If you haven't already picked up on it, I try to be healthy. My friends might consider that an understatement. "Health nut" sums it up pretty well. I can border on obsessive when it comes to healthy eating (with all that information on the web, how can it not make anyone paranoid?), which doesn't always go hand in hand with pastries, sadly. I think that's partially why I like to bake for other people rather than myself. I can use all that butter and sugar and other good stuff freely--not because I don't care about their well-being, of course(!), and I do believe there is the right time to let those cares go and really savor food, whether it's "good" for me or not. But when it comes to baking or cooking something only for myself, I can endure the cardboard taste simply because I tell myself it's good for me. Once in a while, though, I come across something that just might be able to be shared with non-health-nuts and health-nuts alike.
Every so often, I go through an oatmeal phase. It kind of warms me up from the inside, especially useful for these cold days. And since last week, I've been contemplating, mulling over, engrossing myself with oatmeal. A bowl of hot oatmeal is wonderful in its simplicity, but oatmeal in cookies, in cake, or as a muffin provides a different indulgence. Oatmeal is the kind of food that makes you feel good about yourself. Eat an oatmeal raisin cookie, and I feel like I'm getting my daily intake of dietary fiber. Add it to chocolate chip cookies, and suddenly I'm convinced they're good for me. Yes, this is all self-deception, but oatmeal always makes me feel like home. So you can put away your bowl and lay aside your spoon, you're not going to need them for this oatmeal recipe.
This recipe originally came from allrecipes.com. What I appreciate about allrecipes.com and other sites like it is that they're usually recipes from people like me--not professionals, just people who have a love for cooking or baking. Of course, it's sometimes hard to tell whether it'll turn out or not--not all the recipes are great, but you do find a gem once in a while. Looking at the recipe initially, it certainly looked healthy, but I wasn't sure if there would be enough flavor or if it would come out dense and dry. Regardless, I was still convinced it had potential. With some tweaking, it turned out pretty nice, dare I say even fool-proof--and maybe good enough for the non-health-nuts out there.
Honey Oatmeal Cake
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Makes one 8" round cake or 12 muffins
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup low fat buttermilk (or milk if you prefer)
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 t. vanilla
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
Soak the oats in buttermilk for about thirty minutes in a mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease a cake pan or cupcake tin.
Add the oil, egg, vanilla and honey to the oats and mix on low until combined. Scrape the sides down, then continue mixing, adding the dry ingredients (no need to sift or whisk beforehand!). Pour the batter into the cake pan or distribute the batter evenly among the cupcake wells.
Bake for about 30 minutes, if using a cake pan, or 20 to 25 minutes if a cupcake pan, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. You can serve it warm with preserves or any time by itself.