Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Buttermilk Spice Cake

Buttermilk Spice Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 124.

After I made this last week and tasted it, I knew it was familiar. It brought back memories of cakes that my grandmother and aunts would make for family get-togethers and holidays. It is a perfect blend of spices and glazed with a caramel-like icing. Delicious!

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. powdered cloves
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Adjust rack 1/3 from the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13x9x2 inch pan and dust it lightly with fine, dry bread crumbs. (Note: I used a Baking spray and it came out fine)
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
Beat the butter to soften it.
Add the vanilla.
Add both the sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl, and mixing well.
On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
The bowl can become quite full after adding the flour and buttermilk. A splash guard or towel covering the mixer is advised!
Add the lemon zest.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Smooth the top.
Bake 35-50 minutes, depending on your oven. (I always begin checking early because I find that most of Maida's recipes call for too long of a baking time!) The cake is ready when the top springs back when lightly touched and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool on a rack for about 15 minutes. Cover with a cookie sheet or rack and invert. Invert again and let the cake completely cool. Prepare the icing. 

Brown Sugar Icing

I did not photograph the preparation of this icing but it is quite simple.

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 TBS. butter
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium-sized saucepan, over low to medium heat, stir the sugar and cream until the sugar is dissolved. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and let it boil exactly 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and add the butter, stirring it until it has melted. Add salt and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until creamy and slightly thickened. The mixture will still be warm. Immediately pour over the cake and spread with a long narrow spatula. Note: Do not freeze this cake after it has been iced - the icing will become wet when thawed.)


Randy said...

Mmmmmmm looks good! It always does though. You know, I wonder if I got me a fancy mixer if I would do more baking? I like the idea of hands free, it's less stressful. I just noticed your photo in the about me section, you really get into the spirit of things don't you. :0)

Phillip Oliver said...

Randy, I sent you a reply.