This delicious 5-spice cake is a recipe from my first cookbook ‘All-day breakfast’ that I still make on a regular basis. The dark, intense spice cake is kind of a crossover between American gingerbread, carrot cake and the Dutch traditional spice cake. For people that have a hard time choosing – *raises hand* – it’s pretty much the perfect recipe. Bonus points for the fact that baking this cake will make your entire home smell amazing.
This spice cake smells and tastes like festive December days: with orange peel, ginger syrup, dark brown sugar and a lovely hint of 5-spice powder. I absolutely adore that spicy Chinese spice mix, but you could also use gingerbread spices or Dutch speculaas spices instead.
This spice cake will only get better when you wrap it up and leave it for a day or two, but I have to say: I can’t remember the last time that happened in my home.
for 1 spice cake
2 hands of raisins
juice + grated peel of 1 orange
3.5 oz (100 g) butter
3.5 oz (100 g) brown sugar or coconut blossom sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup or Dutch syrup (stroop)
3 tbsp ginger syrup
1 ½ cup (175 g) flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp 5-spice
5.5 oz (150 g) carrots, grated
1 tbsp flour
extra: baking tin (10 inch/ 25cm), greased + lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 360F (180C). Soak the raisins in the orange juice for at least 15 minutes to plump up.
Put butter, sugar, syrupand ginger syrup in a saucepan. Melt on low heat while stirring until you’ve got a smooth mixture. Meanwhile, put the flour, baking powder, spices and orange peel in a large bowl.
Pour the sugar mixture in with the dry ingredients and add the eggs and grated carrots as well. Drain the raisins really well and shake them with the extra flour, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom later. Throw the raisins in with the batter and mix everything smoothly together.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until the spice cake is dark brown and well raised. Test for doneness with a thin skewer or toothpick: if it comes out clean, you’re good. Let the cake cool in the tin. Eat it immediately after or wrap the cake in aluminum foil.
Variation: replace the grated carrots with 1 cup + 2 tbsp (150 ml) milk.