Nutmeg cake, raspberries link two seasons

Nutmeg feather cake with raspberries soaked in Cointreau.

Nutmeg feather cake with raspberries soaked in Cointreau.

One of the flavors I associate with autumn is nutmeg. As I think about Thanksgiving dinner, I know I’ll be making eggnog pie, a Cleaveland tradition, that’s topped with nutmeg. I’ll blog about that recipe in a couple of days.

But with guests coming Sunday evening, the immediate challenge was dessert. A cake would be easier to throw together than an eggnog pie. Then I remembered that years ago I had run across a recipe for nutmeg feather cake. I think it was in a very basic Betty Crocker cookbook. It was delicious, sort of like a spice cake but more delicate and sort of like the raspberry cake that I made earlier with blueberries instead (“Blueberry cake tops off a meal,” Sept. 21).

I don’t have the cookbook anymore, but last year, I found a similar recipe on, tried it and called it close enough.

I upgraded with fresh raspberries (reminding me of summer) on the side that had been soaked in Cointreau for a couple of hours. The cake was topped with cream cheese frosting, and the Intrepid One — ever looking for a green accent for the visuals — suggested putting fresh mint on the side. I keep mint around because it flavors one of my favorite go-to dishes: bun cha han oi (May 19 post).

This cake is moist and the nutmeg flavor gets stronger as days go by. Here it is:

Nutmeg feather cake from all

1/4 cup butter, softened

1-1/2 cups white sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350; grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  2. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature

8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature

2 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (Note from Janet: I used Cointreau to link with the soaked berries)

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the vanilla extract or other flavoring and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.



Janet Cleaveland

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 52 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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