Speculoos Spice Cake

Speculoos Break | Kitchen NotesThanksgiving has (deliciously) wrapped up…and while I’m still recharging from a carb overload, I wanted to share with you the speculoos bread I promised forever and a day ago in my last post. I am a fan of the “warm” spices: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise. These scents remind me of baking and pair well with the scent of fresh snow on pine and/or the Christmas holiday. And now’s the time to get those scents filling up the house in preparation.

The foodie world has been abuzz with speculoos as soon as it appeared in spread form and usurped Nutella as the “it” baking ingredient. It became sandwiched between cookies, made into glazes, baked into breads, etc. And if you’re in my house, you’ll find the spread occasionally atop some toasted spelt bread.

For the cake recipe below, I used the traditional speculoos spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger and added a dash of two peppers and some cardamom for additional fragrance. The bread paired well with coffee and faired decently through a light toasting in the toaster. Warm, fragrant, and highly shareable, why not make for someone on your holiday list this year?

Speculoos Spice Cake, adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp white and black pepper, respectively
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a loaf pan (9×5) or three smaller loaf pans by buttering and flouring the pan.

Prep baking powder, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, white and black pepper, and flour by mixing in a bowl with a fork or whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the the milk and sour cream.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or an electric mixer of any kind, really) beat together the sugar and the butter for about 4 minutes. To not skimp on time. Add eggs one at a team, and beat to incorporate. Add vanilla extract.

On low speed, at the dry ingredients in batches of three. Alternate the sour cream/milk mixture between the dry ingredients.  Scrape the batter in the loaf pan, smoothing to top.

Place the loaf pan on a cookie sheet (helps keep the bottom from burning). Bake the cake until golden brown for about 55-65 minutes. Start checking at 55. You can always add more time to undercooked things, but can never remove time.

Allow to cool in the cake pan for 15-20 minutes. Then remove and let cool on a rack completely.

As mentioned in the prose, serve with coffee in the mornings or as a snacking cake in the afternoon with tea.

Speculoos Spice Cake | Kitchen Notes

PS, are you taking part in the 2013 holiday streak? Annie over at the Little GSP challenged us and we’re going four days strong.

 

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