I love the idea of a snack cake. It’s simple, no dog-and-pony show like a layer cake, just a perfect little square of sweetness alongside tea or coffee. No frosting required, this is two or three bites of afternoon pick-me-up cake dotted with pecans or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Molasses cake has an old-fashioned feel to it. If you were Betty Draper, you’d offer it up to someone who stops by unexpectedly, because it’s a cake you might just have around. But for us working stiffs, it’s the cake that’ll sate your 3 pm snack attack without a bouncing off walls sugar high.
Consistent results with whole wheat pastry flour continue to escape me, so use AP here. The whole wheat will produce a drier cake. Made in an 8×8 pan, snack cake doesn’t carry the commitment of a 9×13, so it won’t last long. Save yourself a square and leave the rest for your office mates. If you’re enjoying this at home, drizzle your square with a little more molasses. Sugar high, be damned.
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ t. baking soda
- ½ t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- ½ t. cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ c. canola oil
- ⅓ c. molasses
- ½ c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 t. vanilla
- ½ -1 c. pecan pieces (1/2 c. if only sprinkling half the cake)
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan and spread the batter to get into the corners. Sprinkle with pecans.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 3-5 minutes and then transfer the cake to a cooling rack. Once cool, cut into 9-12 squares, depending on the size you want. Dust with confectioners sugar, as desired.