A Creole cake, also known as gateau au sirop. Recommended to use Steen’s pure cane syrup, made the traditional way in Abbeville, Louisiana since 1911. Recipe from Southern Cakes, Nancie McDermott.
Make the cake: preheat oven to 350°; grease and flour a 9-inch square or round cake pan.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; stir with a fork to mix well.
In a big bowl, combine the vegetable oil, cane syrup, and egg; stir with a fork or whisk to combine well.
Add about 1/3 or the flour mixture to the syrup mixture and then stir gently, just until the flour disappears.
Add the baking soda to the hot water, and then stir about half the water into the batter.
Stir another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining water, and finally the remaining flour, stirring gently each time just to mix everything well.
Quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched gently in the center, and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Make the frosting: In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy; add in half the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and salt; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.
Add the remaining powdered sugar and the cane syrup, and beat until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl and mix well.
To complete: if cake is round, cool the cake in the pan on a rack, for 10 minutes, turn it out of the pan, and place it, top side up, on a wire rack to cool completely; place cooled cake on a serving plate or cake stand, top side down, and spread the frosting over it generously, covering the top and sides.
If it is square, spread the icing over the cooled cake right in the pan, and cut into squares to serve; serve warm, right from the pan.