As Israel is hit with some of the worst winter weather we’ve seen in decades, so many of us are stuck at home (and happily so when you see what’s happening out there.) What could be better than using this time to bake a really yummy spice cake that fills the house with the perfect smells of winter?
I love spice cakes, and it’s one of those tastes that takes me back to my childhood. It took me a while, but I finally found a really fool-proof recipe that’s simple and tastes wonderful. I top it off with the most delicious brown butter frosting, which I really have to resist eating before I spread it on the cake. It’s a really perfect cake/frosting combination and I can’t think of any other frosting that would work this well with this cake.
Bake this before your kids get home from school, and treat them to a really yummy mid-week dessert treat without having to overwork yourself.
½ cup softened butter
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
How to do it
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixer well combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and spices. Add the dry mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the egg mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
4. Line two 20 cm round (8 inches) cake pans or one 28 cm (11 inch) springform pan with baking paper and spray with non-stick spray. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes for the round pans, or 35 to 40 minutes for springform, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely before frosting it.
BROWN BUTTER FROSTING
The taste of the browned butter is just amazing. Make sure you get the butter to a nice brown color – don’t be afraid, it’s very hard to mess this one up.
This recipe is for the two-layered cake. Halve it for the springform-sized cake.
¾ cup softened butter
6 cups (600g) powdered sugar
About 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
How to do it
1. Heat butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted and continue heating until butter turns golden brown – once you see specks of dark brown appearing at the bottom of the saucepan, remove from heat.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk, and the vanilla. Add the browned butter (try to avoid pouring in all of the brown bits at the bottom, but don’t stress if it all goes in). Beat with an electric mixer on low speed or by hand, until combined. If the mixture is too hard, add a little more milk until you reach a spreading consistency. (Tip: When adding additional liquid to frosting, make sure to add it very slowly – a few drops at a time and mix it it well before adding more. Frosting can very quickly go from hard to too runny.)