On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

A spice cake good enough to be a Christmas cake


Having been away last weekend I had time enough to make one thing. The thing I choose was one of my favourite slices from childhood. That left my blog a bit light on baking adventures for the week.

This is a cake I made toward the end of November but hadn’t shared until now. I saw Not Quite Nigella’s tweet being retweeted and I immediately knew I would make the cake, that night.

The cake is so good that Lorraine made it from Joanne’s recipe of her Mum’s Spice Cake posted on Food.Com.

I’d already made my Christmas Cake, it was a done deal in October and I’d yet to find out if the recipe I chose was a keeper or not.

Mr Fussy loves Christmas Cake, well any cake that’s chock full of spices and fruit. I knew he’d happily tuck into this cake. Although he was probably getting his fill with the Christmas Mince Pies I’d been making for several weeks by this stage.


The recipe was really basic. It’s similar to a lighter fruit cake I’ve made several times over the years, a recipe I got from Mum.


The hardest bit about this recipe was the time needed to wait for the fruit mixture to come to room temperature. This was a “school night” i.e. during the working week. Once the fruit mixture had cooled the cake was ready for the oven in just a few minutes.

Based on Lorraine’s own notes I was expecting this cake to take longer to bake than the original recipe said. And that only meant heading to bed was likely a wee while off yet. After all I had to wait for the cake to cool enough to put away.


So here’s the recipe for Joanne’s Mum’s Spice Cake

Mum’s Special Spice Cake


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 450gm raisins or sultanas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups plain all purpose flour
  • 1 round or Bundt tin and non stick spray


  • In a large saucepan, bring sugar, hot water, butter, salt, cinnamon, allspice and raisins to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon hot water.
  • Add baking soda and hot water combined to boiled mixture. Do not mix in, just pour in and it will sizzle/bubble.
  • Cool the mixture to room temperature-.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 155 deg Celsius and grease the tin very well so that it doesn’t stick.
  • When the mixture is cool, mix in the flour.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • The cake is best left for 3 to 4 days or 3 weeks before serving.
  • Wrap the cake in some baking parchment and foil and tuck it away out of sight.
  • trim off the bottom of the cake (this is the top when you bake it bottom side up).
  • bundt_spice_cake

Mr Fussy and I ate the slice that I made for the photos and it tasted good then but I was expecting even better things a few days later.I dutifully wrapped the cake up in tin foil (I didn’t bother with baking paper) and then popped it into the set of drawers in our spare bedroom.

That didn’t stop me from thinking about the cake several times a day and will the days to pass quicker. If memory serves me right I did manage to wait 3 days.

The cake tastes great, and it certainly did the trick in keeping our hands off the real Christmas Cake.

The cake was still good after 3 weeks. We polished it off just before Christmas. I was itching for it to be finished just so I could get the big Tupperware container back. What an excuse to have another slice after dinner Winking smile



6 thoughts on “A spice cake good enough to be a Christmas cake

  1. Looks like heaven! I hope I can get one to turn out this well !

    • Hi there, Sounds like you’re going to give the recipe a try. Bundt cakes are terrific. So easy to make and no need for icing. I’m sure it will turn out great 🙂 The hardest part is the 3 day wait to try it. I have no patience and I managed so I’m sure most everyone can!

    • Delish~~~but not so pretty as yours! Oh well…practice makes perfect right?

      • I don’t know what yours looked like but if it tasted great you’re pretty much there. The Bundt pan really makes a big difference. I’m so glad I invested in one. They are really expensive to buy in New Zealand. In the end I bought mine from Amazon in the States. Glad you enjoyed the flavours.

  2. Looks very good! Did you use cassia cinnamon or true Ceylon cinnamon? I’ve written a post about the differences that you might be interested in reading.

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