Clove Cake

Looking to try a new recipe this fall? Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) and her 19th-century cookbook provides several tasty options. Today we share her Clove Cake recipe. This recipe calls for pearlash, a chemical leavening agent also known as potassium carbonate, which is used to make dough or batter rise and create a chewy texture. Pearlash was used from 1780-1840, which helps to date the recipe. It was later replaced with modern baking powder.

Clove Cake Original Recipe
¾ lb. butter
1 lb. sugar
1 lb. flour
1 cup thick cream
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of pearlash
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of cloves
1 nutmeg
1 wine glass Brandy

Adapted Recipe
2 ½ sticks of butter (softened)
2 cups of sugar
3 ½ cups of flour
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of ground cloves
1 nutmeg (freshly grated)
1 wine glass Brandy (optional)

For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 12 pan. Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour and spices. Mix baking soda into heavy cream. Add sifted ingredients alternately with heavy cream. Put batter into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

For muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan use paper muffin cups. Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour and spices. Mix baking soda into heavy cream. Add sifted ingredients alternately with heavy cream. Do not over mix, this will result in a tough or dense muffin. Fill muffin tins ¾ full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Resources

  • Looking for a clove cake recipe with a frosting? Visit bridgetsgreenkitchen.com.
  • Try another variety of clove cake favored by Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Learn more about pearlash here.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: High School, Life Long Learner