Sunday, August 23, 2009

Elizabeth's June Cake - A repeat??

Buttermilk Spice Cake with Roasted Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

This month I decided to do a spice cake for a friend who had a baby. It ended up being so much like my carrot cake in March (the cake, not the baby), that I'm a little embarrassed to call it my Cake of the Month!

I chose Emeril Lagasse's recipe. I planned to do a tall layer cake as his recipe instructs, but then I couldn't find my cake pans (post move). I had to settle for a 9x13 pan. Boooooring.

The cake was easy enough to make, and came out decent. It was WAY too sweet, though. After our first pieces, Jeff and I hardly ate any of it, and ended up throwing out the rest several days later. (I wish I had taken half of it to friends that first day.) I compared the ingredients in Emeril's cream cheese frosting to America's Test Kitchen's cream cheese frosting from March's carrot cake. Emeril's version had three times(!) the sugar. Eesh. In his defense, he's from the South, and sugar is in their blood. Usually when I make a recipe from a southern cookbook or website, I'm extra-aware of the sugar content and careful not to add too much. I didn't think of it this time and paid the price. Hoooooo-weeeeeeee, was this sweet! Sweet as a prairie flower! (Did that sound southern enough?)

The cooked cake, sans frosting

The crazy-sweet frosting

The roasted walnuts

The frosted cake

The frosted cake with the nuts on top

A piece of the final of cake (in my backyard)

The dinner that I took to my friend
(Grape tomatoes on angel hair, green beans, salad, cake.)

Total cuteness

Buttermilk Spice Cake with Roasted Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Emeril Lagasse, 2005


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Roasted Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Cut 2 (9-inch) parchment paper rounds and line the pan bottoms. Grease and flour the parchment rounds.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter. With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into a medium-size mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well. With the electric mixer, in another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until the center springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. After the cakes have cooled, invert them onto sheets of parchment paper. Slice each cake in half and set aside.

Spread a layer of the frosting over 3 layers of the cake. Place the layers of cake on top of each other and top with the fourth layer of cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Slice the cake into individual servings.

Roasted Walnut and Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick butter, softened

3/4 pound (about 3 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

1 cup roasted walnut pieces

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the cheese and butter. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk, if needed to thin consistency, and mix well. Fold in the walnut pieces. Yield: about 3 cups


ferskner said...


Several comments:

This cake looks really good - I love cream cheese frosting! - but I can understand your disappointment that it turned out so much like the carrot cake.

How come you didn't fold the walnuts in the frosting as per the recipe? Just curious.

If I pretend to have a baby, will you bring me dinner?

When I saw all your pictures, my first thought was "Holy crap she's trying to be like the Pioneer Woman with picture overload!!!" but then I looked again and realized they aren't really the same thing over and over again. You just usually don't post so many pictures so it made me think of that. He he he he he!!!!!

Finally, Emeril isn't from the South. He's from Fall River, MA, which incidentally is also the home of Lizzie Borden. There's a tidbit you can use at dinner parties.

Elizabeth said...

Answers to your comments:
1. Very observant that I didn't mix the walnuts into the frosting! Here is my reason: I'm sick of cooking for nut-haters, so I decided to just include the nuts without asking if they liked them or not. (I had asked a general "is there anything you don't like or are allergic to" but I didn't ask about specific ingredients) However, at the last minute I chickened out and decided to put the nuts on top of the cake, just in case they wanted to pick them off.

2. No, I will not bring dinner to you and your pretend baby.

3. I forgot to tell you that I looked through the other recipes on Pioneer Woman and she puts just as many pictures on every page as she did on that zucchini cake post! Holy cow! There are so many, that it actually looks like an "Onion"-type spoof of cooking blogs. Overkill.

4. That is so funny to know that Emeril is from Mass. I have said a MILLION times that his accent sounds like it's from New England, not New Orleans. Dang poser. (Just kidding, I don't know if he's posing as a Southerner or not. But this cake sure was posing to be Southern, with all that dang sugar!)

Elasha said...

Hi Elizabeth - a late comment from a late viewer - I'm excited to find this blog from your FB page. What a great idea to blog your cooking. Can't wait to see/read about your creations and keep up with your family too.

And incidentally, we are having a real baby, and just wish you could bring us dinner. Might have been possible in Pittsburgh - darn! (It's still a bit of a secret - our kids don't know yet :)

Elasha said...

Me again. I just read through the whole blog. I loved it; I laughed out loud several times, and found myself feeling very hungry, which is an accomplishment, because of the whole morning sickness thing. The part about Jeff and his wanting to include chocolate and peanut butter with anything he likes cracked me up. I am dying to eat some of the things I saw, so I guess the only thing to do is start makin'. I have no excuses - we now have all the counter space in our kitchen we could want. Thanks for an entertaining evening. Say hi to Jeff!