It was Miss Kitty’s birthday recently, and she asked me to make a cake for her birthday party, which was a Pathfinder party at our place, hosted by my hubby (her request, I swear!). We started a new campaign and brought some new friends to be part of our RPG-of-awesomeness, and a great time was had by all…after all, we gamer “noids” have to stick together, after all!
We also had home made pizza for the birthday girl’s dinner, and since we had a full house, it was several individual pizzas for all of us; awesome chaos in the kitchen ensued! (For tips on how to make your own pizza, click the link to my previous post HERE).
Back to the cake.
This is Miss Kitty’s favourite cake out of all the recipes I make; similar to a Spanish Bar Cake, my spice cake recipe is fragrant with spices, rich and moist with dried fruits, and goes perfectly with a luscious cream cheese frosting (insert moans of pleasure here).
Kitty got to choose her own dried fruits for her cake, so the recipe reflects different choices than other people might make; but that’s the cool thing about this recipe. I love a good change up!
I have a small confession to make here; I took lots of pics of the cake making process, but I kinda forgot to take one of the final result! Oops… My apologies, but please to be enjoying of the pics I did take! ;o)
Alicia’s Gourmet Spice Cake
Yield: 2- 9″ round pans, OR 2½ dozen standard size cupcakes, OR 1 9”x12”x2” rectangular pan
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 20-25 min (cake layers), 15-18 min (cupcakes), 30 min (rectangular cake)
- 1 cup whole/homogenized milk, slightly warmed (I used coconut milk due to a milk allergy)
- ¾ cup large egg whites (about 6), room temperature
- ½ cup fancy molasses (optional; if using, increase ginger and nutmeg to 1 tsp each)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg or mace
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2¼ cups AP flour, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (you can use Earth Balance Baking Margarine here if keeping things Dairy Free)
- 2 cups dried fruit/nuts, chopped (I used ½ cup golden raisins, ½ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup dried cherries, and ½ cup pecans)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of pans, and cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit on bottom of pan.
- Whisk milk, egg whites, molasses (if using), and vanilla extract in a 4-cup glass measure or suitable bowl until blended.
- Combine spices, 2 cups of the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in bowl of tabletop mixer at slow speed. Add softened butter in chunks; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery ingredients remaining.
- Add milk mixture in two stages to crumbs, and beat at medium speed for 1½ minutes each stage, scraping down bowl in between additions. Mix chopped dried fruit/nuts with the reserved 1/4 cup flour, and add to the batter, mixing only enough to distribute fruit and nuts throughout the batter.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Bake according to time schedule above. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes, then invert onto greased cake racks and let cool completely.
Here are some suggestions for your 2 cup-equivalent fruit/nut/etc. for your own spice cake; all you need to do is to ensure they are all about the same size as one another (about the size of a raisin), and dredge them in a little reserved flour to ensure they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking.
* Thompson Raisins * Golden Raisins * Flame Raisins * Dried Cherries * Dried Raspberries * Dried Cranberries * Dried Strawberries * Dried papaya chunks * Dried Mango Slices * Goji Berries * Currants (red or black) * Dates * Figs * Prunes * Pecans * Walnuts * Raw Unsalted Cashews * Brazil Nuts * Raw Unsalted Almonds * Hazelnuts * Shredded Coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) * Toffee Bits *White Chocolate Chips *
For a kick-ass Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, please click HERE to view a previous post where I made the most delicious CCF EVAR! Note: if you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, orange juice or even lemon juice will pair well with this spice cake. :o)