Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grandma Zina's Nutmeg Feather Cake

Since we recently moved away from family, I've been missing celebrating birthdays with our loved ones. It's not the same if you don't get some cake!

So I decided to bake a cake each month in honor of the birthdays we're missing. I've got some good ones coming, and I'm so excited to share some of my favorite cakes with you, as well as some new ones I'm dying to try out!

This recipe is my grandmother's, though I don't think she ever made it for me. I dug this recipe out of my mom's recipe box one day because I was fascinated by the name. It just sounds so dainty! And it kind of is, but it's dainty in a delightfully modern way, which I love. The crumb is tight, but feather light. Nutmeg is the star here, which is unexpected but so, so delicious. I think this is the perfect winter white cake, with just enough spice for January -- though it's great any time of year -- but not so much spice that it screams "holiday".

My newest love, though, is this whipped cream cream cheese frosting via Not So Humble Pie, which is so light and dreamy. Oh my. It's what I always dreamed cream cheese frosting could be. Plus, it's ridiculously easy.

So, Happy Birthday, my January peeps! I enjoyed every bite of the birthday cake I made for you. :)

Nutmeg Feather Cake

1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Sift together dry ingredients three times, and add vanilla to buttermilk. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, starting and ending with the buttermilk.

Distribute batter evenly between two 9" cake pans and bake at 350ยบ for 25 minutes, or until center of cake springs back when touched lightly.

Let cool completely before frosting with Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.


  1. i know this may be a winter desert, but it looks gorgeous, so i'm making it for my mom's birthday on wednesday. just wondering if the one serving of the cream cheese frosting was enough for the cake or if you had to double the recipe. also, it says you split the batter, but it doesn't look like you stacked the cakes. i'm thinking i'll split the batter, stack the cakes and frost in the middle; is the cake to heavy (rich) for that?

    1. I've made this many times, and usually divide the batter, but when I baked for the photo shoot I was feeling too lazy to do a layer cake, so I baked it all up in a big springform pan. (Not recommended, by the way.) It bakes up fabulously when divided between two pans, though. If doing a layer cake, I would definitely double the frosting recipe to ensure you have enough. It should be a lovely light layer cake, not too heavy or rich at all. Happy baking!

  2. This cake recipe was in the old (30+years ago) Better Homes and Garden cookbook as a sheet cake with a broiled coconut topping and was one of our family favorite - so light and delicate. I can't wait to try this version, the cream cheese frosting looks fabulous!


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