Wedding Refreshments: Spice Cake

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A lively spice cake like this warrants a lively presentation. Just remember, there may not be anything left of the cake when the evening ends.

You can’t have a wedding without cake, can you? Of course not. But what we’re putting forward here isn’t the frilly, multi-layered mountain of frosting with bride/groom figures on top most people might think of. Our spice cake isn’t ceremonial. The sharp flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are meant to enliven the wedding refreshments you serve at the reception.

Spice Cake

6 cups whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat and 3 cups unbleached flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
9 eggs
2 cups oil or soft butter
2 1/2 cups honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups water or fruit juice (apple, apricot, or orange)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups plumped raisins (pour boiling water over the raisins and let them sit for 20 minutes)

Sift together (twice) the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Cream the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the dry mixture, alternating with the water or juice, to the wet mixture, and beat well. Add the chopped nuts and drained raisins, and bake in a greased and floured pan at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until the middle of the cake is springy. Cool the cakes on racks to prevent them from drying out. If you don’t frost them as soon as they’re cool, brush with melted butter to seal in the moisture. Makes three cakes.

Cream cheese isn’t known for being spicy. Which makes this cream cheese -based frosting a fitting compliment to the cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 packages cream cheese
2 sticks real butter
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup honey

Cream these ingredients together and spread them on the cooled cakes. Then decorate with fresh flowers and fresh fruit, toasted almonds, walnuts, coconut, raisins, cinnamon, date sugar, fresh mint leaves, dates, or cut-out cookies.

See A Natural Foods Wedding Feastfor more recipes.