Photo: Greg Seber
This post was originally published on November 3, 2014 and is now updated. I have added a recipe video and tweaked the recipe for best results.
Tell me what your first reaction was when you saw this picture of pomegranate with eggs. If you said “Wow!” then thank you. Glad you liked it. If you said, “Together? What? How? Why? Hmm.” Thank you anyway. It’s not your fault. Because, really, who could have thought to combine these two completely unrelated products in one dish? If I didn’t know somebody could, I would have asked the same questions you did. But I knew they could. In Azerbaijan’s region of Salyan, where pomegranates and eggs happily marry in one unusual dish called narnumru.
There are times when you want a light, fluffy cake and there are times when you want a dessert that is hearty and satisfying. This Old Fashioned Oatmeal Pecan Cake is the latter style of cake. It’s moist, dense and loaded with the flavors of oatmeal, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s not quite as hearty as a big bowl full of cooked oatmeal, but it is an excellent cake that captures the same flavors and can be served either for breakfast or dessert.
The cake can be made in a single saucepan and actually starts out with partially cooked oatmeal. The reason for cooking the oatmeal is to tenderize and hydrate the oats. Oatmeal absorbs a lot of liquid and can actually cause some baked goods to dry out (imagine the difference between a stale cookie and a fresh one) through absorption. By partially cooking the oats, they are full hydrated when going into the cake batter, which yields a much moister cake.
Once the oatmeal has been cooked and cooled slightly, the rest of the ingredients can be added directly to the saucepan. This means that this is a one bowl/one pan recipe. That being said, you can absolutely transfer your oatmeal to a secondary bowl if you feel your saucepan is too small to easily mix up the rest of the batter in or if you simply want to cool your oatmeal more quickly. If you don’t want to use a saucepan, you can boil the water and butter in the microwave and pour it over the oats in a large mixing bowl to start things off.
I baked this cake in a tube pan, the same style of pan that I use for angel food cakes and some coffee cakes. The cake batter will not rise enough to fill the whole pan (so don’t be surprised), but it will dome up into an attractive looking cake that is easy to pop out of the pan. While you could bake this in a bundt pan if you don’t have a tube pan, it definitely will only fill the pan about half way, so I would actually recommend baking it in a 9×13-inch pan as a sheet cake instead. The baking time for a tube pan versus a sheet cake pan will be about the same for this recipe.
I typically serve this as a breakfast cake and do not add any frosting – though a bit of confectioners’ sugar is an easy way to dress it up – because I like my brunch guests to feel like the can simply grab a slice and eat it out of hand. If you do want to dress it up a bit more, a simple vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting is a great choice. Frosted or unfrosted, the cake keeps very well for a couple of days if stored in an airtight container.
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Pecan Cake
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10-inch round tube pan and set aside (flour, if desired).
In a large saucepan, combine water and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add in rolled oats. Allow mixture to sit for 20 minutes to cook the oats and cool. After 20 minutes, stir in the sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Add in flour and baking soda, then stir until completely combined. Mix in chopped pecans, then pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and reinvert onto a cake plate to serve. Top with frosting or confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
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Because I’ve been cooking all my life and it comes easily to me, I can generally take a look at a recipe and anticipate with some degree of accuracy, how it will turn out. But that’s not the same as actually cooking a dish from a cookbook. On this list I am covering only the cookbooks that got a “trial run.” For each of these cookbooks I cooked at least one recipe, sticking as close to the recipe as I could. I’m hoping my results along with my comments will help you to decide which of these books are for you.
This easy broccoli salad is an old family recipe, loaded with bacon and cheese, and tossed in a creamy dressing. My grandma always makes it for Easter, but it’s a huge favorite all year long!
We’ve been over my aversion to vegetables many, many times. I force them down because I know they’re good for me, but I was totally the kid who wouldn’t eat broccoli at the dinner table unless it was drowning in Cheez Whiz. I KNOW. So bad.
However, there was always ONE other guaranteed way to get me to eat broccoli from the time I was very little… this broccoli salad. My grandma has been making this for holidays and family get-togethers for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been addicted to it for just as long. It certainly doesn’t hurt that there is bacon and cheese involved (does it ever hurt?), and I always beg for leftovers when this is around.
Such a classic recipe and one of my all-time favorites!
The most awesome thing about broccoli salad is that you can totally customize it however you’d like! I feel like bacon and cheese are non-negotiables because, well… bacon and cheese.
My grandma has always only made it with chopped bacon, cubed cheese, and diced onion, but I’ve come across tons of other broccoli salad recipes that include some delicious additions:
My grandma’s dressing is a standard mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar dressing, which is just the right amount of creamy, sweet, and tangy for me. I generally shy away from really mayo-heavy salads like potato salad and macaroni salad, but this dressing is perfect. All of the ingredients are evenly coated, but it’s not overpowering in the least.
That being said, this salad would lend itself to some modifications if you’d like to try something different…
This broccoli salad has always been an Easter staple for our family, so it always screams spring holiday for me, but we make it and enjoy it year round here.
While you can serve this immediately after making it, I think it’s best when you cover it and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. The flavors mesh together and the dressing gets absorbed a bit, making it just perfect. And leftovers the next day are even better!
If your family makes broccoli salad, I’d love to hear what your favorite add-ins are!
This easy broccoli salad is an old family recipe, loaded with bacon and cheese, and tossed in a creamy dressing.
This recipe was originally published on April 21, 2011.
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