Fall into the Comforts of Coffee Cake

more muffins

By Bianca Tamburello, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

Last semester I had a very late lab that constantly interfered with Karen Jacob’s Sargent Choice Test Kitchen.  This semester I was sure to leave my Wednesday nights free so I could finally enjoy the delicious Sargent Choice recipes. Attending the test kitchen alone for the first time, I was a bit nervous, but at the same time excited about having access to a kitchen and healthy recipes on campus.

The minute I stepped through the door I was greeted by Karen Jacobs and was instantly at ease.  As the night moved on, I was joking around and sharing stories with people I had never seen on campus before.  Cooking alongside other BU students who share my passion for food, cooking, and healthy eating made me feel at home.

batch 1

The Autumn Coffee Cake was the perfect recipe for my first test kitchen.  I am not willing to eliminate sweets from my diet, so I love when Sargent Choice modifies desserts to make them a little bit healthier.

sliceInstead of using white flour, we baked using a combination of whole-wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, and flaxseeds. We also added grated carrots and apples to cut down on the amount of oil. I know a few people were a little uneasy about carrots sneaking into their dessert, but they were happily surprised by the moist texture the carrots and apples gave the cake. As a SC recipe, the cake also contains less sugar than the average coffee cake but still satisfies your sweet tooth.

At the test kitchen, we joked that using the word “autumn” to describe a coffee cake is a bit out of the ordinary. However, it is the perfect adjective to describe SC’s coffee cake. While the first batch baked in the oven, the room filled with such a wonderful apple cinnamon aroma that we become very inpatient waiting. For the second batch, we decided to bake the coffee cake in muffin tins to cut back on bake time. In addition to being faster, the personalized coffee cake muffins also avoided messy cutting and made it easier for everyone to transport their own little piece of autumn home.


I left Karen Jacob’s Test Kitchen with new friends, a full belly, and an edible piece of autumn!

Autumn Coffee Cake


1¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats                                    Topping:

1½ cups whole wheat flour                                                ⅓ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup ground flaxseeds                                                ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 Tbsp baking soda                                                            2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder                                                            1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground cinnamon                                                            2 Tbsp canola oil

¼ tsp salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1½ cups low fat buttermilk

1½ cups grated peeled carrots

1 cup grated peeled apples


1.    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

2.    Place the oats, flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.    In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the buttermilk.

4.    Add the oat mixture to the buttermilk mixture, and stir to combine. Add the carrots and apples, and stir just until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.

5.    Place the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and canola oil in a small bowl. Stir to blend, and sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the batter.

6.    Bake the squares until the batter has set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cut into 24 pieces. (The squares can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.)

For a complete meal, enjoy with sliced or whole fruit and skim/1% milk or low fat/fat free plain yogurt.


Serving = 1 square

Calories 200
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Protein 4 g
Carbohydrate 28 g
Fiber 3 g


Kristen posted on September 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

i just love coffee cake! This recipe looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Cheap Monster Beats by Dre posted on January 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm

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