Blackberry Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

November 10th, 2011
by: Blue


 This cake turned out far better than I expected – I had two peeps at work request a spice cake for their birthday in the same week (what are the odds!).  This is what I came up with.  The blackberries are the perfect complement to the spice cake and the jam soaks into the cake layers making it moist and delicious (I recommend making this cake 1 day before you need to serve it).  I actually got a little lazy.  Which is no surprise.  I made a double recipe of the spice cake on a Saturday and froze the layers after they cooled.  The day before I brought them to work, I whipped up the frosting, removed the layers from the freezer, and fancied the cake up with jam, frosting, and fresh blackberries.  Kathryn is a dear friend of mine, and for her cake I dipped maraschino cherries (with stems!) in chocolate and added them to the top of the cake.  Just because she loves them.

This cake received raves, and it’s honestly one of my new favorites!  But enough of the rambling, time for the good stuff:

Cake ingredients:

2 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk

Blackberry Jam (I used 1.5 jars of Smuckers, 12 oz jars – so around 1/2 jar per layer)
1 recipe Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Use my favorite shortcut and spray the pans with Bakers Secret (loooove this stuff). OR – 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.

Cream the brown sugar and butter. Add the oil in a steady stream with the mixer running. 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 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 blackberry jam 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 cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Frosting ingredients:

16 ounces cream cheese – COLD!  Trust me on this.
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used 2)

Frosting directions:

Have the cream cheese cold and the butter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency. If frosting is too stiff, beat for few seconds longer. Do not overbeat. Stir in the  cinnamon. This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week.

Hook Family Chocolate Roll

September 16th, 2010
by: Blue

This is THE famous chocolate roll recipe, graciously provided to me by the Hook family.  Cake!  Chocolate!  Whipped cream!  Sounds like perfection to me.  It’s like a giant Little Debbie, and that’s a wonderful thing.

6 tablespoons cake flour (sifted before measuring)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten until thick
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 squares unsweetened chocolate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Melt chocolate and set aside.  Sift flour, measure, and sift again with baking powder and salt.  Beat egg whites until stiff, and gradually add sugar.  Fold in egg yolks.  Add vanilla and fold in flour gradually.  Fold in melted chocolate until mixed.

Grease and line a half sheet pan (18″ by 13″) or jelly roll pan (15″ x 10″) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Pour cake batter into pan, leaving 1/2 inch space from batter to edge of pan.  Bake 7 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, dust a clean cloth with powdered sugar. (* NOTE: The more sugar you spread over the cloth the easier it will be to get the cake off it later).

Turn warm cake out onto prepared cloth; remove lining. Trim the cake edges with a scissors if you wish. Starting with the long side, tightly roll up cake with cloth. Transfer cake, seam side down, to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the whipped cream filling.

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks.

Final assembly FINALLY! :-)
Unroll cooled cake; remove cloth. Spread whipped topping over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Re-roll cake; place seam-side down on a plate. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting, either homemade or store bought.

Pineapple Pound Cake

February 5th, 2010
by: Sue

This cake is moist! Of course anything with half a pound of butter and a half dozen eggs is going to be good.

Open the can:

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple

Divide into

3/4 cup undrained pineapple in a small bowl
1 cup drained pineapple in another bowl

You don’t use the juice although I think it would be good to use it in the cake instead of milk.

Sift together then set aside:

3 cups King Arthur unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream together until fluffy:

1 cup room temperature butter, unsalted
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (butter flavored Crisco)
2 cups granulated sugar

Beat in one at a time:

6 room temperature eggs

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture a half cup at a time, alternating with:

1/4 cup milk


3/4 cup undrained pineapple
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Mix well and spoon batter into a greased and floured 10 inch bundt or tube pan. Place in cold oven, set the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until top springs back when lightly touched or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While baking, mix up the pineapple sauce:

1 cup drained pineapple
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

When cake is done remove it from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes. Gently loose around the edges and place a cooling rack on the pan then flip it. Shake gently and let the cake gently slide out onto the rack. Pour the sauce over the cake while it is still warm.

This cake is even better topped with fresh berries or fresh pineapple.

German Chocolate Cake

November 16th, 2009
by: Blue

I made this for a co-workers birthday at work.  I did a lot of research before making it and pretty much pieced together a combination of different recipes I found.  It took a ridiculous amount of time but it is a ridiculously amazing cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cake Layers:

4 ounces baker’s chocolate (recommend: Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate)
1/2 cup water
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk

In a micro-safe bowl, melt chocolate and water together in microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating, until everything is combined.

Beat egg whites, in a small bowl, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter.

Pour batter into 3 (9-inch) cake pans or 2 (12 capacity) cupcake tins. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling and frosting.

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
2 cups toasted pecans

Combine evaporated milk, slightly beaten egg yolks, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and butter in a large saucepan or heavy pot over low heat. When butter melts raise the heat to medium, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken after 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans and cool before frosting cakes. 


1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum. 

Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces bittersweet (60% cocoa) chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.  Heat the cream in a pan until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

To assemble the cake:

Remove the cake layers from the pans.  Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread about 1 cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.   Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading 1 cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.

Ice the sides with the chocolate ganache, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

October 9th, 2009
by: Sue

This recipe, like many of our family recipes, became a favorite during the depression years. Using only one egg, it was an economical dessert for the family. This small cake is tender and delicious while still warm from the oven, and doesn’t require much time to make. No frosting for this cake, because the pineapple, butter and brown sugar provide a wonderful sweet topping when the cake is right side upped onto a plate.

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 slices pineapple, drained (reserve syrup)
Maraschino cherries or walnuts
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup syrup from pineapple slices

Topping: Melt 3 T. butter or margarine in an 8 inch square pan (or cast iron skillet), sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Arrange over sugar pinepple, with cherry or walnuts in center.

Cake batter: gradually add sugar to shortening, creaming until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add alternately small amounts of sifted dry ingredients and pineapple syrup, beating smooth after each addition. Spread batter over pineapple slices in pan, and bake in moderate (350) oven 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand five minutes, then turn out on plate. Serve warm. Serves 6 – 8.

22 Minute Cake

October 9th, 2009
by: Sue

Grue loves this chocolate cake. My Mom passed the recipe to me, and is an easy, moist chocolate cake you bake in a sheet pan (or 9x 11 pan) and frost while still hot. Almost every family in West Texas has a version of this type of cake.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 stick oleo
1 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
3 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Do not use mixer. Combine flour and sugar in large bowl. In a saucepan combine and bring to a boil the butter, water, shortening and cocoa. Pour over flour and sugar mix.

Combine the buttermilk, eggs, soda and vanilla. Add to other mixture and mix all together. Pour into 12″X 8″ greased pan and bake at 400.


1 stick butter
3 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup milk

Bring to boil and add

1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup chopped nuts

Pour over hot cake.

Mrs. Motley’s Banana Nut Cake

September 28th, 2009
by: Sue

This is a wonderful cake, sweeter than the traditional banana nut bread but having many of the same characteristics. My Mom used to make it then glaze it with a mashed banana & powdered sugar glaze. It’s good with or without a glaze. Moist and luscious, it goes well with your morning coffee.

1/2 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mix thoroughly. Stir in pecans.

Place dough into two greased floured loaf pans or one tube pan and bake at 325 until browned.

Watkins Never Fail Frosting

September 27th, 2009
by: Sue

This recipe is dedicated to my Mom. I often rode with her as a child as she made the rounds selling Watkins flavorings and products to the farmer’s wives in our part of West Texas. I could even do the black pepper demo to show that Watkins pepper will never make you sneeze! Vanilla, black pepper, and pie mixes were big sellers. This frosting was used in our Dad’s favorite birthday cake: white layer cake topped with this frosting and with strawberry preserves, coconut and pecans between the layers. I still make this cake but with thin sliced fresh strawberries instead of preserves.

1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 Tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Place sugar and unbeaten egg whites, cream of tartar, and water in top of double boiler. Beat with mixer until soft glossy peaks form. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat for another minute. Spread on cake or cupcakes. This icing will be soft and glossy for a while but by the next day it begins to crust over and be a little grainy.

Pumpkin Nut Bread

September 27th, 2009
by: Sue

When Fall mornings are crisp and the smell of maturing crops is in the air, I pull out my mixer and make this cake. We used to bake it in one pound coffee cans but alas I have no one pound coffee cans any more. Matt always loved pumpkin bread and would have it for breakfast with spiced tea. Nothing signals fall better than pumpkin *anything*.

1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dark or golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and add sugar gradually; beat in eggs. Add pumpkin and vanilla, mixing to combine. Sift together the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and spices; blend with pumpkins mixture. Add nuts and raisins.

Grease two loaf pans or one tube pan, and flour lightly. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from pans, cool on racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Italian Cream Cake

September 27th, 2009
by: Sue

This cake is most requested when family members celebrate birthdays. I generally cook the cakes ahead of time and freeze them; freezing the cakes makes little ice crystals throughout the cake and prevents the cake from being dry. You can make beautiful layer cakes as the directions show or you can do a larger sheet cake. I have travelled many miles with the cake in my lugguage, and I pull it out of my luggage, whip up the frosting and ice it when I reach the destination. I like to pipe decorative icing edges at the top and bottom of the cake and sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Some fresh pansies or other edible flowers may be used to garnish. Don’t try to skip beating the egg whites, or the cake will be too dense. Don’t let the cake get too warm or the cream cheese frosting will run.

Cake batter:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoon soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small can Angel Flake coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten with 1/4 cup sugar

Cream butter and shortening; add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine flour and soda; add to creamed mixture alternatelyd with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla extract. Add coconut and nuts. Fold in egg whites. Pour batter into 3 parchment paper lined greased and floured 8 inch cake pans (or 2 9 inch pans). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until done; cool. Watch it closely because there is a relatively high sugar to flour proportion and the cake will overbrown easily. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped pecans
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth; add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Spread on cake. Sprinkle top with finely chopped pecans.

Hint: I make 1.5 times the frosting recipe because I have found the frosting inadequate to frost all three 8″ layers or two 9″ layers and to pipe decorative edges.

12 oz cream cheese
3/4 stick butter
1 1/2 box powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla