Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sugar And Swirls of Spice for the Cake Slice Bakers

It's often sad to finish up with a cookbook, but each October the Cake Slice Bakers do just that. We have been baking since last November from Maida Heatter's Cake book and I've enjoyed all of the cakes I chose to make during that time. This month we get to choose our own recipe. With it finally feeling like Fall, I decided to go with a cake that has a spicy component and a vanilla/almond component. This marble cake is delicious, the crumb is moist and light and tight and it looks pretty, too.

If you make this cake be prepared to use a lot of bowls. You make the spice batter and, unless you have multiple stand mixer bowls, you scrape it out into another bowl, clean up the mixer bowl and use it to make the vanilla/almond batter. For that batter you need to whip egg another bowl. A three bowl cake, but it is well worth it (but just wanted you to know).

In the past I've made marble cakes where you put in the batter in sections and then swirled the two batters together with a knife. The recipe didn't indicate that we should do that, but I wish I had. This way the batters are more like ribbons than marbling. Still yummy, but next time I'd do a swirl or two. I also changed the directions a bit because, unless you have many stand mixer bowls, it is easier to beat the egg whites first and then mix up the light batter so that the whites are ready to fold in as soon as the white batter is mixed. You might even want to beat the whites before you do the dark batter...

Do try this one if you want a pretty, spicy, wonderful tube or Bundt cake. You'll be glad you did.

Marbelized Spice Cake
adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes
12-16 portions

Note: This is a three bowl recipe - 1 bowl for the dark batter, 1 for the light batter, and 1 to whip the egg whites in. If you have three stand mixer bowls, great. If not, be prepared to transfer batters and wash and dry bowls as you go along. You'll need to wash and dry the beaters either way.

Dark Batter

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon EACH: baking soda and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon EACH: nutmeg and ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon espresso powder
4 oz. (1 stick) margarine, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 cup unflavored plain yogurt

Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and, once you have everything ready to go, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large tube pan with a 14 cup capacity, then dust it all over with fine, dry bread crumbs to coat. Use your fingers to sprinkle crumbs on the inner tube. Invert the pan over paper and tap to shake out excess. Set the pan aside. (I used two small decorative Bundt pans and a 6 cup capacity standard Bundt pan and there was just a little too much batter. Allow some room for the cake(s) to rise.)

Sift the cake flour, then sift it again with the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, cocoa powder and espresso powder; set aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the margarine until soft, add the sugar, and beat to mix; then add the yolks all at once along with the molasses. Beat  until smooth and slightly lighter in color; a couple of minutes.

On low speed add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions alternating dry ingredients with the yogurt in two additions. Beat batter as you go. Scrape the bowl and beaters as you go to keep everything incorporated well.

Set aside or transfer batter to another bowl if you only have one bowl as I do. In that case, clean and dry the bowl and beaters.

Light Batter

4 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar

In the clean, dry bowl, with clean beaters, preferably the whisk beaters, beat the egg whites until they hold a soft shape. Reduce the speed to moderate and gradually add the sugar. Increase the speed again and beat briefly only until the whites hold a definite shape. Transfer beaten whites to a clean bowl, then re-clean the stand mixer bowl and beaters and dry them.

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz. (1 stick) margarine at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup soy milk

Sift the flour, then sift it again with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the clean stand mixer bowl, beat the margarine until soft. Add both extracts and the 3/4 cup sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed. On low speed add the dry ingredients in three additional alternately with the soy milk in two additions. Beat, scraping the bowl and beaters as necessary, until the ingredients are smooth.

With a flexible rubber or silicon spatula, fold in the beaten egg whites, a third at a time...don't fold thoroughly until the last addition.

Take the prepared pan and two large serving spoons. Scoop dark batter into the prepared pan(s), leaving space between the scoops. Fill the space, using the other spoon, with light batter. Scoop dark batter on top of the light batter and, using the light batter spoons, scoop light batter on top of the first layer's dark batter. Keep going, alternating dark and light, until pan is almost full, but leave room at the top for the cake to rise.

Rotate the pan briskly and tap it on the counter to release air bubbles and even the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. When don a cake tester inserted gently to the bottom will come out clean.

Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Then cover with a rack, turn the pan and the rack over, remove the pan and let your gorgeous cake cool on the rack.

Serve as is or with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.


  1. O that looks great! I love the ribbons of colours! And I love bundt cakes too, I made a print of the recipe, hope I get to it soon (as there are many more waiting)

  2. This is wonderful for Fall. All of the different flavors are so great. Love it!

  3. A hand held mixer comes in handy for recipes like this! I need one and have it on my wish list!
    The cake looks lovely! I don't care for marble cake, only because I feel like I get shorted in flavor when it comes to the thin ribbons of chocolate batter, but this one looks like a recipe I would love! Nicely done!

  4. Thank you for streamlining the recipe for us... Maida can be long winded sometimes (well almost all the time!). Love the two layers of chocolate running throughout your cake! xoxo Emily

  5. Emily, the dark layer is chocolate, but mostly spice flavored. If you want the chocolate to shine, I'd add more cocoa. I had to smile about Maida's extreme explanations. Glad my shortened version was a hit :)