Moist, Delicious Black Pepper Spice Cake

Black Pepper Spice Cake is a surprising treat that you may have thought you could not make with black pepper, of all things! This cake is very moist, absolutely delicious, and boasts a fluffy caramel frosting that is unusually good.

Black pepper is possibly the most popular spice in the world. It has a taste that is neither sweet nor pungent, and is used in most types of food with good results. While the amount of black pepper used in this recipe is small, it does add a distinct flavor and character to the cake. Use fresh gourmet quality black pepper, spices, and extracts in this recipe for best results.

Ingredients for the Cake:

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon fresh baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour milk

Ingredients for the Frosting:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon caramel flavoring
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Making Black Pepper Spice Cake:

Blend and sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside for later. Combine the baking soda with the ground cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla extract, and vegetable shortening. Gradually blend in the white and brown sugars, beating until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternate and add half of the flour mixture, then half of the sour milk. Repeat using remaining flour and milk. Turn the batter into three well-greased and lightly floured nine-inch round cake pans. Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes, then cool for ten minutes. Turn out of pans onto wire racks to cool completely.

To Make the Frosting:

Put the brown sugar plus egg whites, water, nutmeg, cream of tartar, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Beat until well blended. Place the pan over the bottom pan, which should contain about two inches of boiling water. Beat with electric mixer until the frosting stands in soft peaks. Remove the top pan from the heat. Add the caramel flavor and vanilla. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Frost top and sides of cake. Makes 12 servings.

Preparation Tip:

Sour milk adds extra leavening capability to a recipe that fresh milk cannot do. The acid formed in sour milk combines with the baking soda to release carbon dioxide bubbles, which in turn help the cake to rise.

Sour milk is not as easy to find as it once was. Pasteurized milk tends to just "go bad" instead of souring in the traditional sense. You can make sour milk by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of milk, and let it set for about 20 minutes. This should provide the right acidity for the recipe. Buttermilk is an acceptable substitute if you prefer.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories: 450
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 74 grams
Fat: 15 grams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 330 mg
Dietary Fiber: 1 gram

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About The Author, Eldon Beard
Eldon Beard is a Manager with Watkins Products. Discover the finest gourmet cooking extracts, spices, pepper blends, soup bases, and dessert mixes. Visit our Watkins Online Product Catalog