Friday, April 10, 2009

Velvet Spice Cake

So I realized the other day that it was rather selfish of me to rave about our velvet spice cake recipe and then fail, yes fail, to post the actual recipe. What's more, my lovely mother-in-law asked for the recipe and I failed (again!) to send it to her. Ohhh, bad daughter-in-law. And now she's off on a lovely tropical vacation for the next week. Really, really bad. I realized all of this while I was contentedly munching a lovely velvet spicecake cupcake with yummy chocolate frosting. Here I was: enjoying the fruits of my labor while cruelly denying you the loveliness of this recipe. Selfish. I am so sorry.
Frankly, I was worried that I was going to get sued by the lovely people over at the Joy of Cooking for publishing one of their copyrighted recipes. I don't really want to be sued. But then, and here you can see how my rudimentary thought process is, I thought: "Hey, they won't sue me. They'll be so impressed by how much I love this recipe and how I inspire everyone out there to go BUY THE BOOK because this is such a great recipe that everyone will want to enjoy lots more similarly fabulous recipes that can be found within the covers". Yes, that's it exactly. So: A) Buy the Book and B) Lovely Joy of Cooking people, if you'd ever like to pay someone (eh, ME) to promote your book, don't hesitate to contact me and C) if you're offended that I published your truly fabulous, awesome, and incredible velvet spice cake recipe, please let me know and I will remove this post immediately. Please don't sue me. Really.
Did I mention that we love this recipe so much that we used it as our wedding cake? Yeah, see. A truly touching story. You would be downright cruel to sue such a devoted fan.
Ok, enough. Without further ado:

Velvet Spice Cake

"This cake is well named, as it has a very delicate consistency. Its flavor is unequaled in spice cakes"

Sift: 1 1/2 cups sugarBeat until soft:
3/4 cup butter
Add the sifted sugar gradually. Blend these ingredients until they are very light and creamy. Beat in:
3 egg yolksSift before measuring:
2 cups cake flour (we always use regular flour)
Resift twice with:
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
If the sour milk is very acid, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon soda. Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 parts alternating with thirds of
7/8 cup of sour milk or buttermilk (Sonja here: my mom uses 1/2 regular milk and 1/2 plain, non-fat yogurt. It makes for a very moist cake)Beat the batter after each addition until it is smooth. Whip until stiff but not dry:
3 egg whites
Fold the egg whites lightly into the cake batter. Bake the cake in a greased 9 inch tube pan in a moderate oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or more. (Sonja here: I have no idea what a tube pan is. I bake this cake in regular cake pans, glass square pans, metal bundt pans, cupcake pans, etc)
Another note: don't skimp on icing. Use a good one. Chocolate works well as does a light lemon icing. Don't even think about covering this delicious cake with crappy fondant.


  1. Hey Sonja! I've been loving your blog! It's been slowly encouraging me to revisit my own, long-abandoned blog :-) Anyway, just a note from a friendly librarian: recipes are not subject to the same copyright restrictions as literature, or more "creative" works. Basically, ingredient lists are not copyrightable at all, but "substantial" instructions are: My educated but unofficial opinion is that you're fine, especially since you cited your source. So keep writing and by all means keep baking ;-)

  2. Wonderful, thank you so much, Allie. Nice to know we have a trusty librarian to help us out once it a while!:)

  3. Like you, I love, love, love this recipe, exactly as it’s written!

    When I gave up wheat (gluten) flour, I thought my days of enjoying this delightful treat had come to an end. However, I’ve recently made it with Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour and it’s delicious - it rivals cake made with gluten flour.

    As it’s a different flour, with a different absorption rate of liquids and fats, I altered the recipe, using 4 eggs, and 1 cup of buttermilk. Because gluten-free flour has no gluten (duh!), beating the batter longer doesn’t make the cake tough - in fact, it adds air and makes it lighter.

    Thanks for posting the recipe. My copy of the J of C is elsewhere, and I had such a hankering for this cake.

    (I have no association with Bob’s Red Mill, I’m just a grateful consumer.)