• Ashley Margaret Waterman

1800–1869: Lemon and Molasses Spice Marble Cake

I've moved into the second chapter in American Cakes! Just when I thought I was done with molasses, it turns up in this marbled cake. The idea of making two batters--one molasses and one lemon--wasn't that appealing. When I think of a marble cake, I think chocolate and vanilla. I wasn't sure how a lemon cake would pair with a molasses spice cake.

Oddly enough, they paired well.

It didn't take long for this cake to be devoured (I think I ate most of it myself). I opted to make it gluten-free and added the suggested lemon glaze. To make the cake gluten-free, I substituted the all-purpose flour for my favorite gluten-free flour blend and added 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum to each batter. Although I liked the lemon on its own, the molasses spice complemented it. I could see doubling the lemon batter and throwing in some poppy seeds for a lemon cake.

Reflecting on how this cake turned out, I think it was a bit on the crumbly side, but that doesn't mean it wasn't delicious. This often happens with gluten-free cakes. Adding a little bit more of your wet ingredient to the cake makes the sponge more moist. Both batters call for buttermilk. To make dairy-free buttermilk, measure out 1 cup of nondairy milk. Remove 1 Tbsp milk. Add 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. Allow the milk to sit for at least five minutes to "sour." The buttermilk is the main source of moisture in this cake. Adding an extra tablespoon or two to each batter will make this cake a bit less crumbly.

The 1800s started off with a bang. This cake went well with my morning coffee and was a great afternoon snack; however, I'm looking forward to moving past all of these cakes with molasses and raisins or dried fruit (an ingredient you'll see in next week's Cowboy Cake).

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