I didn’t think I liked spice cake. Really, I didn’t. I just figured, you know, I’m a chocolate cake girl — what do I need with spice cake? Of course I’d had it before (and Mama’s yours tastes great) but it was never a cake I craved. Well, silly me with my silly thoughts: once I tried this spice cake, I was hooked. But, there are a couple little ingredients in this cake that I think make it truly sensational and the first is freshly grated nutmeg. First of all, is nutmeg not just lovely? Plus, it perfums this spice cake batter so subtely and beautifully — it is essential to the success of the cake.
Though freshly grated nutmeg is essential, so two are the other spices in this cake: cloves and cinnamon round out the spice trifecta perfectly.
The second set of ingredients that are essentials in the baking of this cake (and other cakes that also include them) are buttermilk and canola oil. The buttermilk is a wonderful tenderizer in the cake and the oil makes the cake wonderfully soft and moist. And as a PS: this recipe is originally from Kraft Oil cookbooklet that utterly delights me.
Here is the tricky thing about this cake, and before you worry, it’s really not that tricky. First, you make a stiff batter with the dry ingredients, buttermilk and oil; then, you make a light and airy batter of eggs and sugar…then you combine the two. That’s the tricky part, airy batter folded into a stiff one. Fear not though, just fold quickly and boldly till the batter is smooth and your cake will be a raging success. Promise.
I wasn’t the only one that got hooked on this cake. Collin Murray, who also didn’t think he liked spice cake all that much, love love loved it — and he can be hard to please. Give it a try my friends, this spice cake will make you a believer.
Spice Cake (adapted from 20 Wonderful Cakes made by the New Kraft Oil Method Cookbooklet)
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and line with parchment two 9-inch cake pans or one 9×13 inch pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine. To the dry ingredients, add the oil and buttermilk and mix together with a spatula. The batter should be very thick but also smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together until they are thick and foamy. Slowly add in the sugars and continue beating until the smooth, about two minutes. Carefully and thoroughly fold the two batters together being careful not to over-mix.
Pour into the prepared pan of choice and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once cool, frost with your choice of frosting, though I prefer the Penuche Frosting. Enoy!