Apple oat cake

Some things in life are pretty, but tasteless; others are homely hidden gems. This apple oat snack cake falls squarely in the second category, yet still begs to be judged by its (crispy caramelized coconut) cover.

Go figure.

Apple Oat Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats, old-fashioned
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 medium-sized apples (about 350 grams)

1/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream (I used 1% milk)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup pecans, chopped coarsely (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line an 8- or 9-inch Pyrex pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

To prepare the cake...

Measure out the rolled oats into a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water on top, stir once or twice, and set aside.

In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a third bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the soaked rolled oats, followed by the flour mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples (I used a mandoline). Lightly stir them into the batter.

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (it will depend on how juicy your apples are) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven (but leave the oven on) while you get started on the topping...

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the brown sugar, milk or cream, coconut and chopped pecans. Stir to combine.

Spread the mixture evenly over the hot cake.

Switch your oven from bake to broil. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping is bubbly and golden (about 1-1/2 minutes). Watch it carefully!

Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely before serving.

Source: Mom's recipe file.