Category Archives: Cakes

zucchini nut bread with ginger

Based on a Paula Deen recipe

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini or apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or macadamia nuts
  • 4 Tbsp minced candied ginger

Mix flour, soda, baking powder and salt together. Whisk eggs with sugar,oil and vanilla and add to flour. Stir in zucchini, nuts and ginger but do not overmix. Bake at 350 for 50 – 60 minutes. (Oil and line large glass loaf pan with parchment)


poppy seed cake

1 cup poppy seeds
1 cup milk
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp salt
powdered sugar

Combine the poppy seeds and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat immediately and allow the mixture to cool.

Butter and flour a large pan (Bundt or tube pan or two loaf pans).

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts, and poppy seed-milk mixture and beat until smooth.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, fold them into the batter and turn into the baking pan(s).  Bake at 350F  1 hour (30 min for 2 loaf pans) or until a tester comes out clean  Cool, then dust with powdered sugar to serve.

date and oatmeal cake

This cake became a staple with the family and a go to recipe for pot luck or camping.  It was published in that little Homemaker’s Magazine that appeared in the mailbox in the 70s.

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix flour with soda, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.  Pour boiling water over oatmeal, mix and cool slightly, then blend in remaining ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix.  Bake in a buttered 8 or 9 inch pan at 350F for about 45 minutes.  Tastes better after a day and really needs no icing, although cream cheese icing works well.

pumpkin coffee cake

This much pumpkin makes  a very large coffee cake, or 2 cakes 8 X 14 and 8 X 8.  You may prefer to eliminate the crumb and ice with cream cheese icing.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar (white or golden)
  • 7/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice or cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • crumb topping
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), optional

Spray pan (s) with non-stick coating.  Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin together in a large bowl.  Mix dry ingredients and add to pumpkin. Divide batter between the pans (about 1 1/2 inch depth) and spoon crumb topping on top.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.  Bake at 350F for aproximately 30 minutes.

Crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Cut butter into flour and sugar until fine.


armenian coffee cake

This has a unique crunchy bottom layer and is delicious with or without the cream.  Serves 12

2 cups br. sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp allspice or nutmeg or 1/2 tsp of each

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp grated orange peel

4 oz (1/2 cup) cold butter

1 tsp soda

1 cup sour cream

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine brown sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, spice and orange peel in bowl.
Cut in butter with pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
Butter a 9 inch  springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.  Place 1/2  of the crumb mixture in the pan.

Stir soda into sour cream; mix in egg and remaining 1/2  of crumb mixture.
Pour over crumbs in pan. Sprinkle top with nuts.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40-45 min. Cool in pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream topping.

1 c. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. icing sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 Tbsp. orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)

Whip cream and stir in remaining ingredients.  Spoon over slices of cake.

Optional: Garnish each plate with some fresh strawberries which have been tossed with  Cointreau and more orange zest. Cake is also good on its own or with ice cream.

the bacardi cake

A hit with everyone,  the Spaven kids favourite!

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum, preferably dark

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum

Grease a Bundt pan and dust with sugar. Sprinkle nuts, if using, on bottom of pan. Combine all cake ingredients and beat for 2 minutes on high with electric mixer. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 min to 1 hour at 325F. Cool in pan.

To make glaze, melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

Invert cake on serving plate. Prick holes in top with a  fork or skewer. Drizzle glaze over the top, using a brush or spoon to put dripping back on cake.


lemon and poppyseed loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons poppyseeds
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and dust with sugar a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice with a mixer until blended. Add wet ingredients to dry and blend until smooth.  Add oil, poppyseeds and lemon zest. Mix well, pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour glaze over, then cool in pan.
For glaze:  Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer until reduced by half.