The house smelled wonderful while this Spice Cake with Orange Zest was baking!
Another simple, but tasty loaf cake from Aleksandra Crapanzano's Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes.
The year of baking through this cake book is almost over and I'll miss the simplicity of the bakes. I do think I've had my fill of French loaf cakes, though. They've mostly been really, really good, but aren't the kind of cakes my family prefers (aka - hubby says cake is only a vehicle for frosting..)
I made this cake twice. The first loaf ended up severely sinking in the middle. I was thinking it might have been because of the use of brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar, but am not sure.
In making the cake again, I weighed the ingredients instead of measuring. It seemed to make a bit of difference in the sinking middle of the loaf, but the taste and texture were almost exactly the same.
The spices are perfect and you can really taste the honey.
All-in-all this is an easy and fairly quick loaf cake to make and the spices do smell great while it's baking. Pop one in the oven 15 minutes before people come over and they'll all comment at the delicious aroma.
Aleksandra did mention something interesting that I'd never thought of. She says to let the loaf cool at least an hour before cutting it to allow the baking soda to settle in, so the cake will lose any lingering baking soda taste. That's great advice.
We found that the cake was even better the second day. It would be a good addition to a brunch table, served with fruit and a nice strong tea. The spices blend nicely.
Would I make this Spice Cake with Orange Zest again? Probably. I have other spice cakes that we like a bit better, like my Persimmon Spice Cake (and yes it has frosting) or the delicious Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream.
Don't forget to check out the other Cake Slice Bakers' choices (listed below the recipe). Next month - the final bake from Aleksandra's Gateau cookbook!
- ⅓ Cup whole milk
- ½ Cup honey
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ C (60 gm) light brown sugar
- Orange Zest, from 1 orange
- 1 ⅓ C (160 gm) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon coriander
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 315°. Spray the sides and bottom of an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan and line the bottom of it with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and honey over low heat, stirring occasionally just until it's well combined and warm to the touch. Remove from heat.
- Melt the butter in the microwave or in another small saucepan until melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer, beat the egg yolk with the brown sugar until smooth. Add the orange zest. With the mixer on low, pour in the warm milk and honey and beat on medium until well combined. Stir around the bottom with a rubber spatula to make sure the brown sugar mixture is all mixed in.
- Remove the bowl from the stand (if using) and sift the flour, spices, baking soda and salt into the bowl. Fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined. Add the melted butter and fold that in gently until completely combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is blended in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out virtually clean. Allow to come to room temperature on a rack in the pan, the turn the loaf out onto the rack.
Experiment with the spice mixture. Coriander isn't a flavor Americans are used to and can be a little bitter if too much is used. Leave it out and add a little more cinnamon if you'd like. Aleksandra uses star anise, also, but I didn't include it as it's far too strong to me. She also includes a touch of mace, but I didn't want to buy a container of mace just for this recipe!
Be sure and scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl while folding everything in, as the brown sugar tends to get stuck on the bottom and you'll want to make sure that's mixed in well.
Wrap loaf in plastic wrap to store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Does OK being frozen, too.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g
Nutrition Values are Approximate
Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!
Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.
The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - and our choices for November 2023 were ~
Coconut Yule Log with Yuzu Buttercream