To those of you who have spent any time with me in the last month, you would be aware that I am heading off for a wonderful holiday in France with the Cooking Fairy Godmother (aka my mum). We're going on the mother of all girly holidays and, given our foodie tendencies, it will be no surprise to any of you that the second part of the trip will be spent at Kate Hill's lovely cooking school in Gascony. The first week will be spent in Paris following in the footsteps of Julia Child, finding the perfect macaron and taking as many opportunities to sample champagne as possible!
I will be checking in as often as possible with photos and updates on our foodie adventures. In the meantime, I leave you with a delicious loaf cake with spicy flavours from one of my retro-favourite cookbooks, The Southern Living Cookbook.
The cinnamon and nutmeg (it originally called for ground cloves, but this appears to be the one spice I don't have in my pantry) undertones in the cake are all you need to make this loaf cake a little bit special - no frosting required. Although, I'm sure a little light glaze would not have hurt at all.
I was making this to package up for my Grandma to have in the afternoon with a cup of coffee while Mum and I are away. It's a quick and basic recipe that's perfect if you're looking for something to take along to the office morning tea. I also think this would go nicely with a cup of mulled wine by the fire, but maybe that's just me!
Sugar 'N Spice Loaf Cake
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius and butter/line a loaf tin.
Cream the butter and add the two sugars until fluffy and a lovely caramel colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, while the beater is on a medium speed. Make sure it's combined well and scrape the sides down.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, rising agents, salt and spices together - this sure beats the hell out of sifting it! Now add the flour, one third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Add the vanilla extract. Don't over beat it, just use the mixer on a medium speed and stop as soon as it's combined and smooth. If you mix it too much, it will toughen up the result.
Dollop into the prepared cake tin and pop in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in its tin before removing or it will split!