Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Armenian Nutmeg Cake

Going through my file of pictures and doing some general blog maintenance I came across a series of photos for an Armenian Nutmeg Cake that I have, gasp, not shared with you yet!  I've been holding out on you, but rest assured it was not deliberate.

From first cake. Mmmm

I made this one day, ate so much of it myself that I had to make another to save a piece to freeze for feedback and share the rest with friends.

Fresh, this cake rocks my world.  It seriously did.  I called my mother to tell her about it. Uh-huh.

From the second, but not the last, cake.

I found it on mmmisformommy's website and the recipe list was so short and simple, I just had to try it.  Her recipe calls for walnut pieces, but I just wasn't in the mood for nuts - my life is nuts enough to share - so I left them out.  Then, I fell so in love with the velvety rich texture without the nuts that I may forever leave them out.

It is imperative to use fresh nutmeg.  If you are not willing to grate your own or don't own a microplane, just ensure the spice you are using is as pungent and fresh as possible.  Maybe even treat yourself to a new container for this cake.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake
slightly adapted from mmmisformommy

1 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg

- combine the milk and the baking soda. Set aside.
- in food processor, add the flour, baking powder and brown sugar and pulse to combine. 
- add the cubed butter on top and pulse until you get tan-coloured crumbs. 
- press half of the crumbs (2 cups) into a greased 9" springform pan.
- add the egg and the nutmeg to the crumbs remaining in the food processor and process until combined.
- add the milk/soda mixture and and continue to mix until a lumpy sand-coloured batter is formed. 
- pour over top of the bottom crumb layer and bake 350F for 50 minutes, or until it tests as done. 
- cool in pan and remove sides and serve.
The second time I made it, I did not use my food processor but rather my pastry cutter which I enjoy cleaning way more than my beast of a machine. 

It's just beautiful as is, could be served at any function, it's gorgeous.
The cake lost some of it's flavour after a brief freeze.  The texture was just fine, but it had lost that over-the-top, lose-yourself-in-it spicy-ness it had fresh and barely warm out of the oven.
This would be great served with coffee or tea to chat with a friend, it also travels well in lunchboxes or on a road trip.  


  1. This cake reminds me of an almond torte that I make. The texture is somewhat different but it's got the same number of ingredients and is very easy to make. Will send you the recipe (or maybe just post it in a comment) if you like.

    1. Just post it here, Donna. Almond... mmmm

  2. Ok, here goes...(hope it all fits)

    Almond Torte
    Cake: 2 eggs, 2/3 c. butter, 3/4 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar
    Cream: 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 c. sliced almonds, 2 TB milk

    Cake: Mix eggs and sugar well. Melt butter, then add alternately with flour to egg/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Place in floured 8 inch cake pan and bake at 300F until top is golden, about 30 - 35 minutes. Pour on Cream.

    Cream: Melt butter in pot. Add sugar and milk. Bring to simmering boil. Add almonds, and bring to a low boil for 1 minute until mixture is creamy. Pour over baked torte and bake again at 300F until almonds have browned, about 15 minutes. Remove, cool and serve.

    So that's the recipe with a couple of changes in it since I got it and I've made several changes again. So, I probably add a bit more than 2 tbsps of milk in it (not much, but I don't measure it). Also, I add a lot more than just 1/2 cup of almonds (which the original recipes did call for) - basically I dump them in and so that when you pour it on the cake, you can't see any of the cake under the almonds. I also put a piece of parchment paper (use a bit of butter or shortening to keep it in place and flour and butter the paper. It makes it a lot easier to pull the pan right off the cake. Another thing is - the longer you cook the cream the darker and more flavourful it gets. But some don't like that way. (I do!) To dress it up and give it a finished look roll the edge of the cake (after you remove the bottom of the springform pan, assuming you used one) in icing sugar - brush or scrape the clumps off with a knife. Then lightly sprinkle the top with same. It's good to eat as soon as it cools, but I think it tastes better cold out of the fridge.

    I've cut it up into wedges for dinner guests and small squares for bake sales. And that's it! I hope it works for you :)