Spice Cake

This heavily spiced cake has more of the flavor we associate with modern fruit cake. There is no specific holiday tradition associated with spice cake. It was a common dessert of the period, and very popular, which is why it was often included with Christmas dinners.

This recipe comes from The Old West Baking Book by Lon Walters.


1 cup sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter 1/2 tsp cloves
3 eggs, beaten 1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup milk 1 tsp ginger
1/2 cup molasses 1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups flour 1/2 cup raisins

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.

In a separate bowl, add molasses to milk and blend thoroughly. In yet, one more bowl, blend baking soda, flour, and spices. Slowly add dry mix to sugar-butter-egg mixture, alternating with the milk and mixing constantly. Add raisins and mix thoroughly.

Pour into a well-greased and floured bread pan and bake in a preheated oven. Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out dry.

Boiled Icing

4 egg whites 1/4 cup water
2 cups sugar 1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp corn syrup 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Mix egg whites, sugar, salt and water in a bowl. Mix well, then blend in corn syrup and cream of tartar.

Use a double boiler. If none is available, use a heatproof glass bowl or stainless steel bowl inserted on top of a pan half-filled with simmering water. Place bowl on top of steam heat and beat the mixture immediately for 6 to 8 minutes until it becomes stiff and peaks when beater is lifted.

Flavorings can be mixed in when cool.

Last updated: December 19, 2018

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