"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Desserts, Sweets & Cookies & Candy > Cakes & Cupcakes
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-28-2008, 04:35 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 2
Hobbit-food: Seed cake

Hello all! I'm new to the forums and to baking in general, and I'm hoping that y'all can help me with a problem.

So I'm a hungry nerd and while listening to The Hobbit on audio, I became curious about this "seed cake" that kept coming up, so I pulled out my trusty internet. Sure enough, I found a recipe for seed cake and set about forthwith. The recipe is taken from godecookery.com:

Modern Recipe:
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cracked wheat flour
  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • 1/8 cup warm (100 degrees) ale
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) sweet butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbs. seed (crushed anise, caraway, coriander, cardamom, etc. - choose something flavorful & pleasant)
  • ½ - 1 cup milk
Sift together the flours and salt; set aside in large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm ale, along with 1/8 tsp. of the flour mixture. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and seeds. Make a well in the flour and add the dissolved yeast. Fold flour into yeast mixture, then fold in the butter. Slowly beat in enough milk to make a smooth, thick batter. Pour batter into an 8" round greased cake pan. Bake in middle of oven at 350° F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before turning onto a cake rack.

So I tried it. Now, I called and searched a fair number of supermarkets here in Austin, and none of them carried cracked wheat flour. Instead, I used whole wheat flour. Also, the recipe calls for sweet butter, not specifying whether it be salted or unsalted, so I opted for unsalted. I will admit that during the first try, I accidentally skipped over adding the 1/8 tsp. of salt and also forgot the 1/8 tsp. of the flour mixture in the dissolved yeast. The first attempt came out looking very dense and mealy inside, although the exterior looked convincingly scrumptious, if broken. Also, I didn't have cake pan so I used a Pyrex bowl.

Second try, I invested in some better bakeware and proceeded to remedy my previous omissions. This time I had the cake pan, and dutifully added the 1/8 tsps. of salt and flour respectively. Well, it didn't turn out much better than the first, although this one looked even more delicious than the one before.

Where did I go wrong? Or is it just an awful recipe and I don't know it because I'm a complete baking n00b?

I appreciate any and all feedback! Thanks!


Halo000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Seed cake recipe

In 1949, Pillsbury Mills, Inc. held the "Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest" to mark the company's 80th birthday. The response was overwhelming, and the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest became an annual event, later switching to every two years. The following was a winner in 1954.

Triple Seed Cake

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 to 80 minutes. Makes 10-inch tube cake.

Sift together 3 cups sifted Pillsbury’s Best Enriched Flour, 2 ½ teaspoons double acting baking powder, ¾ teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt.

Blend together 2/3 cup Crisco and 2 cups sugar, creaming well.

Add 4 unbeaten eggs, one at a time. Beat 1 minute after each.

Blend in 2 tablespoons grated orange rind and 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind; mix thoroughly.

Measure 1 cup milk; add alternately with the dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend thoroughly after each addition. (With electric mixer use low speed.)

Spread one-fourth of batter in 10-inch tube pan, well greased and lightly floured on bottom only. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon caraway seeds. Alternate remaining batter with 1 tablespoon poppy seed and 1 tablespoon aniseed, ending with batter on top.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F) 75 to 80 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before turning out. Frost while slightly warm.

Fruit Juice Glaze: Combine 1 ¼ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Beat until well blended.

lkbien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
Executive Chef
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 3,270
This is a Mrs Beeton recipe for Seed Cake. Goes back to 19th Century England.

And this is who Mrs Beeton is for those unaware...
Too many restaurants, not enough time...
Bilby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
Head Chef
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,297
By using baking powder, one is getting a quicker rise. By using yeast, and not having time to let rise, I would imagine that it would turn out dense.
That is an interesting source, Gode Cookery, I used it in school last year to develop recipes for a middle ages banquet (hypothetical, but actual tried a couple). I made spicy meat pies and wine/honey-poached pears.

Wyogal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
Senior Cook
ErikC's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 283
Perfect for 2nd breakfast!

ErikC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
Mr. Greenjeans
bigdaddy3k's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 1,741
Mrs. Beeton!!! That is so cool!

Even in the 1850's she knew not to boil broccoli until it was miserable.

Boiled Broccoli - Mrs Beeton Revisited from The Foody

Who taught my Mom to ruin veggies?
No matter how many Bibles he swears on, when a dog tells you he's a vegetarian, he's lying.
bigdaddy3k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2009, 12:13 PM   #7
Executive Chef
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 3,270
You may also be interested in these versions of seed cake. Vintage Recipes.

As to the over cooked broccoli, probably the same person who taught my mum! I refuse to boil vegetables except for soup!

Too many restaurants, not enough time...
Bilby is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.