Monday, August 15, 2011

Mildred's Roaring Twenties Spice Cake

I don't remember where I found the recipe for this cake, but I do know it was when Millie was a baby, and we were house-sitting a country mansion for the year. Since that time, I've never made it. Not once!

It took that baby Millie, now grown to the esteemed age of eight, to actually mix the ingredients together-- not once, but twice in the last two weeks. And may I just say how fitting it is that she picked this particular cake to make? The Roaring Twenties may very well have been the last time her name was popular with the general population. Thoroughly modern.

This dense cake is rich and flavorful, and it would be the perfect accompaniment to a steaming mug of autumnal spiced cider. (It's also good on very hot summer days, but while the taste is the same, the ambiance suffers.)

When Millie had finished the cake, I came in and whipped up a cinnamon-butter frosting. I rarely use recipes for buttercream, but I can tell you that this one was wonderfully heavy on the butter. Cream a stick or so of softened butter, add several cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, add vanilla extract and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Dump in a bunch of fragrant ground cinnamon.

The End.

p.s. I made the frosting on the thin side so that it would drizzle over the edges of the cake before hardening slightly.

Roaring Twenties Spice Cake

1 and 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
pinch salt

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. water
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
*The second time she made this, Millie also mixed in about 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts because she was making it for Mopsy, who loves nuts.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes; remove from heat. Dissolve baking soda in 1 tbsp. water. Stir into raisin mixture along with the flour and baking powder; mix well. Spread in a greased 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake and 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (In our oven, it only took about 15 minutes.)

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. When cake has cooled about ten minutes, invert it onto serving platter, let cool several more minutes before spreading with frosting. Serve warm or cold.

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