There is a tendency among some bakers to say that a favorite recipe is the most wonderful, gooey, mind-bending, life altering, almost supernatural recipe there is. This Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice cake, however, is just a crumb cake by another name and probably will not alter your life. However, it is moist with sour cream, spicy with cinnamon, and the sugary topping crunches with every bite. So it does all that is required of a crumb cake. It’s also a snap to throw together (takes 15 minutes), and you may have the ingredients on hand already. And today, with cool fall weather settling in, a slice (okay, two slices) of this was wonderful with a cup of hot coffee. I’m showing it above with what is probably the last rose of summer, at least the last in my garden, a tiny, perfect Fairy rose.
Sugar and Spice Cake
1-1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch round pan.
Mix flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening by crisscrossing two knives, until mixture is size of small peas; reserve 1/3 cup. Stir remaining ingredients into flour mixture with big spoon until well mixed. Pour into pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over batter.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted at center comes out clear.
Baking notes: Don’t sweat the “crisscrossing two knives, until mixture is size of small peas” directive. All the crumbs won’t be the same size–some might even be the size of large peas–just do the best you can. If you want to unmold the cake, I recommend lining the pan with waxed paper, as well as greasing with shortening. Also, the spicing of this cake is mild. You could absolutely add another teaspoon of cinnamon, along with a sprinkling of ground cloves and nutmeg, if you want something more assertive.
The original recipe comes from Gold Medal “Easy Baking.”
Nuthatches seem to me to be upside down woodpeckers. I have read that by pecking upside down, they get all the bugs that woodpeckers miss by pecking right side up! As long as they know what they are doing!