White Pepper and Ginger Lemon Cake

"Adapted slightly from "Maida Heatter's Cakes," this cake is unusual and very tasty! Source: Detroit News - adapted slightly from "Maida Heatter's Cakes.""
photo by Engrossed photo by Engrossed
photo by Engrossed
Ready In:
1hr 30mins
1 cake




  • Set an oven rack a third of the way up from the bottom and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Thoroughly butter a 10- to 12-cup Bundt (fluted) pan, even if it has a nonstick finish, and include all the crannies of the fluting and the center post; dust all, including the center tube, with fine, dry bread crumbs; invert and tap to shake out excess crumbs; set aside.
  • Finely grate the zest of the two lemons; juice the lemons, putting 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a cup with the lemon zest; set the rest of the juice aside;add the fresh ginger to the zest-juice mixture and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and pepper; set aside.
  • In the large bowl of the electric mixer, beat the butter until it is soft; add 13/4 cups of the sugar and beat about 1 minute; add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk (starting and ending with the flour).
  • Stir in the lemon-ginger mixture; taste and add more pepper and/or ginger if desired, stirring well; the full amounts of ginger and pepper might be too hot for some folks- if you suspect you're among them, start small and taste a bit of the batter; you can always add.
  • Pour and scrape into the prepared pan; Smooth the top by twisting the pan sharply back and forth once.
  • Bake 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out dry.
  • While the cake is in the oven, add to the set-aside lemon juice enough to total 1/3 cup; combine with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Cover with a rack, invert and remove the pan; put the rack and cake over a plate or sheet of waxed paper or foil to catch drips of glaze.
  • Stir the glaze mixture and brush it all over the cake, including the inside of the center hole; let stand until cool.
  • Use two spatulas to transfer the cake to a serving plate.

Questions & Replies

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  1. The cake is excellent, it's light and fluffy, and delicious in taste , i didn't put the white peppers but i will make it the next time with the peppers
  2. Wow! This is exactly the cake I was looking for. I love the pepper and ginger additions! I didn't have buttermilk but regular worked just fine. I also doubled the frosting coat, but the flavor of the cake didn't really need it. It was also very moist. Thanks so much for sharing.
  3. YES! This cake is just PERFECT for my tastes! I made it as directed with the maximum amounts of ginger and white pepper. It has a lovely texture and buttery lemon flavor with the warm heat coming through as an after effect. Just LOVELY! Everyone at my work enjoyed this as well. I made this for A Taste of Yellow Livestrong Day.
  4. This was a really really yummy cake. Will definately make again and have been asked for the recipe also. No need to tone down the ginger or pepper ( had no white pepper and fine black was great ) this was really quirky and delicious! Thanks Julesong - its a keeper!
  5. I served this at a family gathering, so I toned down the ginger and pepper a little bit just to be safe (used about 1 1/2 tsp each). While you could definitely tell they were in there, it was in no way overpowering. Even the children thought it was great! When (not if!) I make this again, I'll use the full amounts for a more intense flavor. Thanks for the great recipe, Julesong.


<p>It's simply this: I love to cook! :) <br /><br />I've been hanging out on the internet since the early days and have collected loads of recipes. I've tried to keep the best of them (and often the more unusual) and look forward to sharing them with you, here. <br /><br />I am proud to say that I have several family members who are also on RecipeZaar! <br /><br />My husband, here as <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/member/39857>Steingrim</a>, is an excellent cook. He rarely uses recipes, though, so often after he's made dinner I sit down at the computer and talk him through how he made the dishes so that I can get it down on paper. Some of these recipes are in his account, some of them in mine - he rarely uses his account, though, so we'll probably usually post them to mine in the future. <br /><br />My sister <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/member/65957>Cathy is here as cxstitcher</a> and <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/member/62727>my mom is Juliesmom</a> - say hi to them, eh? <br /><br />Our <a href=http://www.recipezaar.com/member/379862>friend Darrell is here as Uncle Dobo</a>, too! I've been typing in his recipes for him and entering them on R'Zaar. We're hoping that his sisters will soon show up with their own accounts, as well. :) <br /><br />I collect cookbooks (to slow myself down I've limited myself to purchasing them at thrift stores, although I occasionally buy an especially good one at full price), and - yes, I admit it - I love FoodTV. My favorite chefs on the Food Network are Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Mario Batali, and Giada De Laurentiis. I'm not fond over fakey, over-enthusiastic performance chefs... Emeril drives me up the wall. I appreciate honesty. Of non-celebrity chefs, I've gotta say that that the greatest influences on my cooking have been my mother, Julia Child, and my cooking instructor Chef Gabriel Claycamp at Seattle's Culinary Communion. <br /><br />In the last couple of years I've been typing up all the recipes my grandparents and my mother collected over the years, and am posting them here. Some of them are quite nostalgic and are higher in fat and processed ingredients than recipes I normally collect, but it's really neat to see the different kinds of foods they were interested in... to see them either typewritten oh-so-carefully by my grandfather, in my grandmother's spidery handwriting, or - in some cases - written by my mother years ago in fountain pen ink. It's like time travel. <br /><br />Cooking peeve: food/cooking snobbery. <br /><br />Regarding my black and white icon (which may or may not be the one I'm currently using): it the sea-dragon tattoo that is on the inside of my right ankle. It's also my personal logo.</p>
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