spice cake

spice cake – no dairy, no eggs, sweetened with maple syrup & molasses (vegan)

2nd November 2009

As we speak, I have this dark, moist gingerbread cake in the oven, scenting the house with wafts of delicious spice.  What I like most about this cake is that it doesn’t use eggs or dairy, is sweetened with maple syrup and uses organic cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.  The coconut oil is liquid in summer, but in winter, it solidifies and has to be melted by placing the jar in boiling water.

This is one of our favourite cakes and remains the most frequently baked cake in our kitchen.  It is one we make for all birthdays, in all seasons, serving it with fruits, orange slivers or ice cream.  I have made it in a deep baking tray for serving easy square slices or, at times, in the form of cupcakes (creates a crunchy exterior).  It is a recipe that has travelled far and wide, warmed many hearts, and filled many bellies.

I love it spread with lightly salted butter.  After one of those lengthy and tiring days, it is so good with a cup of tea.

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spice cake

The original recipe is from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld.

“Since no eggs are used, the baking soda & powder are critical leavener.  Baking powder starts to react as soon as it is mixed with the wet ingredients, so once you mix the batter, don’t delay in putting it in the oven.  Baking powder also requires the presence of something acidic, which is why there is a small amount of vinegar.  It plays an important role, so don’t be tempted to leave it out”.

Serves 10

Makes one 9-inch cake or 18 regular or 12 bakers cupcakes (reduce baking time to 30 – 35 mins).

ingredients 

1 cup + 2 teaspoons/130g wholewheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 heaped Tbsp ginger powder

½ tsp ground nutmeg/garam masala

1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder

½ cup/110g coconut oil – melted

1 cup/280g maple syrup (can be replaced with 1 cup/180g brown sugar)

½ cup/160g mild molasses or date syrup (silan)

1 cup/245g almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vanilla extract

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Oil a 9-inch springform pan or a cake pan.  Line it with a parchment circle.

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices – whisk to combine.

3.  In another medium bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, molasses, almond milk, vinegar and vanilla – whisk until the ingredients are emulsified.

4.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, whisking together until all the liquid ingredients are absorbed. The batter will be pretty wet.

5.  Pour the batter into the oiled pan and place it on a middle rack in the oven.

6.  Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.

Sprinkle chopped orange pieces or with seasonal fruits when serving.

variation/tips

  • Add ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger for a more intense ginger flavour.
  • Avoid using blackstrap molasses in baking. It is very strong and bitter and will impart an unfavourable taste. Use light-tasting molasses, and if not available, combine dark molasses and date syrup (silan), which will soften the taste, making it perfect for baking.

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