Delicious Spice Cake Recipe
Piece of Spice Cake
Do you like cake?
When we were growing up my mother gave my dad, my two brothers and me a choice of what we would like her to make for our birthday desserts.
Naturally when we were little, we would have had some kind of cake with the appropriate numbers of candles on them and depending upon the time of year, if my grandparents were not on vacation, I am sure that they and other relatives who lived reasonably nearby would have joined in the celebrations.
My dad preferred eating pies to cakes and he often chose that as his preference. I remember following in his footsteps at least one year and choosing a pie for my birthday as well.
While some of our choices varied from year to year, there was no doubt which cake it would be that my brother John would choose. This spice cake recipe was his standard choice and when I found it in my mother's old recipe box recently, I decided to make it and see if it was as good as I remembered from years ago.
Indeed...it is delicious!
My brother John
Did you always eat cake for your birthday celebrations when you were young?
John or Johnny as he was called then was the middle child. I was the eldest and Jim (Jimmy...when he was younger) was the last child in our family of five.
My mother made some kind of a cake and I remember the frosting had crushed heath bars in it that we all liked. Wish I could find that recipe! Some of the other preferences...but never just one same one year after year like John requested included pineapple upside down cake, lemon meringue pie, apple pie with a Streusel topping for the crust and others which were a bit non-traditional.
John always wanted his spice cake!
One thing was certain. All of these desserts were made from scratch. I never saw a store bought cake mix in my mother's pantry. My mother also made all of the bread that we ate and I never even tasted store bought bread until our family moved to McAllen, Texas and I was already 13 years of age.
Locations of where we lived as a family of five.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Do you use a lot of spices in your cooking?
Health Benefits of Ginger
Were you aware of some of the health benefits of using spices?
Using spices for health
Were you aware that using spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves, the ones utilized in this spice cake recipe, are actually good for you?
Spices and herbs have effects on our bodies that can be anti-inflammatory, protective of the ravages of free radicals with their antioxidant powers and in some cases can even help provide weight loss when used properly. One can cut down on the use of salt, fats and sugar for instance, and ramp up the use of these more flavorful components instead when wishing to lose weight. These are just a few of their reported benefits.
Obviously using them on and in other foods rather than in cookies, cakes and desserts will help in the weight loss category...but once in a while a sweet treat is good for the soul.
Remember the old saying "Let them eat cake" which was supposedly attributed to Marie Antoinette? She may not be the true author of those words according to Wikipedia...but for all time people have craved an occasional indulgence and for some, a piece of cake is the perfect fit.
Cinnamon can actually help regulate blood sugar levels which is great news for diabetics or borderline diabetics.
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant which has also been used successfully for cases of nausea and even has some reputed benefits for pain.
Cloves are nutrient dense and also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Have you ever had a toothache and used clove oil purchased in your local drugstore? That is a home remedy that has been in existence for a long time. Dentists have known about the mild anesthetic benefits which can also fight against some bacteria in the mouth.
- Hopefully you will not need to be using cloves for those side dental benefits, but just be using it for its fragrant and delicious taste in what it adds to food.
Note: This information regarding spices and their uses for health is in no way intended to take the place of your health professional's advice.
Spice Cake Recipe
Now...are you ready to read this time tested family friendly favorite recipe? Continue reading!
Written on my mother's old recipe box
Measuring out some of the ingredients for the spice cake.
Ingredients for the Streusel topping:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used walnuts, but pecans would also be good.)
Spice Cake Ingredients
- 1/2 cup shortening - I used Crisco
- 1 cup brown or white sugar - I used light brown sugar.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups flour
1 cup sour milk
Note: If you don't happen to have sour milk on hand you can easily make it by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a scant cup of milk. It will be ready for use in recipes within a few minutes.
Photos of making the spice cake.
Directions for making the spice cake
Cream the sugar and shortening together in a bowl.
Add the egg and continue mixing together.
Add the cinnamon, cloves and ginger spices.
Put the baking soda into the sour milk and alternate adding to the mixing bowl with the flour, baking powder and salt.
I sifted the flour, baking powder and salt together. This avoids any lumps in the baking powder.
When well mixed, pour into an 8 inch square baking pan which is well greased or sprayed with Pam.
Smooth the batter out and before baking, sprinkle the Streusel over the top of the cake.
Preparing the Streusel for the cake topping...Click thumbnail to view full-size
Making the Streusel topping
Put all of the Streusel ingredients into a small mixing bowl and cut with a pastry blender into small pieces that become crumbly and well mixed.
The pieces should be not much larger than the pieces of chopped nuts.
With a spoon, sprinkle the Streusel topping over the cake batter that is already in the pan.
The spice cake ready to be baked.
Piece of Spice Cake with a dollop of whipped cream.
Baking time and temperature
This spice cake only takes approximately one half hour (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry) at an oven temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
It makes nine good sized serving pieces which can be served just "as is" or it is also good with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.