Jun 10, 2013

Marble ring cake w/whole spelt

This is very much a seasonal cake. It goes with every season. Strawberries have shown up everywhere, but they are too good and expensive to bake with for now. But when I eat half a pound...OK, a pound of strawberries, then I feel like something else. Something cake-ish with a slightly sweet taste and a touch of chocolate flavor. Like this cake.

The ring is gone now and it's that time of the day when I would really like a piece. I think I'm going to take butter and eggs out of the fridge right now and make the cake for the third time in a row...done.

The cake is so pleasant. Plain but not boring. It goes well with anything cold (ice cream, champagne), hot (coffee, cappuccino), fruity (strawberries). Hania (my 11-year old) tops it generously with rhubarb preserves*. Me - with vanilla ice cream. Julian  (my husband) had it with coffee or beer..? I don't remember.

The first time I made the cake, I decided to experiment quite a bit. I skipped baking powder all together (even though the recipe called for 4 teaspoons of it), so I added beaten egg whites instead. I also cut the sugar amount and used spelt flour. Well, well...it came out like a hard brownie. Solid. I wanted to give it to the birds, but other family members were against it. Eventually, I warmed up to it, and we ate it all up. 

The second time, I went ahead and put two teaspoons of baking powder. It came out perfect. And beautiful. Hania was always excited cutting a piece because she never knew how the next one would look like. Every piece has its own design. And all in a very alluring ring shape.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
time: 20 min preparation + 50 min baking


  • 250 g (2 cups) spelt four
  • 200 g (1 1/3 cup) + 50 g (1/3 cup) regular flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 250 g (1 cup) butter, room temperature!!! 
  • 250 g (1 1/4 cup) sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 240 ml (1 cup) whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 30 g (4 1/2 Tablespoons) cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/355F (fan forced function). Butter (extra butter) a 26 cm (10 inch) bundt (ring) cake form. Regular forms will work too. They might need an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven for the middle to bake.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flours (250 g spelt and 200 g regular) with baking powder. Prepare two small bowls, one with the rest of the flour (50 g, 1/3 cup) and the other with cocoa powder.
  3. In a bowl of a standing mixer equipped with a whisk attachment, beat together butter (diced) and sugar till fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium/high speed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl regularly. Add eggs, slowly, one at a time, salt and continue beating (on medium/high) for another 5 minutes. It should be very foamy. Don't worry if you get grainy texture. Change attachment to paddle. Add vanilla extract and flour mix alternating with pouring in milk
  4. Now, divide the dough in two equal parts (no scale necessary) and place them in two separate bowls (to see if you halved the dough right). Add 50 g (1/3 cup) of flour to one, and cocoa powder to the other. Mix in the powders with a rubber spatula.
  5. Using a plastic scraper and your finger, pour in white batter in four places (on 12, 3, 6, and 9th hour) around the ring cake. Fill it in with dark batter. Using a fork, go through the two batters, from the bottom up and around the form. The best part!
  6. Set the cake in the hot oven for about 55 minutes, till the toothpick from the center comes out clean. Remove it from the heat, let it cool in the form for 10 minutes. Take it out of the form and let it cool till desired.
  7. The third time the cake came out the best. I was out of milk, so I added 1/2 cup whipping cream mixed with 1/2 cup water.

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