Since this has pretty much become a chocolate cake blog, here's a new one: moist subtly sweet cake with a hint of cinnamon studded with chocolate chips and cocoa-encased oatmeal—all covered in a just-thick-enough layer of rich buttery chocolate frosting with a hidden touch of molasses. Bake it in a 13x9-inch pan, and add some writing icing to step up the celebration factor.
When I look at this image, I see the imperfection of small border of congealed butter on the frosting (whoops on cooking that too long) and how I didn't get a photo of the cake whole before it got cut and devoured.
But then I think of how an old roommate with superb icing writing skills just so happened be at my house for a walk right before this cake was to be delivered (and so naturally I enlisted her skills), and minutes later how the birthday girl, well into adulthood and motherhood, remarked with delight that she hadn't had her name on a cake in years.
I think of cutting kid pieces and then adult pieces, eating with plastic on paper, with people I share in life with week by week. And then I think of plating up a final piece with icing prettiness the next morning and deciding to place it on this piece of artwork that was just hanging out on my porch because I live with talented artists who capture everything I love about forests and mountains and put them on our walls.
That's when I'm reminded the messy-beautiful of real life is far superior than a perfect cake or a perfect blog photo, and that I can always capture the all of it the old fashioned way in words at any time.
Triple Chocolate Oat Cake
Adapted from Cooking with Paula Deen
1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Frosting (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with PAM (or your favorite oil spray).
In a heat-proof bowl, stir together boiling water and oats. Let stand for 10 minutes while you prep the rest of the cake batter.
In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until blended. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the oat mixture and then the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in it comes out clean.
Prepare the frosting while the cake bakes, and spread the warm frosting on the warm cake after you pull it out of the oven. Let it cool before serving.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp. unsulfured molasses
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Place butter, whipping cream, cocoa, and molasses in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and whisk in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Stir in vanilla.