Membrillo Cake Recipe

Word kept.

This cake has become a favorite of ours recently. It is inspired by a Membrillo Cake found on my cooking bible, twisted here and there, and enriched by oats, poppy seeds and a hint of coconut. We absolutely love its fall-ish scent and its crumbly texture, and enjoy it especially in the morning, as an alternative to oatmeal when we are in the mood for a treat.

Quince jelly or membrillo is something I became familiar with recently, working in the cheese room, and seeing it paired with strong cheeses like Manchego. In Italy, the same quince jelly is called cotognata, but it has never been something popular in my family, being made especially in Sicily, where Spanish influences were very strong in the past.

I have to admit I have never loved jams with cheese, so whenever I bring home some, it is more for sweet dessert plans rather than for a a cheese platter. I tend to treat is as a normal jelly, adding it to cakes as I would with any other fruit jam. Which, as far as membrillo goes, is something quite common in Spain and Portugal as well.

In this cake, the jelly is added to the batter cut in tiny cubes, which melt to soft sweet pockets in the cooked cake. The soft jam pockets create a pleasant contrast with the oat-t flavor, the crumbly crumb  and the crunchy seeds. Sweet enough and healthy enough, is something we foresee to make over and over again. As fall has just begun.

Membrillo Cake

I tried both the dairy and the vegan version of this cake and I enjoyed both equally –they both work well. So, feel free to pick yours depending on dietary requirements and ingredients you have on hand. 

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (or more whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea saltgrated zest of 1 lemon1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1T butter (or coconut oil), melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or oat milk)
  • 1/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt (or coconut cream)
  • 150 gr membrillo (quince jelly), cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 T rolled oats
  • 1 T natural caster sugar
  • shredded coconut, for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, mix flours, coconut, baking soda, seeds, sugar, salt and lemon zest. In a medium bowl, mix egg, butter or oil, milk, and yogurt or cream. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Add membrillo and stir more. Spread the batter into prepared baking pan, sprinkle the top with sugar and oats. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until deep golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with coconut, and let cool before slicing. 

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