Nun’s Cake

There are only a few days a year when we get to be a completely different person. There’s Halloween, of course, and then there’s St. Patrick’s Day – when we are all Irish for a day. Unfortunately, the Irish are not known for their desserts. Most Irish desserts I know of are apple-based, bread/pudding-based, heavily rely on their great dairy, or borrowed from another European country (and served with alcohol). I knew there must be more, so I did a little research and found the following Irish recipe that I just had to try.


This cake caught my attention due to the strong flavor combination of cinnamon, caraway, and rose.  Caraway is uncommon in American desserts, so I was truly surprised by how well it worked in this cake.  It has a very delicate perfumed quality and the dense crust is somewhere between a quick bread and an angel food cake.

Nun's Cake
Author: Joe the Baker
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 6 ounces powdered sugar
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • teaspoon rose or orange water
  • 6 ounces milk
  • 12 ounces cake flour
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale.
  2. Add the seasonings and blend thoroughly.
  3. Add the eggs and water flavoring.
  4. Finally, alternate mixing the milk and flour until a light batter is formed.
  5. Bake in a butter and floured pan at 375F until the cake is firm and dark in color.


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