Life

Try dates in oat cake with coconut topping 0

Elizabeth Baird, Special to QMI Agency
Queen Elizabeth Cake. (Courtesy of onlinefoodgrocery.com)

Queen Elizabeth Cake. (Courtesy of onlinefoodgrocery.com)

During Jubilee celebrations in June, Baird’s Bites featured a Queen Elizabeth Cake that mentioned dates in the description of the recipe but did not include dates among the ingredients, resulting in puzzled SUN Media readers wondering what happened to the dates.

Well I apologize for the puzzlement; in fact, the published recipe was fine as it was because there are two versions of this moist cake, one with dates, the better known of the two, and a second with rolled oats to provide the lush moistness that makes both of these cakes not only great keepers, but big winners in the cake department.

What links these cakes together is a broiled coconut, sugar, butter and cream icing that adds what amounts to a layer of candy to the top of the cake. Both cakes pack well for picnics, potlucks and group lunches at work, fitting them comfortably into the carrying cake category.

So take your pick for a celebration cake. You don’t need a Jubilee as an excuse to create these mouthwatering treats.

Rolled Oats Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

While not as fruity as the date-based Queen Elizabeth Cake, this version with cinnamon and nutmeg accents is equally delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) large flake rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup (425 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) each salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (10%)

Directions:

Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan with parchment paper or grease; set aside.

In a heatproof bowl, combine rolled oats and water; let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Stir a third of these dry ingredients into butter mixture alternating with half of oats mixture, then half of dry ingredients, remaining oats mixture and finally remaining dry ingredients.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top: tap pan smartly on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake in centre of a 350F (180C) oven until firm to a light touch and a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Topping: Meanwhile, combine coconut, sugar, butter and cream in a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl. Bring to boil over medium heat; boil gently for 1 minute, stirring often. As soon as cake comes out of oven, spread topping evenly over its top. Return to oven and broil 6 inches (15 cm) from broiler until topping bubbles and browns, about 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

(Make-ahead: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap in heavy foil, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Tip: In topping, you can substitute 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped walnut halves for half of coconut.

Queen Elizabeth Cake

This recipes is adapted slightly from the Coronation Cook Book, compiled by The Ladies of St. Matthew’s Kitchener and published in 1953 to celebrate the young Queen’s coronation. It’s hard to get more authentic than that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) packed chopped pitted dates
  • ;1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda
  • 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnut halves (avoid bags of already chopped walnuts)

Topping:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (10%)

Directions:

Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan with parchment paper or grease; set aside.

In a heatproof bowl, combine dates, baking soda and water; let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir a third of these dry ingredients into butter mixture alternating with half of date mixture, then half of dry ingredients and remaining date mixture. Sprinkle walnut over batter, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to blend.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top: tap pan smartly on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake in centre of a 350F (180C) oven until firm to light touch and a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Topping: Meanwhile, combine coconut, sugar, butter and cream in a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil gently for 1 minute, stirring often. As soon as cake comes out of the oven, spread topping evenly over its top. Return to oven and broil 6 inches (15 cm) from broiler until topping bubbles and browns, about 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Make-ahead: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap in heavy foil, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

 

Orange and Raisin Cake

Equally moist, this cake has a nice touch of tart orange to balance the winey raisins and sweet spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium navel orange, about 7 oz. (200 g)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) raisins, Thompson recommended
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) each baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) buttermilk

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) packed brown sugar

Directions:

Line a 9-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan with parchment paper or grease; set aside.

Cut orange into 8 chunks; whirl in a food processor until finely chopped, almost smooth. On a cutting board, chop raisins coarsely. Set orange and raisins aside separately.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir a third of these dry ingredients into butter mixture followed by chopped orange. Continue with half of dry ingredients and buttermilk.

Sprinkle raisins over batter, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to blend. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top: tap pan smartly on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake in the centre of a 350F (180°C) oven until firm to a light touch and a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Topping: Meanwhile, stir orange juice and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. As soon as cake comes out of oven, spoon topping over surface of cake. Let cool on a rack.

(Make-ahead: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap in heavy foil, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks).

Makes 12 to 16 pieces.


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