Can a dessert be a comfort food? If so, Spice Cake is one of my favorite comfort foods.
I found a Spice Cake recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook, and just had to give it a try. It was perfect, and brought back memories of luscious Spice Cakes at long-forgotten family reunions and church pot lucks.
This easy-to-make cake has a perfect spicy blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Brown sugar is the only sugar used in this recipe, which gives this cake a lovely caramel note.
If I had one complaint about this recipe, it’s that it did not make quite enough batter to use my “go-to” 9-inch X 13-inch oblong cake pan. Instead I used a 9-inch square pan, and that worked well. Hmm. . . now that I think about it, perhaps the smaller cake is an advantage rather than a negative. It was just the right size for my husband and me.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Old-Fashioned Spice Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisin or chopped dates (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Combine all ingredients (except for the raisins or dates) into a large mixing bowl. Blend until well blended. If desired, stir in the raisins or dates. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Frost if desired. Good with a maple-flavored frosting.
And, here’s the original hundred-year-old recipe: