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Honey and spice loaf cake

Honey and spice loaf cake. (Sept. 5, 2012)

Honey and spice loaf cake. (Sept. 5, 2012) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

To dress up slices of this sweet and spicy cake, serve it with honeyed oranges: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and drizzle over 3 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1/2 cup hot tap water

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine honey, sugar, oil, eggs and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium with an electric mixer until smooth and lightened in color, 3 to 5 minutes. On low mixer speed, beat in dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat in hot water.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. (Check cake after 45 minutes; if top is already brown, loosely tent with a piece of greased aluminum foil and continue to bake until done.) Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, invert again and let cool completely.

4. Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cake and let stand until set, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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