I like baking things. I especially like baking old-fashioned sorts of goodies. Is spice cake old-fashioned? I don’t know but it feels like it to me.
This cake is muy delicioso…tender, spicy, a bit rich. Usually I make desserts with substance (you know, like with fruit for the vitamins or dairy for some protein) but there are times that I just want dessert. A few weeks ago I wanted spice cake. So I made one. Yum!
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Jan/Feb 2008
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (divided use)
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground cloves
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T mild molasses
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
Heat 4 T butter in a small skillet until melted. Cook until slightly browned. Add spices and cook, stirring, for another 15 seconds. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
While butter is cooling, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another small bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and ginger. Set this aside, too.
In a mixer bowl, place remaining 8 T butter, sugar, and molasses. Beat until pale and fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add cooled butter/spice mixture and egg mixture. Beat well.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until incorporated. Mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk, another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the rest of the flour. Beat just until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Run a knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Slide into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before frosting.
Cream Cheese Icing
5 T butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Frost the cooled cake.