, but I realize that with such a cake, especially the streusel topping, one sort of needs sugar. Blast! Still, I’d never made a streusel-y cake before, and they look really, really tasty, and, won’t you know it, all the dozens of food porn photos I’ve looked at haven’t been lying. 😀
Ingredients (makes 12 bar-bites):
- 2 1/2 cups oat flour (gf if possible – a combination of oat and something else, such as buckwheat or wholewheat flour, may make the cake less susceptible to soaking up all the sweet deliciousness of the cake, and may make for a more traditional, firmer base. Equally yummy!)
- 1/2 cup unrefined brown sugar (upon reflection one can easily cut this down to 1/4 cup for a less sweet base, or remove it altogether, because all the serious business is on top anyway)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup date paste (soak dates for an hour, then blend them til smooth in the soaking water)
- 1/2 cup soy yoghurt (I chose mixed berry, but you can also choose plain – that’s also yummy!)
- 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 flax eggs (1 TBSP flax + 3 TBSP water per egg, mixed well and left to stand for a few minutes)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- LOTS of cinnamon
- 5 apples of choice (I used red delicious), peeled and chopped into tiny bits (choose your apples according to taste – next time I might try a more tart, less sweet apple)
- 3 TBSP lemon juice
- 3-4 TBSP jam (I used chili ginger jam because heck yes)
- spices as desired (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc)
- 1/4 cup oats (gf if possible)
- 1/3 cup unrefined brown sugar (I would say you could risk cutting this amount down to 1/4 if you like)
- 2 TBSP coconut oil, chilled and cut into small pieces
- lots of cinnamon!
- Make sure all your apples are chopped and peeled before you begin!
- Preheat the oven to 177C and prepare a square baking pan, approx 8″/22cm – you can obviously go round but with the streusel topping it may be difficult to be more stingy with slices if you’re not a cake-cutting expert – ergo your yield may turn out to be 8 gigantic slices…which isn’t bad actually
- Mix your filling ingredients together.
- Sauté the apple mixture on medium heat on a non-stick pan – let it bubble/cook for 5 or so minutes to become nice and jammy. Set aside to cool. (If you don’t have a non-stick pan I suggest splashing very minimal dollops of a black tea/chai tea to get things moving about).
- In a cup mix the milk and apple cider vinegar, stir, and set aside to curdle.
- Make your flax eggs and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
- In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients, including the flax eggs.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir nicely.
- Scrape the mixture into the baking pan. Give it a slight wiggle to ensure the surface is even. Splash some cinnamon.
- In segments evenly dollop the apple mixture on top, spreading it out nicely with the spatula/back of a spoon. Don’t drown any of the apple pieces!
- In a small bowl combine your unrefined sugar, oats & cinnamon. Cut the coconut oil into the mixture with a knife – it must look like big crumbs. I just started slashing into the bowl and shaking it occasionally to get things moving. If you’re less self-conscious you can probably use your fingers in the last few moments just to make sure everything’s mixed.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly above the apples.
- Bake for half an hour, then lower the oven temperature to 155C and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes. My cake got a bit burnt (Man-thing says “caramelized”) along the edges here at the 10-15 minute mark for the second half of the baking quest, but even when we cut those bits off they were SO delicious that Man-thing was begging for MOAR! So, basically, keep an eye out!
- You could possibly put some tin foil on top and let it continue cooking inside the cake itself, but that;s only if you’re determined that it’s undercooked.
- Poke a stick around and if you’re ok with it, it’s done!
- Wait for it to cool off (approx 10 minutes), then take it out onto a cooling rack for another 15 or so minutes under a cloth.
- Place in fridge for an hour or so then cut away!
- Or do what we did which was cut off the slightly caramelized edges and stuff our faces immediately. For Science.
The chili ginger jam was pimp in this – the bits of red pepper formed little crisp nuggets to chew on – not unlike cranberries or so. I’m thinking of making my own, because it can’t be that difficult, but then made somewhat healthier. Because I’m unhinged when it comes to food choices I would even say that a beetroot chutney could work instead of the jam in this recipe, but that’s just personal taste 😉
Mods: You can try and replace the yoghurt with mashed white beans, but then I would strongly suggest a denser flour, such as buckwheat or wholewheat flour, and then naturally check to taste if it is sweet enough, keeping in mind the topping is hellish on its own! I ran out of white beans (gasp) so that’s why I can’t report back yet, but you bet I am making this cake again soon for my finicky family to gloat that vegan cakes can be just as awesome as other animal-based versions. In fact, it’s always amazing to me that many people profess it impossible to make vegan food, and especially vegan desserts, because there are seriously so many amazing options – from healthy to artery-clogging, and all cruelty-free. Custard? Soy milk. Ice-cream? Blended frozen bananas. I could really write a little thesis by now.
Tra la la! I hope all these lasses won’t pull a get diet card on me, because I don’t think Man-thing and I will survive the week if we had to eat everything ourselves. What I will say is that the filling & topping (minus half the sugar!) would make an excellent crumble to go with some dairy-free ice-cream! Another thing I must admit is that after this I’ve made a pact with myself to focus on savoury foods for a while, because it’s just been one long fest of doom. I actually prefer savoury foods (shockingly), so I need to expand my to-do list and tackle some of those suckers. Nom ho!