Monday, September 14, 2009

Aunty Spice Cake and Uncle Ice-Cream

spice cake 4

My husband and I have less-than-common names that are not so easy to remember on first introduction, especially if you are not Malay. When we met, we discovered that we each had a "Starbucks" name. You know, the name you give your barista so that they don't sprain their tongue trying to pronounce your real name. Mine was "Anna" and his was "Sean". Then, after chatting about it, we decided to have fun by using outlandish names or names that would give the baristas a second look. Sometimes, I use "Regina" (to rhyme with "hyena") (sorry to all the Reginas of the world) and he uses random words like "Silver" or the name of Zorro's horse - "Toro". It was tough not to giggle while they repeat or call our names.

It is no surprise that our good friend L's young nieces, Sydney and Shannon, have the same problem of not being able to pronounce and remember our names. So they created their own "Starbuck" names for us. S is Uncle Ice Cream because he always takes them out for ice cream. When I met first them, I brought over a spice cake which they enjoyed, so now I bake the cake whenever they visit from the East Coast. And because of that, they call me Aunty Spice Cake.

The Cake
So when L and her family came over for dinner last week, I decided to bake the spice cake and fancy it up with layers and icing. I've never made icing before and was shocked that some recipes call for 5 cups of sugar. This may be a case where ignorance would have been bliss. So I made up my own icing recipe. It is not the easiest to spread with, but it goes well with the cake. I have made the cake several times, each time tweaking it and making changes from the original recipe especially since I use whole wheat pastry flour.

spice cake 2

spice cake 3

Spice Cake
adapted from

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground clove
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 stick butter
1½ cup brown sugar
4 eggs

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup castor sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 7-inch baking pans and line the base with parchment paper*. Sift the flour, spices, salt and baking powder. Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add one egg at a time. Slowly beat in the flour mixture and then the milk until everything is well-incorporated.

2. Pour into the baking pans and put in the center rack in oven. Bake for 35-38 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry in the center of the cake.

3. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually stir in the castor sugar. Let the cakes cool. Then on one cake, spread ¼ of the icing ½-inch from the edge of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the first. Then spread the remaining icing on top and around the sides of the cakes. Refrigerate until the icing sets, about 30 minutes.

* You can also use one 9-inch baking pan. Bake for a few minutes longer - 38-42 minutes.


LL said...

I lovr this I am eating the cake! YUM

Jennifer said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! I adore spice cake! Love your photos.

Mrs Ergül said...

hi! This is my second time here and I absolutely love the simplicity in your header! Today I went on to "check out" your profile and see that you are a fellow Singaporean! Hi there!

high over happy said...

LL - this might call for another dessert tomorrow!

Jennifer - thank you - you say the nicest things :)

Mrs Ergül - hello, it's always fun to meet another singaporean!

Jada said...

Looks beautiful and absolutely delicious!

Y said...

Very cute. I love your starbucks names. Wish I had one! :D

high over happy said...

Jada - thanks!

Y - You can always make one up at Starbucks like we did :)

appetitzugler said...

Thank you for sharing such a nice recipe. I would love this item. I am giving a party to my friends this weekend at my farmhouse. I was wondering about some new item to treat my friends with. I will surely try this and let you know.

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