This is a substantial yet tender spice cake that's flavorful enough to serve unadorned. For my gingerbread variation, consider bringing along a jar of lemon curd.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 servings):
- 2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened until easily spreadable
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a metal or disposable foil 9-by-13-inch pan. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture in two stages; beat on medium speed until batter is just smooth. Add the sugar; beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into cake pan.
Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool.
For an elegant touch, dust the cake with powdered sugar sprinkled through a sieve or strainer.
Can be double-wrapped in plastic a day ahead. Return to pan to transport. Also, the batter can be divided and baked in two 8-inch square cake pans. Take one on the picnic; freeze one for later.
This recipe was originally featured in the USA WEEKEND article Warm Picnic for a Cool Day on October 5, 2003.
Find the Perfect Recipe from Pam Anderson.Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.