Molly MacRae’s Chocolate Oatrage Cake

Molly MacRae returns with an amazing and interesting cake in between book deadlines. Her next book, Plaid and Plagiarism is coming December 6. Can’t wait! Oh, and Molly? I’d rather have bear than prunes! -AA

Chocolate Oatrage Cake

Last month I turned in the manuscript for a book, my ninth, and celebrated by ignoring other commitments, like sending a post to Amy for this blog. I hope this recipe makes up for it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the finished product because by the time I remembered to take one, we’d eaten the cake. How was it? Delish.

Chocolate Oatrage is an old standby. It’s quick and easy and requires no special ingredients. It’s my family’s version of a recipe for Oatmeal Cake found in the 1976 edition of the More-with-Less Cookbook: suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources, by Doris Janzen Longacre. As you can see by the notes, subtractions and additions, at this point it’s almost a handwritten recipe. You don’t even see the part of the recipe for making a topping because we’ve never topped the cake with anything.

You might ask why, if I’m referring to the cake as Chocolate Oatrage, does the recipe say Chocolate Stoatrage? There’s a perfectly sensible answer. My children liked to edit recipes and food packages so that it appeared we ate more adventurously. Fat became bat (and low fat became low bat). Black beans became black bears. Oats became stoats. Mmm. Nothing like a steaming bowl of stoatmeal for breakfast or a spicy black bear burger for supper.

Here’s the recipe (as we make it). I hope you like it as much as we do.

Chocolate Stoatrage Cake

Serves 16-18


30 minutes

Preheat oven to 350º.

Combine and let stand 20 minutes.

1 ½ c. quick oatmeal

1 ½ c. boiling water

Cream together until fluffy.

½ c. shortening

1 c. dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Add oatmeal mixture. Beat well.

Mix together.

1 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt (if using unsalted butter for the shortening)

1 ½ c. chocolate chips

Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Pour into greased and floured 9×13” cake pan. Bake 30 minutes or until tests done.

Cut when cool.

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