From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is an old-fashioned spice cake, much like the ones made years ago by grandmothers with strong arms and wooden spoons that could beat anything into submission. This one was made by a special grandmother. I suspect you won't be too surprised to learn the developer of this cake was Martha Stewart's mother, Martha Kostyra, who shared it with her daughter's television audience. It is a lovely moist and mildly spiced cake that will appeal to almost everyone, and while it is not hard to make, there are a couple of tricks you need to know in order to get it to the table. It is imperative that you use thrice sifted cake flour when you make this cake. A lot of batter goes into a relatively small pan and if you use all-purpose flour the batter will spill over the sides of the pan onto the floor of the oven. If you use the 8-inch pan suggested in the recipe your cake will have a significant dome and look like a volcano. The photo that accompanies the original recipe shows a level cake. I performed surgery on mine and removed the dome, giving me a perfectly flat cake that was as pretty as the one in the picture. However, I feel like I'm cheating when I do things like that, so the next time I make this I'll use my 9-inch square springform pan which has higher sides and can hold a larger volume of batter. It is easy to over bake this cake, so I also suggest you begin to test for doneness at the 50 minute mark. The cake has a lovely texture and I really think you will enjoy it, especially with a small scoop of really good vanilla ice cream. It is easy to make and once pan size is regulated it will be trouble free. Here's how it is made.
Orange-Glazed Spice Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Mrs. Kostyra and Martha Stewart
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
4 cups cake flour, not self-rising, plus more for pan
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
Pinch of ground cloves
1-1/2 cups dark-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, nutmeg, mace, and cloves three times.
2) In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture.
3) Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate, remove pan, and invert cake again onto rack, so it's top side up.
4) To make glaze: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over top of the cake. Brush top and sides of cake with glaze while the cake is still warm; let cool. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar, place on a serving platter, and serve. Yield: 16 servings.
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