Friday, December 31, 2010

Scottish Oatmeal Cake a'la The Country Tart (Part 1)

This recipe is another simple but delicious good-for-you treat.  The Country Tart (aka Lynn) posted this recipe on NutriMirror ages ago, and I have made it several times with varying results.  Lynn has lots of great recipes on her blog.  You should check it out!

The Country Tart

In Lynn's picture, there is an elegant slice of oatmeal cake with carmelized sugar on top and chopped walnuts, along with beautiful fresh fruit.  Gorgeous - who could resist?

Country Tart Scottish Oatmeal Cake - beautiful!

My attempts have never come out looking nearly as appealing as hers.  It always tastes great, though. 

Here is the recipe:



3 cups of uncooked old fashioned oats*
3 cups water
2 cups almond milk (or lowfat milk or water)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Turbinado (raw) sugar (approximately 1/4 cup), can substitute regular, granulated sugar

* Note: Steel cut oats are a really great treat to use instead of rolled oats, but you will need to increase cooking time per package instructions. 


1 - One day before, place oatmeal into a pan with water, almond milk, cinnamon, molasses and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low, and continue to cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.  Stir in cranberries. 

2 - While oatmeal is cooking, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, draping over all sides so that entire "loaf" may be easily pulled out later. 

3 - Pour oatmeal into prepared loaf pan.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. 

4 - In the morning, cover a jelly roll pan with heavy aluminum foil.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees farenheit. 

5 - Remove cover from oatmeal loaf and, using the overhang of foil or wrap, pull entire loaf out of pan
and place onto a cutting board. 

6 - Pull sides down and cut loaf into 10 equal slices. 

7 - Spread slices out onto prepared pan, and sprinkle 1-2 teaspoon of brown sugar onto the top of each slice and place pan onto middle rack in preheated oven.

8 - Heat cake slices for approximately ten minutes or until heated through.  When they've been heated
through, turn on broiler and allow to cook for about thirty seconds to a minute more or until sugar has melted and is beginning  to caramelize (this can also be done with a kitchen torch instead of the broiler).  

9 - Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecan pieces. 

10 - Serve with fresh fruit and creme fraiche. 


Right?  It sounds simple enough.  Make oatmeal, mix in cranberries, let sit in fridge overnight to firm up, slice, bake.  What could go wrong?  I'll tell you what could go wrong.  You could make this recipe over  and over again and never get the texture right.  But if you are like me, you will keep on trying until you get it right.  I am not sure where I go wrong.  Usually I take it out of the fridge after its overnight stay, unmold it, and have to cut slices out of a gummy gooey loaf.  I flop the gooey slices onto the cookie sheet, and bake for the time indicated.  Then when the slices are still pretty gummy after 10  minutes in the oven, I flip them over and bake a while longer.  The sugar goes on but doesn't melt, even under the broiler.   I think that these issues are mine, as other people have followed this recipe with great success.   Maybe it's the oats I use.  I have no idea.  I will never give up, though.

This time, I used heaping cups of oatmeal instead of leveling them out.  I cooked everything until it didn't look like it could absorb any more liquid.

After I cooked it, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then poured it into my prepared loaf pan.  After the first spoonful went into the loaf pan I remembered the cranberries, which were RIGHT THERE next to the pan on the stove in their measuring cup!  So I sprinkled a few cranberries over the oatmeal in the loaf pan, and mixed the rest of the cranberries into the rest of the oatmeal.

I poured the rest of the oatmeal into the loaf pan and evened it out some.

In my attempts to get this recipe right, I have used different materials to line the loaf pan.  Here is a hint that will save you lots of misery:  do not line the loaf pan with waxed paper.  Waxed paper turns to mush when it sits overnight in the fridge soaking up oatmeal juice.

OK, now cover it up and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

This morning I will unmold the oatmeal cake and see what kind of texture it is this time.  I'm going to the grocery store first, early, to avoid the crowds.  I will continue this recipe in Part 2, later this morning.


  1. Have you tried reducing the liquid? Thanks for the plug, by the way! :->

  2. I have tried reducing the liquid, and I've tried cooking the oatmeal longer, and I've tried cooking the oatmeal with the lid on and with the lid off. :)

  3. I see where you added extra oats and made it work. Well done!