Spice cakes are some of the most underrated cakes out there. Chocolate gets most of the attention, but perhaps it is because of the comparative rarity of spice cakes that they are that much more appealing. We’re used to cakes with spicy ingredients having a buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but we found a spice cake recipe that instead has a delicious crumble -on both top and bottom- that makes this a sensational dessert or snack.
Unlike many spice cakes, this recipe for doesn’t use molasses or allspice. Instead the spice comes from ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. This gives the cake a slightly lighter color than a traditional spice cake, but also gives a different flavor that is a welcome addition to the roster of favorite cake recipes.
This spice cake gets a lot of its sweetness from the crumb topping, which is actually divided and then sprinkled on the bottom of the pan before the batter is poured in and then again on the topside of the cake. This means that in every bite you get a little bit of that crumb topping and it is so good. It’s the reason why this cake doesn’t need anything at all to go with it. But, you can of course add to the richness by serving it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re having some intense sweet tooth cravings.
Any way you choose to enjoy this cake, the recipe is a winner and it goes particularly well the next morning with a cup of tea or coffee (provided there are any leftovers). If you’re in the market for a new favorite spice cake recipe then look no further!
Tillie's Ginger Cake
makes 16 small squares; 15 minutes prep, 35 minutes cook time
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup cold butter (2 1/2 sticks), cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a 9x13 baking pan.
- Create a crumb mixture by mixing all of the flour and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, cutting in butter. Reserve 2 cups of this mixture.
- In same bowl mix in the rest of batter ingredients.
- Sprinkle half the reserved crumb mixture into the pan and then carefully pour the batter on top. Pour the rest of crumb mixture on top and bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Dust with powdered sugar to finish (optional). Cut into 2-inch squares.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.