Buttermilk spice cake for afternoon tea
I was thinking recently, there just isn’t enough spice around when it comes to baking. It’s not that easy to find ready made spice biscuits or cake in Australia and it’s not a favourite flavour for most people I know. Personally, I love the warmth of spice baked goods and they seem so comforting and sweet.
So I made this buttermilk spice cake the other day. It tasted lovely, all spicy and fragrant and soft with the sweet drizzle icing. I’m pretty sure you could make muffins out of this batter (for portion control, god knows I need portion control or maybe even self control).
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn bicarb of soda
1/4 tspn salt (leave this out if using margarine)
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ginger
1/4 tspn ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter or baking margarine, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup raw sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract or maple extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease 20cm (w) x 6cm (h) spring-form cake tin with butter. Place baking paper on the base of tin.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Cream butter in a mixing bowl using electric mixer on medium speed for a minute or so; add sugars, eggs and vanilla and continue beating for a few minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping bowl regularly. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour, beating on low until just combined (don’t over-beat the mixture – I usually finish folding with a wooden spoon).
Pour batter into prepared cake tin and smooth top with a butter knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on cooling rack for 8 minutes; then turn out of pan onto rack to cool completely. Once cake is cool, drizzle with maple icing.
1/2 cup icing sugar
3-4 tblspns maple syrup
1 tspn maple essence, if you have it
Sift sugar into small bowl. Add maple syrup and essence and stir with wooden spoon until smooth and of drizzling consistency. Add more syrup if too thick.
Adapted from: southernfood.about.com
Tip for one cup of cake flour: I don’t tend to buy cake flour so as per a recipe I spotted online a few years back, I place 2 level 15ml tablespoons of cornflour into the bottom of a cup measure, then add plain (all purpose) flour until it reaches one level cup (per amount in recipe) then sift a few times.