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Friday, December 10, 2010

Greatest Generation Spice Cake

Maybe that name is a bit long. In actuality this is a marble spice cake that comes from a 1941 recipe published in Mrs. S.R. Dull's Southern Cooking book. I found it interesting that this recipe predates World War II but utilizes a basic cake structure familiar to most Southern cooks - the 1,2,3,4 Cake. Of course, the utilization of whipped egg whites lends the texture of this one something akin to a chiffon cake.

Regardless, this is a very tasty and simple cake to make. It has a light texture but remains moist with a very fine crumb. The spices add a lovely note to the lemon and vanilla in the base batter and the marbling makes a nice presentation.

I really enjoyed this cake and it would make a great gift for a friend or neighbor at Christmas. I opted not to glaze or ice it, but if you wanted to a very lightly flavored lemon glaze would work nicely or even the glaze used for my Apple Cider Spice Cake would work.

Recipe: Greatest Generation Spice Cake


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. mace
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. clove


  1. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 300°. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time mixing after each addition.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Add extracts and mix.
  3. Whip egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter until no white streaks are present.
  4. Divide batter, removing about 1/3 to a separate bowl. Add remaining spices to smaller amount of batter and stir to incorporate.
  5. Pour half of plain batter into bottom of loaf pan. Spoon spice batter in mounds onto plain batter. Top with remainder of plain batter. Pull a skewer or small knife in a zig-zag pattern through batters to create marbling effect. Bake in 300° oven for 75-90 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing or glazing.
Total time: 2 hours

Number of servings (yield): 12
Meal type: dessert
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe by Buck Bannister.
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