Let Them Eat Cake?

December 20, 2009

There’s one episode of my favorite cartoon, Arthur, where Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s normally firm, but always fair teacher, is skulking around like a fool over the cakes Arthur’s dad makes for Arthur’s class. The seminal cake that was the fuel for Ratburn’s fervor was a honey cake (in the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa).

I decided to take on the role of Arthur’s dad and make a cake for my mother (twisted turns, I know, just follow me here). She is a member of a book club and needed an item to bring. I decided to take a look at what we had around our pantry. I saw the creamed cinnamon honey my mom bought at a general store in Michigan’s thumb (by my family’s farm) and the dark rum I used for a bread pudding I made over Thanksgiving. The lightbulbs started going off! A rum spice cake!

The result is a honey-spice cake with an orange rum glaze. My mother loves nuts in sweets (I don’t care for them), so instead, I sprinkled some walnuts on top. Recipe (and annotations) follow:

Honey Spice Cake with Rum Glaze (adapted from Emeril, whom I love-love):
Emeril’s recipe didn’t have enough spice for me. When I make spice cake, I love a bit of everything: I added nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom. Also I split up the honey, 1/3 is a cup of clover honey, 1/3 is creamed cinnamon honey, but 2/3 cup clover honey will suffice, as that’s the original recipe.

1¼ hours | 15 min prep

SERVES 16

  • 2 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup  unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup clover honey
  • 1/3 cup creamed cinnamon honey
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons plain yogurt 
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rum
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour 1 (9-inch) tube pan or 1 (8 to 10-cup) fluted tube or bundt pan. I didn’t have either (I thought I did), and this worked in a regular 9-inch cake pan.
  3. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves,nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom and salt together, then sift again into a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy.
  4. Gradually add the honey and 1/4 cup of the sugar to the butter and beat on high speed until well mixed, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time.
  6. Beat on low and add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the yogurt in 2 parts.
  7. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  8. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  9. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating on high speed, until stiff.
  10. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely.
  13. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and rum and stir to combine. Mixture should be a stiff glaze. If the glaze is too thick, thin with a bit of milk. You will need the milk; 1 1/2 teaspoon should do.
  14. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze all over the cake in a random pattern.
  15. Let the cake sit until the glaze has hardened.
  16. Serve.
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