Spice Cake

Cyrus and me had a late and lavish Sunday breakfast the other day, and after we finished we both felt a craving for a nice piece of cake. Well, none was available readily, so I set about baking. Scouring my cook books, I did not really find anything that appealed to me at first but I certainly developed an eagerness to make it an opportunity to use some very nice candied citrus and bitter orange peel which had been sitting in my fridge since a somewhat over-excited Christmas shopping session (it was a few weeks into January, so I am not suggesting anything here that may be considered a health risk… 🙂 ). I finally settled for this spice cake recipe, using a sponge cake recipe as the base and combining it with a recipe for a Dutch spice cake which I discovered in the internet.


Ingredients (serves 6 to 8):

  • 150 grams of butter, room temperature
  • 120 grams of icing sugar
  • 50 grams of ground blanched almonds
  • 25 grams of baking cocoa
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 level teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 level teaspoon of ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 ground mace
  • 2 teaspoons of rose water
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 250 grams of cake flour (German type 405)
  • 1/2 package of baking powder (approx. 8 grams)
  • 50 grams of finely dices candied citrus peel („Zitronat„)
  • 50 grams of finely diced candied bitter orange peel („Orangeat„)


  1. Beat the butter to a pommade, i.e. beat the soft butter vigorously while briefly holding over a water-bath in intervals but without letting it melt. The butter should adopt a very creamy consistency and glossy look, not unlike hair pomade.
  2. Pass the icing sugar through a fine sieve and incorporate into the butter in several batches. Beat energetically with a baking spoon all the time. The butter and sugar mix should have a very smooth and creamy consistency.
  3. Work in the ground almonds, cocoa, spices and rose water.
  4. Incorporate the eggs one by one.
  5. Mix the flour and the baking powder and pass through a fine mesh. Incorporate into the dough in batches.
  6. Finally, incorporate the candied citrus and bitter orange peel.
  7. Pour into a buttered cake mold (approximately 12 x 20 cm.).
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then make an approximately 1.5 cm deep lengthwise inscission.
  9. Reduce the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.

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