It has been a busy week on the blog. I gave away two tickets to this weekend’s Proe Paarl Food and Wine Festival happening this weekend in Paarl. Congratulations Charles Abernethy!
Depending on your Christmas inclination and where you stand on that little ditty: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” you might agree that the more exciting thing that happened this week on the blog was that we kicked off the festive season recipes with a carefully curated “14 Gifts For The Cook” gift list. Kate wanted to know where the link to Bobbi Brown was so clearly all that kitchen apparel left her cold. If, like me, you love a kitchen gadget, a cookbook and pretty kitchen things be sure to check it out for some gift ideas.
Are you are a Christmas person? Obviously I am. I love Christmas time. I love all the Christmas baking and preparing and shopping and gift wrapping and tree decorating. I also love the drinking of Pimms. Not exactly traditional, but nothing says holiday and summertime quite like an ice cold Pimms. And of course cake.
You should know that I am no fan of the traditional Christmas pudding and I pretty much dread fruit cake. Between all that brandy soaked dried fruit and marzipan I am all sorts of shudders and “Ag, nee man”. I actually only started loving the occasional mince pie when I made them over and over again for the cover of our Christmas eBook; Eat. Drink. Spoil (my free eBook of 12 Christmas recipes).
Today’s recipe for this Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting was actually a recipe I had earmarked to make last year, but never got around to. The original recipe was in the December 2014 issue of Your Family Magazine. Unfortunately I cannot find a link to the original recipe on their website.
One of the things I changed in the recipe was the spices and I really like how my mix turned out, which was more lightly spiced and golden than the darker, more heavily spiced original. I finished the cake with a few caramelized walnuts and a fresh Rosemary wreath which to me read Christmas without the coloured tinsel and tangled lights.
This cake keeps so well, we were still eating it three days later and it was as good then as it was on the first day, which makes it a perfect holiday bake in my book as you can prepare it ahead of time.
Still so much Christmas to come here on the blog.
- 625 ml (2½ C) cake flour
- 5 ml (1 t) baking powder
- 500 ml (2 C) brown sugar
- 10 ml (2 t) ground ginger
- 5 ml (1 t) ground cinnamon
- 2.5 ml (½ t) ground nutmeg
- 2.5 ml (½ t) mixed spice
- 250 ml (1 C) buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml (1 C) olive oil
- 65 ml (¼ C) butter
- 1 x 175 g tub plain cream cheese
- 500 ml (2 C) icing sugar, sifted
- 65 ml (4 T) white sugar
- 50-100g walnuts
- Place the cake flour, baking powder, sugar and spices into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Mix together the buttermilk, eggs and olive oil and add to the dry ingredients.
- Beat until the ingredients are just combined but well blended.
- Spoon the mixture into two cake pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with baking paper.
- Bake the cakes in an oven that has been pre-heated to 180˚C for 35 minutes or until the cake is cooked through when tested with a skewer inserted in the middle.
- Cream the butter.
- Add the cream cheese and beat for one minute.
- Add the icing sugar, mix until well blended and ice the cake as desired.
- Place the sugar into a non-stick frying pan in a thin even layer.
- Heat the sugar over low heat, do not stir.
- As the sugar beings to melt, slowly pull it all together and stir.
- Continue to cook the sugar over a low heat until it caramelizes and turns golden.
- Remove from the heat.
- Allow the sugar to cool slightly testing as the minutes pass for when the sugar can hold onto the walnut.
- Dip each walnut into the sugar and pull up slowly to create a golden strand.
- Allow the strand a minute to set before breaking it off.