This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house!
This quick bread is a total happy accident. I bought a jar of applesauce that was much larger than I needed when I made my Applesauce Sheet Cake last week. I wanted to come up with a way to use the remaining applesauce. I was considering applesauce cookies, but then I remembered a really great oatmeal quick bread that I bought at a bake sale a couple of years ago.
I love a good quick bread, but they’re not as easy to come by as you might think. What I love most about this Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread recipe is the moist and robust texture thanks to… well.. the applesauce and oatmeal!
You can spice this bread however you like. I often use the spice listings in a recipe as a general guideline. I like spiced baked goods to have a lot of kick. If you’re missing one of the spices or you prefer a different profile, feel free to use whatever you like. You could even swap in a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice mix.
Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Coconut Cake is EVERYTHING! Now, I’m not vegan nor have I ever been, but something really caught my attention with this cake when Smitten Kitchen posted it a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the use of the word PLUSH in the title? I mean… it’s totally the right word to use… it’s dense and moist and a delight to eat!
The second thing that made me want to make this cake was that my friend Patti Paige of Baked Ideas… a.k.a. Cookie-Master… a.k.a. like the best cookie decorator in the existence of decorated cookies… made this cake the very same day that Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe. You see, it’s THAT kind of cake… the kind of cake that you have all the ingredients for in your pantry. Just a few simple ingredients!
The THIRD thing that actually made me bake this cake was that my husband and I randomly got invited to a vegan dinner party last week?! That’s literally never happened to us! So this was all meant to be. My Spanish husband always tells me “nada es casual”.. “nothing’s an accident”.. and I think he’s right!
So when I made the cake for the party it was a total HIT! Everyone enjoyed it so much… or at least they said they did! It’s like the densest and super-moist cake. It’s got lots of coconut flavor without being too much. I want to play with the recipe a bit over the next few times I make it. I think it could be great with diced fresh strawberries in the batter or maybe try using part almond flour? We’ll see!
Let’s talk frosting… I’M THE #1 CRUNCHY SUGARY FROSTING FAN. I know that not everyone is! When I made the cake for the dinner party I made a nice frosting with confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, vanilla, and a bit of solid coconut oil as the fat. It was wonderful! But I’m not giving that recipe here because I’m not certain how it would work if the coconut oil was liquid and not solid? Like on a warm day? I will research the topic, but for now I’m going to just use a classic vegetable shortening frosting recipe. Because that’s what I grew up with. And that’s what I love the most. I understand if you’re not into vegetable shortening and in that case you’re more than welcome to use Smitten Kitchen’s glaze recipe or whatever other recipe you love!
I have this thing for sheet cakes… I love them. I love a classic Texas Sheet Cake and its deep cocoa flavor. Sheet cakes are so easy to cut and serve and can feed a huge crowd. Because they’re baked in a sheet pan the cooking time is very short too! My favorite part of a sheet cake is the boiled frosting. I love that you ice the cake when it’s still hot. And let’s be honest.. it’s BEST when served a little warm with ice cream!
After three — delicious — tries I settled this recipe and I’m really happy with it. Let me warn you… I love a TON of spice in my spice cake! You can adjust the spice levels or even the spices you use. I think cardamom would be really nice in this cake, but I just didn’t have any on hand when I was making it.
The end results are fabulous. The texture of the cake is insanely light yet still super-moist. The crumb is perfect. You can get the texture from the grated apple and applesauce in every bite. I personally LOVE the super-sweet boiled frosting, but I think you could easily make this cake and omit the frosting and serve it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I was talking to my mom about the cake and she said that she would sprinkle brown sugar on top when it comes out of the oven… I think I’m going to try that out next time I can rationalize making a cake!
I love this Nordic Ware Naturals Sheet Pan… I have 6 of them and use them DAILY.
Let me start by saying… this cake is WONDERFUL! I was visiting my mom in Western New York recently and she invited me to join her for her Ladies’ Club annual picnic. Each year she and about 12 of her friends have a luncheon under a tent by a lake in Linwood, NY. They each bring a dish to pass. The only rule is that the dish has to be a SALAD. I think it’s such a sweet idea!
Not to be one to follow too many rules, I decided that since I was a special guest I could bring a cake instead. I wanted something light since I knew there would be so many food options at the luncheon. I also wanted something that would hold up well in the heat of the day. My final requirement was that it had to be a real show-stopper! I always try to cook up something that will impress this group of ladies!
My Almond Dream Cake checks off all the boxes I mentioned above! It’s made of the lightest sponge cake made with 9 eggs and almond meal instead of all-purpose flour. I make it extra moist by soaking each layer with almond-flavored simple syrup. The filling is simply whipped cream and berries. My trick with the whipped cream is to use a stabilizer powder to make sure it can stand-up to a hot day. An added plus is that this cake is naturally gluten-free! I wasn’t trying for that, but the almond flour does that trick!
I have to say, the cake really didn’t disappoint! Everyone had a big piece, and we sent the leftovers home with two of the ladies.
The almond cake is based on the King Arthur Flour almond cake roll recipe that can be found here.
Here are the powders I used to help with my whipped cream:
Line a half-sheet jellyroll pan (13"x18")with parchment and grease the bottom and sides.
Mix together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until the color is light and the consistency is thick and silky. It's very pretty!
Add the extract and dry ingredients and mix well.
In a new bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Be sure the bowl and your beaters are very clean and dry before starting to beat the egg whites.
Stir a few large scoops of the beaten whites into the yolk mixture. After it's fully incorporated, gently fold the remaining whites into the batter until it's JUST incorporated. Try not to over-mix so your sponge stays light and fluffy!
Pour the batter into the prepped pan and even it out to the edges.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beautiful and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
almond simple syrup:
Dissolve the sugar into the water over medium heat until the mixture is totally clear. Add almond extract and mix well.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl beat the whipping cream and powder packets until it's light and fluffy.
When the cake is cool, cut it into three even segments. Place the first third onto your serving plate and spoon on the almond simple syrup evenly over the top of the layer. Add berries evenly over the whipped cream. Top with the next third of the cake and repeat the process until the cake is fully built.
You can make the whipped cream your own favorite way and omit the stabilizer and powdered vanilla sugar.
VARIATION: Make egg white meringues and crunch them up and add them to each layer and the top of the cake for a little extra texture!
This lovely layer cake is made from light almondy sponge, simple syrup, whipped cream, and fresh berries! It’s also naturally gluten-free!
I adore CUPPA CUPPA recipes! They’re recipes that have equal parts of many of the ingredients. My mother-in-law’s coconut flan recipe is sort of a cuppa recipe. You use a can of condensed milk, and then use the can to measure out all the other ingredients. It’s so easy to commit these recipes to memory. I also remember making the cuppa cuppa cuppa recipe that Truvy (Dolly Parton) recited in Steel Magnolias. Her recipe was just a cuppa sugar, a cuppa flour, and a cuppa fruit cocktail with the juice. This recipe I’m making today has a few more ingredients, but I think it produces a wonderful cobbler that people just love!
I’m not certain this is actually a true cobbler? I think it may be a more of a buckle, but the name sounds better when you call it a cobbler…. so please… nobody report me to the cobbler police! One thing’s for sure, the recipe is totally versatile! You can use just about any type of fruit in it! I’ve even used frozen fruit. Some variations I’ve made: strawberry, peach, donut peach, mixed berries, raspberry, plum, I’ve even made it with white chocolate and macadamia nuts! In this recipe I’m using the most wonderful cherries from Washington State. I also tend to swap out the flavor extracts that I add to this recipe. Sometimes I like vanilla, sometimes almond, or even something exotic like coconut! you should totally experiment with whatever you have fruit and extract wise!
Cherries from Washington State are the perfect topping for my cobbler!
The first slice is always the best!
Top with decadent melted vanilla ice cream or ice cold heavy cream!
Another trick that I love to use with this cobbler is Ina Garten’s faux crème anglaise. It’s so simple, you just let a pint of good vanilla ice cream melt overnight in the fridge. It’s so decadent! If that’s a little too rich for your blood you could also just top with cold heavy cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream!
1tspflavor extractI used almond extract here, but you can use vanilla or whatever else you want!
2cupsfresh or frozen fruit, clean and dryI used cherries, but you can use anything you want!
.25cupsugarthis is to top the cobbler before baking
1pintmelted vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a shallow tart pan or a 9x13 pan.
Melt butter over low heat or in the microwave.
Add dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.
Add milk and whisk until incorporated.
Add melted butter and flavor extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with fruit. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup sugar.
Bake until golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. I usually start checking for doneness at about 45 minutes.
Serve warm with cold melted vanilla ice cream poured on top!
This is a wonderful and versatile recipe that uses a “cuppa” flour, a “cuppa” sugar, a “cuppa” milk etc. I love that you can use just about any fruit you want in it too! It’s perfect for last minute guests or for a potluck!