There are lots of stories shared in my family about my father’s love of desserts. I inherited his sweet tooth and so did my son. He remembers his grandfather sprinkling sugar on his piece of a particular rhubarb pie that had a layer of sugar so thick in the bottom, that it crystallized and set our teeth on edge. We have occasionally repeated his remark, “A little sugar never hurt anything” coupled with laughter and memories. There was the time I made a special cake for him that was nothing but icing. That was kind of tricky. He loved it. We made sure that he always got the corner piece of every iced cake.
But my father’s very favorite cake was “Mrs. Macklin’s Spice Cake.” Mrs. Macklin was his parent’s neighbor sometime in the 1940s or ’50s. I never met Mrs. Macklin, but her cake recipe lives on with me since my 25 year old son really enjoys it. It is not a quick and easy cake,or a light and airy cake, but it is well worth the effort.
Mrs. Macklin’s Spice Cake
2 cups light brown sugar packed, sifted (1 box)
1 cup Crisco or butter
3 cups sifted Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Sour Milk (2 teaspoons of vinegar in the cup and fill with milk will substitute)
1 cup Seedless Raisins
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 pinch of Cloves
1 1/2cup Brown Sugar packed
4-5 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon melted Butter
1/2 cup Chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Greasethe pan. The original recipe calls for a 9 inch square pan, but we prefer a 9 x 13 inch pan
Cream Sugar and shortening. Then add eggs. Put soda in the flour and sift into the cake. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the frosting) Bake for 45 minutes. Ice immediately. Read directions below
Frosting: Add Butter to 4 Tablespoons of milk. Moisten Sugar with this mixture. If not moist enough add rest of milk. Mix in chopped nuts and spread on hot cake. Then place under broiler until it bubbles all over.
For thicker frosting use more sugar and milk.
My father always said that the important thing is that this cake needs to sink in the middle so that the icing will be thicker in the center.