It’s that time of year when holiday cake recipes are cooking, baking, and taste of the holidays making in the Places In The Home test kitchen.
Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg is tradition on a cake plate, and Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake is a newly developed recipe worthy of center stage on the holiday dessert table.
The warm and inviting colors, textures, and patterns found in this house of the year kitchen by Susan Burns Designs offers holiday cake recipes baking inspiration.
Reflecting on holidays past brings back memories of recipes baked with love and taste traditions.
Crammed between the pages of a beloved cookbook inherited from an aunt is a collection of handwritten recipes cooked, baked, tested, and penned in the kitchen of my paternal grandmother.
Truth in baking disclosure:
The cupboard was bare of mace, and most importantly, what is mace?
Mace is a spice native to Indonesia. The flavor is sweet and woody reminiscent of nutmeg, however, not quite as sweet. Some describe the taste of mace as a blend of cinnamon and pepper.
Nutmeg stands as the spice I have plenty of, and so 2 teaspoons found its way into the batter.
Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg
3 cups granulated sugar
3 sticks salted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour; sifted
2 teaspoons nutmeg or to taste
Preheat oven to 300° F. Using a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together until mixture reaches a fluffy texture. Add eggs one at a time to creamed butter and sugar.
Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add sifted all-purpose flour and nutmeg to wet ingredients.
Using a wooden spoon or cake spatula, spoon batter into greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 300° F for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove cake from tube pan and transfer to cake stand or platter of choice.
Building upon a traditional holiday recipe, this next cake highlights the spices, fruits, and nuts associated with the taste of the holidays.
Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup golden raisins
1 Tablespoon candied lemon peel
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Grease and flour Bundt pan.
Peel and chop apples; sprinkle with lemon juice.
Mix together sugar and oil; add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
Using a whisk, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves together.
Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.
Next, add chopped apples, walnuts, candied lemon peels, coconut, and golden raisins.
Stir until incorporated.
Using a wooden spoon, evenly spoon mixture into a greased and floured Bundt pan.
Bake in 350° F oven for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Meyer lemons are pucker power packed with bright flavor that complements two of my favorite fall spices– nutmeg and cloves.
Candied Lemon Peels
6 cups cold water, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2½ cups sugar
Peel lemons by taking off long thick strips. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and lemon peels. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain mixture and reserve liquid.
Return liquid and lemon peels to pan. Add in ½ teaspoon salt and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain mixture, and reserve lemon peels.
Add 2 cups water and sugar to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add lemon peels. Gently simmer for 45 minutes being careful not do let the sugar caramelize. Remove from heat and drain.
Place lemon peels onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Allow candied lemon peels to dry for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Store candied peels in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.