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Quick Whole-Grain Apple Pudding Cake

Webster's defines a splurge as, "an ostentatious effort, display, or expenditure." Hmm. Guess this cake isn't any of those. But it is incredibly good. It tastes rich--like a dense British pudding--but it isn't. In fact, as far as desserts go, this cake isn't all that bad for you. It's rich with whole grains and has a moderate amount of sugar and fat. The cake gets it's sweetness from apple cider and a can of apple pie filling. The cake mixes up quickly, so it's easy to do on a weeknight, and it bakes in 35-40 minutes. It can be ready and waiting when your dinner is finished, all warm and fragrant with apples and sweet spices. If you'd like to dress up the cake, a little whipped topping is great. Nonetheless, warm, the cake cries out for a scoop of low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt on the side. And if you want to serve the cake on the weekend to guests, they'll leave full, content, and happy.

Quick Whole-Grain Apple Pudding Cake

Whole-Grain Apple Pudding Cake -- Serves 6+

1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of quick oats

1/4 cup of canola oil

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of milk

1/3 cup of apple cider

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 can (15-16 ounces) of apple pie filling

1/3 cup of turbinado/raw sugar (optional, but good)

1/2 cup of walnut pieces (optional, but good)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and oats. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, milk, apple cider, and vanilla. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir them together until everything is just moistened. Stir in the apple pie filling until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out. If you'd like, sprinkle on the turbinado sugar and nuts. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and the edges start to pull away from the sides. Let the cake cool a few minutes before cutting it.

Quick Whole-Grain Apple Pudding Cake

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