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Scots-Irish Oat Cake

A broiled topping becomes a confection that ennobles this otherwise modest cake, elevating it to a divine status! Moist and delicately spiced, the cake is a lovely match to the toffee-flavored crown it sports — an inspired contrast to the toothsome combination of pecans and coconut, all toasted to lightly crispy perfection. Brew some coffee, steep some tea, or pour a tot of whisk(e)y — taster’s choice, none would go amiss!

Scots-Irish Oat Cake

For the cake

1 cup rolled oats
1¼ cups boiling water
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ cup butter, at room temperature (8 tbs.)
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping

4 tbs. butter, melted
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans

To make the cake:
Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and 8- or 9-inch round baking pan. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.

In a small bowl, combine the oats and water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and oats, then the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, then turn right side up and place it on an ovenproof cake plate (or on a rack set on a baking sheet).

To make the topping:
Preheat the broiler. Combine the butter, sugar, cream, coconut, and pecans in a medium bowl. Spread the topping mixture evenly over the cake and place under the broiler, on the middle rack, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the top is bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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