Jessica B. Harris on how this Louisiana specialty lets an iconic Southern ingredient shine.

Southern Living, March 2022

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Credit: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary

bake:
45 mins
cool:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 55 mins
active:
10 mins
Servings:
9
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We love a stir-and-bake cake, especially one with a rich Southern history—like this Gateau de Sirop. This Louisiana delicacy lets an iconic Southern ingredient—cane syrup—shine. "By the antebellum period, almost all of the cane consumed in the United States came from Louisiana and the state was the sugar capital of the nation," writes culinary historian Jessica B. Harris. Cane syrup, has a sweet, delicate flavor that takes center stage in Harris's recipe for Gateau de Sirop, also known as Syrup Cake.

Cane syrup adds deep notes of caramel and butterscotch to this cake, as well as a mild, earthy flavor. The spices in the cake—cinnamon, ginger, and cloves—pair wonderfully with the rich cane syrup. Pro tip: when measuring your liquid ingredients, measure the oil first. Then, after pouring the oil into the bowl, swirl the residual oil around to coat the cup, then measure the cane syrup. This will help the syrup flow easily out of the cup without sticking.

In the oven, this cake develops a crisp upper crust and a soft, tender interior. A cup of coffee or glass of bourbon would be a great complement to this cake. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, crème fraiche, or vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch round (or 9-inch square) baking pan with butter, and dust with flour.

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  • Whisk together egg, cane syrup, and oil in a medium bowl until well blended. Whisk together hot water and baking soda in a small bowl. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a second medium bowl. Stir flour mixture into syrup mixture, alternating with water mixture, stirring until just combined after each addition, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  • Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Remove from pan; dust with powdered sugar. If desired, top with sweetened whipped cream and drizzle with additional cane syrup.

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