Oat-Hazelnut Cake

oh cake 6

On graduation: a little paragraph from a very wise lady: “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package,” she said. “I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
Joan Didion, commencement speech at U.C. Riverside, 1975

oh cake 2

So I graduated. Done with law school, finished with graduate school. I’ve been struggling to think of something profound, meaningful, and deep-Joyti-thoughts to say about it all, but all that goes through my head is that I am free. Free-Free-Free. I am full of ambition but lost in the newness. Where do I begin? I want do the sort of work that I can be proud of when I’m on my deathbed. Who knows if I’ll make? But here’s a cake, to celebrate taking the first serious steps towards a (I hope) lifetime of all of this.

This is definitely my kinda celebratory cake – substantial, full of good things. It’s more on the rich custard-like side than the fluffy-crumbly. It’s the sort of thing that works equally well for breakfast, tea-time, or dessert.
I particularly adore the crumble, which I sometimes use to top off bowls of yogurt and fruit.

Oat-Hazelnut Cake
1/2 cup hazelnut flour/meal (finely ground hazelnuts)
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup hazelnut flour/meal (finely ground hazelnuts)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
2 large egg, whisked
For crumble: Toast the hazelnut flour, oats, AP flour in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove and place in a medium bowl. Add butter to the saucepan, heat over medium-low heat for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Add sugar and butter to the bowl with the flours, stir until incorporated, place in refrigerator while making the cake batter.
For cake: Line a 8-inch circular pan with parchment paper and butter sides [Note: you can use a 9-inch, but it will be a thinner cake and you’ll have to adjust the baking time]. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine hazelnut, AP and whole wheat flours, rolled oats, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside. Melt the butter in the saucepan, add sugar, buttermilk, and whisked egg. Stir well to incorporate. Add this mixture to the large bowl of flours, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Pull the crumble from the refrigerator, crumble with a fork and add to the top of the cake batter [NOTE: you may have extra crumble leftover]. Place cake in oven and test for doneness after 40 minutes. Bake until a tester (toothpick) comes out clean.
When the cake is done and you’ve pulled it from the oven remove it from the pan as soon as you can! And serve with lots of berries.

  1. Congrats on graduating law school!!! The cake is packed with the goodness I favor. Nice recipe!!

  2. Congrats, sweet Joyti! Now you’re free. You have all the possibilities you can possibly dream of. Jump in. Don’t look back. Swim.

    On another note, I love that speech so dearly. I’ve carried it in my heart for months already.

    xo, Sini

  3. Applause! Applause! all the way from Nashville Tennessee. Wonderful news, Joyti.
    I love Joan Didion’s writing, but have never read that speech. It is interesting to read it now, and consider it in the context of her last major work, The Year of Magical Thinking. Prescient, in 1975.

    I want to make this cake. Looks and sounds luscious.

    Here’s to Freedom, and all the next brave, creative steps.

    • Joyti,

      I am also a fan of ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ Nancy. Have you read ‘Blue Nights’? It came after ‘Magical Thinking’; and is the only of her non-fiction books I have left to read.

  4. Deb,

    What a magnificent time, the world welcomes your new energy and creativity! Congrats! Would very much enjoy a slice of the Hazelnut Cake, it is irresistible!

  5. Congratulations! You should be totally proud of yourself for having survived the last three years of utter madness. I look forward to reading about the big things in your future (I hope they involve lots of cakes like this) :)

  6. That’s a lovely passage about how to live life. I totally agree! And this cake looks so yummy :)

  7. Beth,

    Congratulations to you! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with this cake, or a wiser person to quote than Joan Didion.

  8. Natasha,

    Congratulations – I was just graduating law school a year ago. Such a great feeling!!

  9. Congratulations!!!
    The cake looks beautiful and perfect for the celebration, Joyti.

  10. Nammi,

    congradulations for finishing law school :) and the cake looks delicious, perfect one to celebrate

  11. I love this crumbly nutty cake!
    …and Congratulations!!!

    ela h.

  12. Krys,

    You’ve graduated!! Yayyyy! That looks like a brilliant celebratory cake, oats are the key to a good eating experience haha.

  13. Shu,

    This looks amazing and the kind of cake I’m definitely going for, with a big mup of tea, when it’s grey outside. Mmm. Kelly (inspired edibles) left a comment on my latest post saying I should check you (and your chickens!) out. I’ve been browsing already and love it! Love what you do and the way you approach food. Also, congrats– I know how amazing that feeling is. Looking forward to more from you x

  14. Shu,

    hey lovely! clicked on the wrong link! (remove my previous comment if you like)

    That said, thank you so much for dropping by my blog, and that cake! Looks amazing. The kind of cake I definitely go for (with a big mug of tea) when it’s grey outside. Been browsing your blog and love the way you cook and approach food, and your musings. Looking forward to more from you, and congrats- I know how amazing that feeling is! x

  15. CONGRATS on finishing law school! This cake is indeed a wonderful celebration cke – love the combo of oats and hazelnut meal!

  16. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan,

    CONGRATS on finishing law school! This cake is indeed a wonderful celebration cke – love the combo of oats and hazelnut meal!!

  17. Congrats!! I hope you find your passion and achieve it!!! In the mean time this cake is worth drooling over!!! :)

  18. So many big smiles for you! What a beautiful way to celebrate, in every way.

    Joan Didion… what a wonderful memory.

  19. Congratulations, Joyti! That feeling of freedom is a very lovely thing, isn’t it? I hope you will be able to take some time off before launching into a job. Your cake looks so yummy! And thank you for your visit to The Tearoom!



  20. Congrats to you!
    How wonderful!
    So many possibilities
    Love your blog btw.

  21. gloria,

    Congrats dear!!! and this cake look amazing send you hug and love:)

  22. lena,

    Huge congratulations on graduation. To finding something (many things) in life that makes your heart sing.

  23. Jessica,

    Oh my, this looks lovely! A celebratory cake indeed :)

  24. Emma,

    Oh congratulations on graduating uni Joyti! I know well that immensely relieved yet excited and yet again scary feeling – enjoy it :) And that commencement speech is still so relevant today.

    Your cake looks so beautiful; rustic crumble cake with berries, what more could you ask for with a cup of tea?!

    • Joyti,

      Thanks Emma!

      Law school – or getting a law degree is post-graduate/university here in the U.S. So I’m really done with school :)

  25. Congratulations; what an accomplishment! Love this cake… anything with oats appeals to me so much more than just a plain old cake. The flavor, the chew, I love everything about them. This looks perfectly perfect.

  26. Beth,

    Congratulations on your graduation! Great quote, great recipe.

  27. Cailee,

    This looks so good!! YUM! Love your photography! So pretty! And congrats on your graduation!! Soooo exciting! :)

  28. Congratulations on graduating! What an amazing accomplishment! This cake looks delicious, can’t wait to make it : )

  29. Many Congratulations Joyti. I am so happy that school is over! Hopefully now you will blog more often and I will get to read you more.
    With all that goodness, I think this cake is a perfect thing for breakfast. Wish I had a slice after lunch too. Beautiful recipe!

  30. Joyti, congratulations on finishing the law school! What a big accomplishment, and I can totally hear your excitement about “freedom”! Looking forward to hearing your next adventure. :) Love the healthy cake like this. <3

  31. Katerina,

    Congratulations on this very important milestone! This beautiful cake is the best way to celebrate it!

  32. Huge congrats lovely!!!! I adore that little paragraph…Have a beautiful day and cheers to the yummy cake. xoxo

  33. swathi,

    Delicious oat hazelnut cake Looks perfect with evening tea.

  34. Congratulations! What a great quote. And, what a fabulous cake. That crumble topping! I need that now.

  35. Sissi,

    Congratulations, Joyti! (University graduation feels so distant… but I remember how good I felt at the time). The cake looks lovely and very original too (in spite of quite “normal” ingredients). Since I have always been fond of oats, I’m sure I would love it.

  36. Congrats! and now your next journey begins. Love those words by Joan Didion. She has such a way of putting things! I wholeheartedly agree with her. The only other thing i would add is to always travel with a piece of cake. It makes the world seem a bit sweeter then!

  37. Daniela,

    Congrats, Joyti, these arewonderful news!
    The quotation is beautiful, meaningful and touching.
    And the Hazelnut Cake looks like an amazing treat.

  38. Athena,

    Congratulations, Joyti! Immensely happy for you. Enjoy your freedom and be proud of your accomplishments. Such a lovely cake to celebrate the occasion :)

  39. Joyti, congratulations on your graduation. Best of luck to you in this new adventure. I love that Joan Didion quote you shared – she nailed it!

  40. Juliana,

    Congratulations my dear…Wish you the best in this new phase of your life…
    The cake looks delicious…I would love to taste it…such a nice cake for such a nice event.
    Enjoy the rest of your week Joyti :D

  41. Louise,

    What an inspiring and fruitful post, Joyti…Congratulations on your graduation! Oh wonderful and exciting things are going to happen on your road to happiness and fullfillment. Enjoy each and every step and don’t worry too much about where you are going. The road is endless…

    Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring passage and of course that enticing cake…

  42. nipponnin,

    Oh man! Your blog is glorious! Also poetic and romantic! I love your photo style! Love the dish!

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