A Squared: My Favorite Things: Gifts From My Oma[s]

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Favorite Things: Gifts From My Oma[s]

Oma and Duke
Today is not only Pearl Harbor Day, but it would also have been my Oma's 88th birthday.  She passed away a few years ago, so I wanted to take a moment on A Squared to remember her here today.  She was a sweet, generous, and classy lady who loved her family, her friends, and traveling the world.  My kind of gal!

For most of my life (that I can remember), my Oma was a VERY healthy cook.  She had some heart problems in the 80's which became a real wake up call for her and her old fashioned eating/cooking habits.  After that it was a lot of steamed veggies, brown rice, and baked chicken for dinner at her house-- which must have been why my Opa looked forward to visits from his grandkids and an excuse to order pizza for dinner.

Holidays and family gatherings were always a time when Oma would break out her favorite family recipes for the rest of us though.  Her German potato salad was a staple for every summer BBQ gathering at her house and always some sort of kuchen (German for cake) with apples, plums, or apricots.

 Another recipe of hers that has always been a family favorite is her Nut Cake.  It's a simple recipe that was passed down from her mother and is great served as a dessert or as a brunch coffee cake.  The recipe was given to me by my Aunt Susan as a part of a very thoughtful bridal shower gift.  She framed an old photo of my great-Oma and her original handwritten recipe for the nut cake and gave them to me along with her original copper bundt pan and a decorative cake plate.  I have them hanging in my kitchen now and they add a nice little bit of nostalgia to my modern loft kitchen-- I love it!

Happy birthday, Oma!

Oma's Nut Cake


For the cake--
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt *This was my recipe tweak. Oma's original recipe calls for milk here. My mom subs in sour cream.
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • Additional butter or cooking spray and flour for greasing the pan
For the filling--
  • 2 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 2 Tbs. flour 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup nuts, chopped *I think walnuts are best, but you could easily use pecans or almonds too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together sugar, eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat well.  Grease a bundt pan with butter or cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with flour.  Spread 1/3 of the cake batter evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together filling ingredients until combined.  Evenly spread filling mixture over layer of batter in the bundt pan.  Spread remaining cake batter over the filling layer and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake is slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside until pan is cool enough to handle.  Turn cake out onto a wire cooling rack and continue to cool.  Slice and serve.

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