Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Snack Cake - BRING IT BACK!

Snack and cake are two words that fit beautifully together.  Snack cake is kind of an outdated term but I am going to start a movement to bring it back!  Snack cake should be hands friendly, good for breakfast, great with tea or coffee, easily packed in a lunch box, and a simple one bowl creation.  I think of snack cake as being a little denser in texture and generally unadorned.  No icing, no fluffy embellishments, no decorations - just a little powdered sugar or a light glaze on top.  

A few months ago I made a delicious Peanut Butter Snack Cake from Molly Yeh. It was so moist in texture it was almost sticky. It got me reevaluating the need for good snack cake in the world.  In my quest to bring Snack Cake back to the forefront, I came across this lovely little spicy number from the blog The Clever Carrot.  It is such a happy, wintery cake that combines chocolate and warm spices which has got to be one of the all time most underrated pairings.  Cocoa should really be considered a spice.  It mingles so nicely with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and chili spices.  

As I said before, snack cakes should require less time and mess than a full blown cake recipe.  I made this one at 8:00pm last night (not my favorite time to start whipping up cakes) in one bowl.  It was done and out of the oven before 9:00pm.  

The recipe calls for mixing all the wet ingredients together in bowl and then sifting the dry into the same bowl.  My favorite ingredient in this cake is the molasses.  It really adds a depth of flavor that helps the cocoa and spices shine. Emile's recipe lets you choose between maple syrup and molasses but definitely go for the molasses. I also added a little (1 Tablespoon) of coffee to the wet mixture. I subbed cardamom for allspice as well.  I omitted the chocolate chip (because I didn't have any on hand) but also because I liked the simplicity of an old fashioned snack cake without any need for more sugar.  The cake didn't need the chocolate chips but it would also be delicious with them.  (Duh!)

I will continue to post snack cake recipes to help ignite my movement!  Snack Cakes of America Unite!  Peanut Butter Snack Cake, Apple Snack Cake, Lemon Snack cake, what's your favorite?

This is the kind of slice that you wrap in waxed paper and take it to work or school in your lunch box.

Recipe adapted from The Clever Carrot


2 eggs
splash of vanilla
1 T brewed coffee (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup maple syrup (or molasses- this will add more flavor)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa 
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)


In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Sift the dry ingredients directly over the wet ingredient bowl. Mix gently to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased 10 cup capacity bundt pan. Bake @350 F for 40-50 minutes. To finish, dust with powdered sugar when cool.

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