Ken Smith, the executive chef at Upperline restaurant and an avid home baker,
often serves this spiced, cane syrup-sweetened cake. On special occasions such as
Thanksgiving and Christmas he pairs it with a sauce made from satsumas, a clementine-like
citrus fruit that grows in Louisiana and is available in the late fall.
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups dark cane syrup, preferably Steen's brand
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round metal cake pan and line
bottom with buttered parchment paper. Sprinkle in a little flour; turn and tilt
pan to coat the inside. Invert pan and tap out any excess flour. Set pan aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder,
cloves, salt and pepper.
In another bowl, whisk together syrup, oil, and egg.
Beat in one-third of the flour mixture followed by one-third of the soda
mixture into the syrup mixture; repeat twice more, to make a smooth batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean, about
Let cake cool completely in pan.
Invert cake onto a plate; dust with confectioners' sugar.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
This article was first published in Saveur magazine October 9, 2008.