Honey Ginger Spice Cake – Rustica, Streusel-Topped or Muffin Style

Close up of a slice of Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

I’m sorry but old world spice cake never looked so hot!  Am I right?  Quick and simple (and only somewhat sinful), we have a  breakfast spice cake recipe for you made in two different styles — also doubling (or is that tripling?) as charming Country Spice Muffins. And this updated cake is so loaded up with tasty treats (like honey and vanilla and toasted pecans, hello!) that you’re bound to transform your ardent hipster crowd into a crew of vintage loving foodie folk at first bite.

Smiling Cappuccino Bake This CakeOh, decisions, decisions!  Do you take your moist and lov-er-ly vintage coffee cake with or without stroo-zuhl topping?  Do you prefer a rustic look to your brunch cake or do you want a brown sugar crunch?  Do you make your barrista drawn hearts in your cappuccino foam?  (ha!) Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage coffee cake choices!  And you WILL have to choose before you start on this quick-prep recipe. (Actually, if you decide later to add streusel topping, we give you directions for that too.) haha! 🙂

Kid Friendly: And even though this recipe references “coffee” and “spice”, the kids seem to dig it just as much as the grown folk.  Our kids even created this “Tie-Dye Tribute” to the document their testing party. 🙂  So haul those kids in the kitchen and slap some wooden spoons smack in the middle of their outstretched palms. They will be rewarded! This one is fun and easy!

Teen Tribute to Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Teens’ Ode To Spice Cake

The rustica-style cake hot from the oven — dotted with butter and sprinkled with a little sugar goodness…

Overview Honey Ginger Spice Cake with vintage cookbook Bake This Cake

The Sweet-Crusting Streusel Topping cake when it’s ready to roll…

Streusel Baked Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Oh, wouldn’t The Spice Girls be proud of you with your vintage spice cake!?

Household Searchlight Recipe Book Bake This CakeWe based our spice cake on a 1931 Spice Muffin recipe from  “The Household Searchlight Recipe Book” that contains recipes first shared in Household Magazine. We tweaked it a tad (after triple-testing) to punch it up with buttermilk, vanilla and some honey love.  I know it’s sinful, but {{confession}} we added more sugar. We also cut back on the nutmeg so it has a gentle cinnamon-y flavor. Okay, okay.  We also changed out the shortening for butter but we like buttery better. 🙂

This comforting little cake is sure to kick up your brunch a notch and lend a heavenly slice of homemade goodness to any snack or muffin break. And, unlike some of our most famous extravagant and time-intensive recipes that could start with hand-picking wild blackberries in the short-grass prairies, THIS recipe hardly takes any time at all. And no electric mixer required. whoo hoo!  🙂

Sahara's Flowers 2 Photo by Leslie Macchiarella for Bake This Cake

Sahara’s Lovely Flowers for Mom’s Birthday

Nothing but a whisk or wooden spoon required for this recipe!  It’s a Take-along Cake (especially in a Bake And Give paper pan — provided for our review and testing by one of our sponsors, King Arthur Flour). In fact, it’s so easy, it’s like a nice little walk in the park on a sunny Spring morning!

Walk In The Park photo by Leslie Macchiarella for Bake This Cake

Okay.  Cake-a-licious time.  Let’s break it down, step by step, shall we?

Honey Ginger Spice Cake (or Muffin) Ingredients:
2 cups fine quality unbleached wheat flour, fine quality (substitute: all purpose flour)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (reduce the amount a tad if grating a fresh nutmeg nut)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fine-ground roasted pecans (or similar fine-ground nuts)
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup water*
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1 large egg, fork beaten
1/4 cup honey (we used clover honey)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality
*substitute: Use 1 cup of milk in place of the buttermilk and water

Tools Needed for Honey Ginger Spice Cake:
8″ bottom diameter Tube Pan (aka Angel Food Pan. We used an 8” diameter x 2-1/4″ tall paper Bake And Give ring pan)
Cooking spray
Large mixing bowl
Whisk or wooden spoon
2 small bowls or cups (for melting butter and stirring an egg)
Measuring cups and spoons
Optional: Baking thermometer
Optional: Pastry brush (for butter basting after the cake is baked)

Honey Ginger Spice Cake Directions:

Position oven rack to center position and pre-heat oven to 425 (not a typo, it’s a hot oven).

Spray a tube pan with cooking spray (we used disposable Bake And Give Pans made of heavy paper, sprayed with cooking spray, placed inside a 9″ cake pan)

Gather your dry ingredients and get them into a large mixing bowl: 🙂
2 cups unbleached wheat flour, fine quality (substitute all-purpose flour)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (less if grating a fresh nutmeg nut)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fine-ground roasted pecans (or similar fine-ground nuts)

Dry Ingredients for Honey Ginger Spice  Cake Bake This Cake

Whisk in the bowl to fully blend the dry ingredients…

Dry ingredients whisked for Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

In a small bowl or cup, use the microwave to lightly melt (not bubbling hot):
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

In a small bowl or cup, use a fork (or mini whisk) to thorough blend:
1 large egg

Butter yolk and buttermilk for Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Whisk into the dry ingredients:
the prepared melted butter
the prepared blended egg
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1/3 cup water*
1/4 cup honey (we used clover honey)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, fine quality
*substitute: You may substitute 1 cup of milk for the combination of buttermilk and water

Whisking ingredients for Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Stir until smooth (about 20 strokes, eazy peazy):

Fully Mixed Batter Honey Ginger Spice Cake BakeThisCake

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.

Note: If using a Bake And Give paper pan, we recommend setting it into a 9″ round cake pan (just to be sure it stays sturdy in the oven as it bakes and for easy oven removal).

Batter in Bake And Give Paper Pan Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

NOW CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS PALEEEZE

Rustica Butter & Sprinkled Sugar Topping Ingredients:
2 to 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled or room temperature
2 to 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Plus 2 Tablespoons of soft butter for brushing the top

Sweet-Crusting Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup of soft butter
Plus 2 Tablespoons of soft butter for brushing the top

If you choose to make a Rustica Butter & Sprinkled Sugar Spice Cake, continue here OTHERWISE, skip down to the Sweet-Crusting Streusel Topping directions below. Both toppings will go on top of the cake batter BEFORE it bakes.

Option 1: Rustica Butter & Sugar Sprinkled Topping Folks, fall in line here: 🙂

Gently press into the cake batter center little dots of butter (about 2 to 3 Tablespoons):

Butter dotted on Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Sprinkle the top of the cake batter with about 2 to 3 Tablespoons of sugar and then, using a knife, slice through the top mixture of butter and sugar in a wavy-curvy motion to give it a little top texture. Some of the sugar will melt down into the batter, leaving a light dusting of sugar on top.

Sugar sprinkled on Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Bake at 425 for 30 to 35 minutes until golden and toothpick tests clean (to an internal temperature about 208 degrees).

While hot, brush the top of the cake with a little butter.

Honey Ginger Spice Cake Overhead 2 Bake This Cake

Now haul that lovely Honey Ginger Spice Cake out to the patio with a cup of cappuccino and invite your buddies over to read the Sunday paper with you. 🙂

Overview 2 with flowers Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Or serve it fancy-like on a vintage glass platter for brunch…

Spice Cake side shot on a platter Bake This Cake

Hot tip: Serve this little baby hot from the oven! 🙂  Your guests might even like a hot slice spread with some honey butter. (It’s what we call the Warm Wow Factor.) 🙂

Buttered Slice of Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Or you may find yourself toting this little goodie out to the park or to the beach for a springtime picnic (since it travels so well)…

Honey Ginger Spice Cake on Blue Chaise  Bake This Cake

Option 2: Streusel Topping Folks, this is your call of duty!

If you chose to make Sweet-Crusting Streusel Topping, mix up this easy topping and sprinkle it on top the batter of the cake before you bake it.

In a medium (soup-sized) bowl, mix with a fork to thoroughly blend:
1/2 cup golden brown sugar (gently packed)
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons fine-ground roasted pecans (or similar fine-ground nuts)

Blend into the dry ingredients:
1/4 cup (1/2 cube) of softened unsalted butter

Butter with Streusel Dry Ingredients Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This CakeMix all ingredients except the pecans thoroughly with a fork…

Constructing Streusel for Honey Ginger Spice Cake by Bake This Cake

Blend in the fine-ground roasted pecans…

Pecans in Streusel for Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

Now define the streusel word literally by sprinkling the topping gently on top of the uncooked batter, smoothing it perhaps a bit with the back of a wet spoon or fork if you like the texture spooth (although we recommend a rough-ish texture) and pressing it gently a bit into the batter to take hold as it bakes. 🙂

Streusel Close up Honey Ginger Spice Cake Bake This Cake

You can even change your mind!  Hooray! If you decide after you bake the spice cake that you want to add streusel topping (like we did on Test #3), never fear! Just pack the streusel on top of the warm or cold spice cake and chuck it into a 325-degree pre-heated oven, setting your oven controls to top-heating or broil selection (but only to 325 degrees), and bake/broilfor about 10 to 15 minutes until the topping turns golden and gently crusted.

Streusel Topping on Honey Ginger Spice Cake BakeThisCake

Bake the streusel-topped cake just like the rustica sugar-sprinkled cake — at 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the center of the cake tests clean with a toothpick (internal temperature of about 208 degrees).

While the streusel-topped cake is still hot from the oven, poke it with a fork all around to give it more texture if it doesn’t have enough texture.  You can get creative while it’s still hot — but (molten hot alert) please be careful not to touch bubbling hot brown sugar with your fingertips!

Streusel Topping Before Brushing it with Butter Honey Ginger Spice Cake BakeThisCake

Now brush the top of the baked and still-warm streusel-topped cake with a little butter and you’re ready to party!

Butter Brushed Streusel Honey Ginger Spice Cake BakeThisCake

If there’s any to store, we like storing the Streusel Spice Cake in aluminum foil to keep the top crust from becoming too crunchy. You may pop the cake in the oven lightly wrapped in foil, or in the microwave uncovered, to warm it before serving. Warming the stored cake also softens the brown sugar topping.

Slice of Honey Ginger Spice Cake on paper towel  BakeThisCake

Spice Muffins Directions::  Follow the directions for Honey Ginger Spice Cake and fill 12 muffin tins about 2/3rds full with batter, top each batter-filled tin with selected topping and bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Love Your Lumps And Grooves! Your spice cake may look differently, depending on the texture that you create — so every time you bake it, try for a different texture — resulting in (drrrrum roll) your own “signature look”. So — go for texture with some gusto!  🙂

Secret Menu Topping: P.S. I shouldn’t tell you this…but… you could also zig-zag drizzle the cake or muffins (either topping) with strings of white icing (made with a stirred cup of: 1 cup of powdered sugar, about a tablespoon of milk or cream and a few drops of vanilla). Put the icing in a plastic sandwich baggie, snip off a little corner and pipe it out in swirls. 🙂

Consider snapping a photo of your special creation and please tell us what you think about this recipe in the Comments section below.  We LOVE hearing from you!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to see our upcoming cakes in the testing stage.

Thanks for stopping in and happy baking to you!

Leslie

Leslie at beachwood overview

Grapefruit Blossoms photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Grapefruit Blossoms Time of Year!

Macchiarella children at the river house photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Macchiarella Children at the River House

Ducks Strolling by the Lake photo by Leslie Macchiarella

Ducks Strolling by the Lake

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16 thoughts on “Honey Ginger Spice Cake – Rustica, Streusel-Topped or Muffin Style

    • Hey Rachael! Streusel it is! Thank you for stopping by to say hi. It was great hanging with you in that gorgeous forest setting. I’m looking forward to following your LA Fuji Mama blog. 🙂

  1. Leslie, this cake looks fantastic. I am definitely a streusel kind of gal, so would certainly layer that gorgeous streusel topping on as high as I could. I’m looking forward to meeting you at Camp Blogaway.

    • Hi Victoria! Thanks! Yes, I’m a newbie with the bake and give pans. I have one to try out also that is without a ring in the center so I’ll give that one a spin soon and let you know how it goes. Thanks for popping in. 🙂

    • Thank you, Cathy! I know, right? One our sponsors, King Arthur Flour, sent the Bake And Give pans to test out. They rock! And never lose another potluck pan again, eh? I put a link to their site in the blog. I’m glad you like the ingredient bowl. I have a thing for all forms of batter now. ha! 🙂

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