“Everyone likes something warm out of the oven,” says Megan Garrelts, pastry chef at Bluestem in Kansas City, Missouri. Megan and her husband (and Bluestem chef), Colby, serve this moist, not-too-sweet cake warm along with lemon sherbet. They toast any leftover cake and top it with butter and jam for breakfast. Slideshow: Cake RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners

Megan Garrelts
Megan Garrelts
Colby Garrelts


Credit: © Fredrika Stjärne

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
50 mins
One 9-inch cake




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch-square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.

Make the crumbs
  • In a food processor, pulse the brown sugar with the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a sandy texture. Add the oats and pecans and pulse until incorporated. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and freeze until ready to use.

Make the cake
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sift the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper.

  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar and salt at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes; scrape the bowl. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time at medium speed, scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, scraping the bowl as needed.

  • Spread the batter in the prepared pan and scatter the frozen crumbs on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Cut into 12 squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The crumbs can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.