This is what happens when I’m out of rice.
As it turns out, I stress cook (my lockdown lunch ideas series might have given you a clue already). Some people stress bake, but I never do. However, I do get random cravings for baked goods that can’t be bought in a supermarket at the worst times, which is how this recipe came to be.
It was a rather foggy Saturday and I really, really wanted to eat rice pudding cake. I’m not sure if that’s the right name for it (we call it rižev narastek in Slovenian), but it’s a very old form of dessert, which is essentially rice cooked in milk and baked with beaten eggs to make it into a super puffy cake. So, there I was in the kitchen, and I’d already poured a whole litre of milk into a pot, when I figured out we didn’t have rice. Cue major indecision and unhappiness, because the shops were already closed.
We did have rolled oats though, so I figured why not? It turned out just the right amount of puffy and even a bit lighter and seemingly healthier than the rice version, so I was pleasantly surprised. Now, before you ask, this doesn’t taste like baked porridge. Adding the beaten eggs and lots of fat (coconut oil or butter) prevents it from getting slimy and dry the way oats sometimes do, so worry not! If you don’t put a lot of sugar in it, it even feels more like a puffy breakfast oat cake than a dessert, so I’m thinking of making it for breakfast from now on.
Oat pudding cake recipe
- 300 g (3 cups) of rolled oats
- 1 litre of milk (or plant milk)
- 4 eggs
- 3-4 pears
- 125 g (0.6 cup) of coconut oil or butter
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli
- 1 teaspoon of lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- powdered sugar
- a pinch of salt
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: at least 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F)
Cook the oats in 1 litre of milk until you get a nice, smooth porridge. In the meantime, peel, core and chop the pears.
When the porridge is done, mix in the coconut oil, sugar, ground almonds, vanilla extract and all the spices (salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, chilli, lemon peel) and let it cool down.
Separate the eggs yolks from the egg whites in two other bowls. Use a mixer to beat the egg yolks at medium speed until fluffy, then stir the egg yolks, baking soda and chopped pears into the porridge.
Beat the egg whites at high speed until they’re stiff and glossy white, then carefully stir the egg whites into the porridge mixture. Take care not to crush the egg whites too much.
Pour the whole thing into a deep baking tray and leave some space from the top, because the oat pudding cake should rise and puff up when hot, although it will also shrink a bit after it cools down.
Bake cca. 1 hour at 180 °C until it seems relatively solid. It will still be quite moist and soft when it’s done, but the oats will harden as it cools down, so be careful not to overbake it.
If you want to make a more classical rice pudding cake instead, you can use the same recipe, just substitute the oats for 250 g (1.25 cups) of rice, because rice is a bit heavier. The rice version puffs up a bit more and has a more neutral taste. Also, you could add pretty much any fruit to either the rice or oat pudding cake instead of pears: bananas, apples, blueberries and forest fruit, oranges or orange juice… The sky is the limit! The same goes for the spices of course and you could also add chocolate.
Do you know rice pudding cake in your country? It used to be super popular in Slovenia in the 80s, but you don’t see it as much these days and for example the Swedes had no idea what I was talking about. I feel like they used to call everything pudding before the 20th century and it’s sometimes hard to find the right English word for what I’ve cooked up, but hopefully you’ll be able to tell from the photo. 🙂