In this post, I am sharing two parts, one is a book review and the other is a recipe from the book! The book I am reviewing is the cookbook "Sugar Redefined" by Alyx Kjorven, who is the owner of the blog Sugar by Alyx. Note that I got the book to review and permission to publish the recipe on my blog by Alyx. This is not a paid review and I am sharing my own honest opinion and thoughts.
Let’s start with the book review, after all, that is how this recipe came to be!
The book begins by presenting Alyx and her brilliant connection to cakes and baking. As a food blogger who loves to bake, I can easily connect to any cookbook, especially the baking ones, so I was really happy to get the book to review. Alyx has a sweet tooth (like so many of us!) and she watches the Food Network all the time (I mean, who doesn’t?), that’s why I could immediately connect to the cookbook since I am guilty of doing this as well! 🙂
The book continues with some general information about the ingredients most of the recipes in the book use and also the kitchen tools you will need when making the cakes from the book.
One of the things you will need for all the recipes from the book is three 6-inch cake pans. To me, this sounds rather small for a cake but if you make the cakes in a bigger pan they will end up lower than the 6 inch cake so you need to decide if you are after height or width when making the cakes in the book. I bought three 6-inch pans especially for this recipe because I wanted to make it as Alyx described and because I can't help but buy more and more tools for the kitchen (LOL).
You will also need piping bags and nozzles to decorate the cake and a serrated knife to trim the top of the cakes and make them flat for a fine look.
The book has 25 cake recipes with many unique flavors that combine fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. The flavors are very refreshing with new combinations that you just wouldn’t think to add to a cake. I know I was definitely surprised with some of the recipes and their ingredients!
Alyx explains how to assemble a cake and gives a general recipe for swiss buttercream that can be used in any cake. I prefer not to consume raw eggs so in the recipe that I am sharing, the buttercream doesn’t contain raw eggs like the swiss buttercream.
You can mix and match flavors and buttercreams from different cakes in the book, I know that’s what I plan to do! (If you decide to whip up your own combination, be sure to tell me, either in the comment section or a private message, what you did and if it turned out to be a success!)
The cake recipe I am sharing uses oats, cinnamon and nutmeg, along with brown sugar. The cake came out darker, like chocolate cake, but it does not contain any chocolate at all. The spices in this cake fit well to this time of the year, fall. And I know that I would never think of adding nutmeg to cakes but it actually works and tastes delicious! The cake is moist and full of flavor and you would want one more slice for sure.
Ready for it? Here is the recipe for the delicious spiced oat cake by Alyx Kjorven:
Spiced Oat Cake
For the cake:
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups oat flour
- ½ cup oats
- 1⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cup milk
For the buttercream:
- 8 oz. (225 grams) cream cheese
- 2 sticks (200 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make oat flour, place some oats in a food processor or blender and ground the oats up. It's okay if it’s not completely ground.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Spray and line three 6- inch cake pans.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, oat flour, ground oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and mix together.
- In another bowl, combine the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla and whisk together until fully combined.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes then carefully remove the cake from the pans and continue to cool.
- For the buttercream: combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer bowl fit with a whisk attachment.
- Put the mixer on low until the powdered sugar is mostly mixed in.
- Increase the speed and whip until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Assemble the cake: cut the top of each cake with a serrated knife to get a flat surface, stack the cakes one on top of the other and spread buttercream between the layers.
- Spread buttercream on the top and sides of the cake.