This easy breakfast cake came from a book on Amish cooking. Jeremy requests it all the time for weekend breakfasts, and it’s one of our favorites in part because it doesn’t require any eggs, unlike virtually every other breakfast food besides cereal. It is good both hot from the oven, and cold, later in the day, as a snack. I’ve cut it down for a more suitable amount for the two of us, and have tried making it with countless variations, all of which have come out beautifully. I’ll catalog some of them at the bottom of the post. I haven’t tried it with fruit yet, but I bet it would be lovely with some berries or sauteed apples or pears, and it’s on my list of things to try. The topping makes me think of a deconstructed streusel.
1/2 C white sugar
1 C AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C milk
2 T butter, melted
Optional: Vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon or other spices, 1 T buckwheat flour for subtle flavor, or 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour for heartiness; dollop of sour cream or yogurt for an extra hit of moistness.
2 T butter, cut into pea-sized bits
Optional: Oat or wheat bran or wheat germ, raw sugar, sliced almonds.
Stir together dry ingredients, then add in milk and melted butter and stir briefly just to mix. Pour into a greased pie pan and spread to cover the bottom (this is like a thick cake batter). Sprinkle or sift on a dusting of flour, then brown sugar (I use a fork to sprinkle on), and cinnamon. Dot the topping with bits of butter and gently press them into the batter. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve with bacon and fresh fruit.
Source: Adapted from The Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Good
Update 12/12/06: This weekend’s flop was made with a tablespoon of buckwheat flour, which acts more like a spice in this context and imparts a lovely subtle flavor and surprising amount of color to the flop.
Update 1/3/07: We got home after two weeks in Colorado for Christmas and the first thing Jeremy requested was a cinnamon flop and scrambled eggs. As soon as we got some milk, I made a variation with cacao nibs, and scrambled eggs cooked up quickly and drizzled with truffle oil. Jeremy complained a bit about the texture of the nibs—I believe he was thinking of them more in terms of chocolate chips—but once I told him to think of them like nuts, he was happy, and it was fun to try out, at least once.
Update 1/29/07: This is getting to be virtually a Sunday tradition, mostly by request. I’ve made it so many times that I don’t even need the recipe now. This time I made it with a quarter whole wheat pastry flour, and it wasn’t even noticeable. Came out extra moist too, for some reason that I don’t think is related. Anyway, served with cast-iron fried bacon, which is now the only way that Jeremy likes bacon.
Update 2/17/07: I made a cinnamon flop for breakfast while Jeremy went jogging. This time I added a tablespoon each of buckwheat and cacao nibs, and it was a really lovely combination, one to make again, certainly. Cocoa powder in the streusel would give it an extra chocolate kick. We had fried eggs with the flop for some protein. Photo and adapted recipe now available here!
Update 3/25/07: Another weekend, another flop. This one used up some leftovers: toasted pecans and half a ripe red pear from our dinner salad the night before. I chopped the pecans pretty finely and mixed them into the batter. The pear was sliced thinly and fanned over top of half the batter (I wasn’t sure if it would turn out), and then the streusel went over that. Baked as usual, and it came out really nicely. The pecans added a nice flavor to the flop, and the pear was a tasty addition, very tender. It probably could use some extra cooking time because of the additional moisture from the pear.
Update 4/16/07: Jeremy requested a flop for breakfast yesterday, to go with some scrambled eggs, so I happily obliged. This was your basic flop, just with some vanilla paste for an extra vanilla-y kick.
Update 1/20/08: A variation to use up the leftover allspice crumb topping from some delicious Dorie muffins: Substitute brown sugar for the white in the flop batter and add in a bit of allspice. Instead of the deconstructed streusel, top batter with the leftover crumb topping and pack it down, then bake as usual. This made a crazy-moist and delicious crumb cake. Photo is here (scroll down to Exhibit D)!
Update 3/15/08: I did a basic flop this weekend and just added some finely chopped pecans to both the batter and topping. It came out really well, and Jeremy said it was one of the best flops I’ve made in a while. Not that they aren’t all delicious. 🙂
Update 4/28/14: About time to try making gluten-free and grain-free versions of our cinnamon flop…