“I don’t mind some cake – seed-cake, if you have any.”
“Lots!” Bilbo found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off…to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.
When my sister read those words from The Hobbit, I could almost taste the seed-cakes. They sounded like a wonderful blend of sweet and savory. A perfect companion to tea.
Nearly tenyears after listening to that timeless tale, I decided to try my handing at baking up a beautiful seed-cake.
The ingredients and process are very simple: Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat in eggs & stir in dry ingredients & milk. Fold in the caraway seeds. Bake & enjoy with butter or cream.
Notes: Need I say that I made my usual substitutions? I used approximately half whole wheat & half all-purpose flour. If you’re feeling brave, you could use all whole wheat flour.
For the sweetener, I used our newly made maple sugar. You can use granulated sugar, rapadura, demerara, or whatever you wish!
The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of orange zest. The amount scared me a bit, so reduced it to about a teaspoon. My mistake. Another time I would add the complete amount.
Caraway Seed Cake
Adapted from Rosa
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground almonds
- 3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup maple sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons caraway seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan & line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, and almonds. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter & sugar until light colored and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the orange zest & vanilla extract and mix.
4. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately, a little at a time, until it is fully incorporated. Fold in the caraway seeds.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Pull the cake out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with butter, cream, or whipped cream.
Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf cake
13 Responses to “Seed-Cake”
You have been passed on a little gift from my blog, which was passed on from others to me- it is the Pure in Heart gift! You can easily get the (simple) details if you visit my blog. I just love your blog and writing and recipes and photos! May Jesus be your every Light!
Erica Lea says:
Reeve: Thank you – you’re so sweet!
Kristin: So glad you enjoy my blog! I use the Nikon D80 with a 50mm 1.8 lens for the majority of my food photos. I absolutely love it.
Patricia: It is hard to stop at just one slice.
Carolyn: Yes, you can definitely tell that Tolkien liked his food. It certainly comes out in his descriptions!
Hello! I was looking for a seed cake recipe since we’re currently reading The Hobbit as a family and was delighted to find not only the recipe here, but also the mention of the book. I linked to this page on my blog, http://www.literaritea.blogspot.com/2012/11/hobbits-and-seed-cake.html and thought you’d like to know. Lovely website!
I am listening to ‘The Hobbit’ audiobook. I just listened to that passage and found this blog via google search. Love the title! I will have to try this recipe. Thanks for posting!
Oh yes, I meant to mention I grew up cooking for 6!