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Oat Flour Sponge Cake


Excerpted from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Leigh Beisch.

Oat Flour Sponge Cake
Serves 8 to 10

Alice says, “Oat flour turns a plain-Jane sponge cake into something elegant with the subtle but distinct flavors of butterscotch or toffee. The crusty edges I picked off my first oat flour sponge cake were delicious with my coffee.”


Oat Flour Sponge Cake



3 tablespoons (45 grams) Clarified Butter or ghee

1 cup (100 grams) oat flour

2/3 cup (130 grams) sugar

4 large eggs

1/8 teaspoon salt


8-by-3-inch round cake pan (or springform pan or cheesecake pan with removable bottom)

Stand mixer with whisk attachment

Sifter or medium-mesh strainer


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper but leave the sides ungreased.

Put the clarified butter in a small pot or microwavable container ready to reheat when needed, and have a 4- to 5-cup bowl ready to pour it into as well—the bowl must be big enough to allow you to fold some batter into the butter later.

Whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of the sugar together thoroughly in a medium bowl.

Combine the remaining sugar, eggs, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. The mixture should be light colored and tripled in volume, and you should see well-defined tracks as the whisk spins; when the whisk is lifted, the mixture should fall in a thick, fluffy rope that dissolves slowly on the surface of the batter.

Just before the eggs are ready, heat the clarified butter until very hot and pour it into the reserved bowl.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift one-third of the flour over the eggs. Fold with a large rubber spatula until the flour is almost blended into the batter. Repeat with half of the remaining flour. Repeat with the rest of the flour. Scrape about a quarter of the batter into the hot butter. Fold until the butter is completely blended into the batter. Scrape the buttery batter over the remaining batter and fold just until blended. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake until the cake is golden brown on top, 30 to 35 minutes. It will have puffed up and then settled level, but it won’t have pulled away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and dry. Set the pan on a rack.

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Patricia Rain
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14 Responses

  1. Have you tried making this cake using coconut oil instead of ghee? And organic agave syrup instead of processed sugar? Will the cake still turn out with these changes?

    1. I haven’t made this recipe with coconut oil or agave syrup. While I, like you, like to use healthy ingredients, the issue is the volume of the ingredients. In this case, sponge cakes are very delicate and substituting two liquids means factoring how much as well as whether it will even work. I use a lot of coconut oil but had a problem when I attempted to substitute it once-for-ounce for a different fat. Didn’t work. I know that Alice Medrich is very methodical and careful in what products she uses and why they work. Good luck.

      1. Although I can’t compare what it would be like with butter, mine came out just great using melted coconut oil (don’t have a choice – I’m lactose intolerant). I did not change the recipe otherwise. Wow it’s rich, though!

        1. Suzanne, you did the right thing. While it’s more expensive, I use Miyako’s vegan spread, which is also coconut-based, but has the richness of butter. I especially use it in vegan cupcake toppings and to give a boost to some main dishes. Alice Medrich is a remarkable baker. I love her book on flours.

    2. I used Miyokos Cultered Vegan Butter and Monkfruit sugar and Just egg /liquid vegan egg made from mung beans , I like low sugar since I am Diabetic and gluten free and vegan , The cake turned out great I am using it for a 4 of July 4th Cake in a Jar layer coconut cream cake strawberries and more coconut cream . Yum

      1. Janice, thank you for your input. I’m a big fan of Miyokos vegan butter too. I’ve never used Monkfruit sugar; where did you get it? Also, Just Egg? Thank you for your input! I love when readers help out.

  2. I whipped up a double batch of this recipe yesterday for my son’s birthday and it was a hit amongst the crowd. Will be cataloging this recipe for the future. Cheers.

    1. This recipe comes from Alice Medrich’s book Flavor Flours. My daughter baked the oat cake seen plain and then dusted with powdered sugar in the blog. Although I’ve intended to bake this cake (and now I’m even more interested given your questions), I’ve never baked it. However, we know it’s baked in an 8″x3″ pan and we known it’s a genoise cake, which is essentially a sponge cake, it must rise to about four-five inches maximum. In the photo of the Oat Flour Fruit Basket Cake, you can get a better sense of the height of the two layers, which appear to be about 2 – 2-1/2 inches each. The recipe calls for slicing it in half (use a serrated knife), so it should slice cleanly. Just make sure that the cake has fully cooled and has rested before doing so.

  3. Hi, I’m making this for my sister for when she goes into hospital. How long will this last in the fridge?
    Thank you

    1. You don’t say how long your sister will be in the hospital. If it’s only for a couple of days, wrapping it well and tucking it into the refrigerator would be fine. If it’s more than a couple of days, you might want to wrap it and put it in the freezer until she returns home.

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