Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Armenian Nutmeg Cake


This is a rustic style cake, with the warm and sweet Middle Eastern flavours of freshly ground nutmeg exciting the senses, and the soft, moist crumb making it a joy to eat. It's a very clever cake, as a crusty base is created by half of the dry mixture, and then the rest of the wet cake mixture when added to the cake tin is topped with chopped walnuts. 

This isn't a pretty cake to photograph, but it's a cinch to make and absolutely delicious to eat with a cup of espresso coffee or a pot of tea. I urge you to give it a try. It's a real keeper.

I found this cake recipe in The Mackay Whitsunday Anglican School Recipe book called "Tastebud Ticklers", collated by teachers, parents and students of the school, and published back in 1994. There are so many great recipes in this book, and this one has stood the test of time. The recipe book was assembled as a fund raiser as they generally are, and the Principal of the school at the time, Mr. Ron Bourne, famously said that if the book was published and actually raised some money he would walk to Sarina, just an hour by car down the road from Mackay and back again. Well none of us remember him actually doing that, but it was a successful project, and some of the parents still refer to it and cook from it as I just have.

 I hadn't looked at this book for quite a while before I made this cake, but just now as I was flicking through the pages again, I found my original Golden Syrup Dumplings  recipe in there. I had forgotten that this was the recipe I contributed to the book, and I had since lost the original of this recipe, true story. In 1994, I started a new job, so I am pretty amazed that I found the time to even contribute to this recipe book let alone remember that I did. Wow, what a find, because Golden Syrup Dumplings are a favourite of ours in Winter, and I have since used other recipes which Mr. HRK and I have humbly thought weren't as good as my original. My lost recipe has been found, and I have to tell you I am pretty excited. So needless to say dear readers, this dumpling dessert will be back on the menu again at home, and will hopefully be published on the blog, one cold wintry day, so watch this space.

For now though this story is really about the Armenian Nutmeg cake, originally contributed to the book by Norelle  Millen. Thanks Norelle. 


2 cups brown sugar

1 cup milk

2 cups self raising flour or ( 2 cups plain flour and 4 teaspoons of baking powder)

1 egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

4 oz butter (113 grams) chopped into pieces

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Combine the sugar, sifted flour and nutmeg, and rub in butter. Place half the mixture into a well greased 20 cm or 8 inch spring form tin.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in warm milk and pour this into the remaining mixture. Add beaten egg and mix well.

Pour the wet mixture over base in the cake tin evenly and sprinkle with walnuts.

Bake for 50-60 minutes in a moderate oven. Mine cooked in 40 minutes and is very moist. Each oven is different in cooking time.

There's plenty for every body.

It's balmy Winter weather here after a cool start of 9 degrees, so as soon as I made this cake first thing this morning, I started gardening. Mr. HRK was in the garden all morning, working on a garden at the side of our house which had become overgrown, so we are starting again with that one. It's always exciting starting a garden from scratch again.

The very original recipe.

Warm wishes to you all, and hoping your week is progressing well.



  1. I have never come across this method before for baking a cake. It sounds very interesting. And so glad for you that you found a long lost recipe!

    1. Thanks Tandy, an interesting cake for sure. Yes I am amazed that I forgot it was in this recipe book, ha, ha.

  2. The cake looks perfectly dense, warming and delicious. Golden syrup dumpling sounds really it a dessert?

    1. Thanks Angie, yes golden syrup dumplings are a Winter dessert from way back. However equally delicious in Summer.

  3. Glad you found your lost recipe! One of the reasons I started blogging was to have my recipes all in one, somewhat organized, place. :-) Anyway, this cake looks terrific -- thanks.

    1. Thanks KR, keeping all my recipes in one place and readily accessible was my reason as well for starting to blog, but then other benefits started to become obvious. It is a really delicious cake, hard to capture that in a photo unfortunately. Take care, Pauline

  4. Pauline, this cake looks delicious and I love the story that goes with it. You will have to share the dumpling recipe next. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, hoping I can make the dumplings very soon.

  5. Your cake looks delicious and easy to make. Also it’s made from ingredients I have on hand usually.

    You mentioned a comment that did not appear. I haven’t seen it when going over new comments, I hope you will send it again. Good to hear from you.

    best… mae at

    1. Thanks Mae, yes that is the beauty of these kind of cakes, cake bakers generally have these ingredients on hand.

  6. that is one very interesting method to make a cake! Sounds tasty :)

    1. Thanks Sherry, I was surprised how delicious a cake with just nutmeg as the spice actually is. It's a cinch to make really.


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really enjoy hearing from you.
If you would like to receive follow up comments, simply click the "Notify me" link to the right of the "Publish" and "preview" buttons.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.
(c)2014-2022 Copyright on articles and photographs by Hope Pauline McNee