Maple Walnut Cake
Much like Chester Cookies, this cake utilizes the technique of soaking grains overnight for improved digestion. Don’t be scared away! It is so easy, and it makes you feel like you are mid-science experiment as you head to bed, which is always fun. The cream cheese frosting can sit on the counter for the day, but longer than 8 hours-ish, I stick the frosted cake in the fridge. It chills well and is delicious cold.
Ingredients for Cake:
1 cup raw kefir*
1 1/2 cup fresh-milled whole-wheat pastry flour**
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup maple crystals
2 pastured eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup finely chopped soaked walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Instructions for Cake:
The night before –
In a small glass bowl, combine kefir, flour and rolled oats. Stir, cover with a thin the towel and set aside for 12 hours. Unwrap and put butter in a medium bowl to soften, cover with a tea towel and go to bed!
The next day –
Pre-heat oven to 325˚. Locate and butter an 7 x 11 glass dish . To the medium bowl with the softened butter, add maple crystals. Beat with a hand mixer on medium until the mixture is creamy and slightly grainy. Add eggs, vanilla and sea salt. Beat on high until well-combined. Add soaked flour mixture and baking powder. Beat on medium for 30 seconds and on high for 30-60 seconds. Mixture will be well combined, yet still somewhat lumpy. Add walnuts and coconut. Beat on medium until just combined. Pour into the prepared dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake passes the toothpick test. Cool completely (approx 2 hours) before frosting.
Instructions for Frosting:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla. Beat well with a hand mixer on high. Add walnuts. Beat with a hand mixer on low until just combined. Frost and serve. Cake may be set at room temperature for 12 hours without issue. Refrigerate for longer storage.
* Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that is filled with healthy probiotics. It can be found in most health-food stores, including some larger mainstream supermarkets. The texture is similar to a thin yogurt. If kefir is unavailable, yogurt may be substituted in equal measure.
** Whole wheat pastry flour is a variety of whole wheat flour that has less gluten and imparts a soft texture to baked goods. It can be found in most natural foods stores or Whole Foods Market. If unavailable, regular whole-wheat flour may be used for a denser and heartier texture.
*** For those that do not prefer the “tang” of yogurt cream cheese, regular cream cheese, softened, works equally well. If a high quality raw cream cheese is available, nutrition will not be sacrificed; in fact, it may be increased due to the valuable milk fat in authentic cream cheese.