2 homemade cake recipes: spice and chocolate

Spicy and/or sweet, these two cake recipes are sure to please any discerning palate.

2 homemade cake recipes: spice and chocolate

Spice cake

Inviting on its own, this spice-filled cake is also wonderful with buttercream frosting. Much less expensive than a bakery sheet cake, it is also tastier.

Makes one sheet cake (33 x 23 x 5-centimetres/13 x 9 x 2-inches)

  • 1.25 kg (5 c) Basic Cake Mix (below)
  • 6 ml (1 1/4 tsp) ground nutmeg
  • 6 ml (1 1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cloves
  • 250 ml (1 c) water
  • 50 g (1/4 c) butter or margarine
  • 125 g (1/2 c) sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Generously grease a 33 x 23 x five-centimetre (13 x nine x two-inch) baking pan.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; stir to distribute the spices evenly.
    3. In a small pot over moderately high heat, combine the water and butter or margarine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the butter mixture into the bowl. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat the batter until all the ingredients are well blended. Stir in the sour cream or yogurt and the eggs; beat until they are incorporated and no streaks of white remain.
    4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched, about 40 minutes. Remove the baking pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely.

Chocolate cake

If you like chocolate, this cake is guaranteed to please your guests and your pocketbook.

Makes one layer cake (12 servings)

  • 775 g (3 1/3 c) Basic Cake Mix (below)
  • 135 ml (1/2 c) cocoa powder
  • 250 ml (1 c) milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter or margarine, melted1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Lightly grease and flour two 20 centimetre (eight inch) round cake pans.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and cocoa. Add 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of the milk. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the batter for two minutes. Add the remaining 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) milk, the eggs and butter or margarine; beat for two minutes longer.
    3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing it equally. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back after you touch it, about 25 minutes.
    4. Remove the cake pans to wire racks and let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Run a knife around the edges of the cake layers to loosen them from the sides of the pans, invert the pan and remove the cake layers. Set the cake layers on the wire racks and let them cool completely. Fill and frost as desired.

Basic cake mix

Don't purchase cake mix — make your own. This basic mix is so flexible that you'll quickly develop your own recipes to fill your family's needs, and never buy ready-made cake mix again!

Makes about four litres (16 cups)

  • 2 kg (8 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 kg (6 c) sugar
  • 50 g (1/4 c) baking powder
  • 7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt
  • 550 g (2 1/4 cups/1 lb) vegetable shortening1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir until all the ingredients are well blended.
    2. Add the vegetable shortening and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles very coarse crumbs.
    3. Place the mix in a large, airtight container or a ziplock plastic bag. Label and date, and store the mix in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks.

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