Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laurie Colwin's nutmeg cake

I'm giving this nutmeg cake its own post because it is one of the loveliest, simplest things I have ever baked. It takes five minutes to mix, calls for ingredients often found around the house, was devoured in one sitting. Look closely at the photograph. Can you see there's a buttery, sugary crust? A bit unorthodox in a cake, but having eaten it I wonder why more cakes don't have buttery, sugary crusts.

You can find the recipe here. For the record, I left out the cloves and baked it in a standard 9-inch pan. 


  1. I left out the cloves, too, and I think it was the right choice. I love that crust.

    I bought her cooking books and enjoyed them tremendously--and it was fun to hear the cake story from her side. She sounds like she was a lovely woman.

  2. I'm definitely making this. It looks absolutely delicious and I love easy-to-make cakes. One of my favorites is Amanda Hesser's Walnut Cake. It's in her book Cooking for Mr. Latte.

  3. Amy, I almost described how closely I identify you with that walnut cake. The linked story's description of how the woman is to "own" the spice cake reminded me of you and that INCREDIBLE walnut cake.
    Even if you can make many amazing desserts (and I know you can -- the lemon pudding?) I think you should always, only make that walnut cake. At least when I come over. It is YOU.

  4. When I think of you, Tipsy Baker, I think of your black beans Guatemalan dish. You make it every time my family comes over for dinner to your house and you always apologize, "Oh, I'm so sorry for making this again." Little do you know that as I'm driving to your house, I'm always thinking, "I hope she makes that same meal again." You OWN that dish and it's always the most delicious, comforting meal ever. My comment is totally unrelated to cake baking, but whatever...

  5. YUM! My kids ate seconds and thirds of this delicious cake -- makes a fabulous breakfast. The were partial to the buttery, sugary crust (which was on the bottom of my cake, since I used a springform pan), but there wasn't a crumb left of any of it. THanks for sharing a great recipe (and for introducing my to Laurie Colwin -- what a loss!)

  6. This is perfect because I love cakes, it's my fascination that's the reason when I want to make an special celebration I like to telling my mother she making me the cake.m10m

  7. Sigh, I love Laurie Colwin so much. I have never actually found a recipe of hers that I make successfully, and I did not love her novels, but I love Home Cooking deeply and truly. Maybe I'll give this cake a spin.

  8. Here is the updated link for the recipe.

  9. My favorite Laurie Colwin recipe is the Chocolate Pear Pudding, can't remember if it's in Home Cooking or More Home Cooking. I think it's in the chapter called "In Praise of Pears." I've made it many, many times and it never disappoints me. It does require Lyle's Golden Syrup, of which I have no other earthly use, but it's worth buying just for that recipe.

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