Friday, March 6, 2009


  • 2 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), at room temperature, plus more
for greasing
  • 1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch tube pan with 3-1/2-inch sides (or, my preference, use a nonstick pan of the same size but don’t grease and flour it).
  • Resift the flour along with the baking powder, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.
  • In another bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the butter until it’s soft and very pliant, about 1 minute (or 4 to 6 minutes by hand with a wooden spoon). Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes (or 6 to 8 minutes by hand).
  • One at a time, add the 4 whole eggs and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes (or 5 minutes by hand).
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 equal parts, beating on low speed or stirring with the wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and the flour is well combined with the butter mixture. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and continue to beat or stir until they’re well mixed into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Place on the middle oven rack and bake until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (though I’d recommend checking it after 45 minutes).
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. If necessary, carefully run a thin knife around the perimeter and the inner rim of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift it off of the cake. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool on the rack.
  • Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with powdered sugar, if desired. Slice into wedges, and serve this aromatic Indonesian Spice Cake with a cup of hot tea!

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