Nutmeg & Vanilla Cake


My mother was an amazing baker. She would always bake our birthday cakes, and she was experimental with flavors too. The first cake she ever taught me how to bake was a Victorian sponge cake, although I learnt of its actual name only as an adult. As kids, we called it a plain vanilla cake. This recipe has become a base recipe for me to build several variations like a pineapple upside cake, this nutmeg cake, vanilla chocolate chip cake and more. I can’t remember the exact occasions when my mom would bake this nutmeg cake, but I do remember the excitement at home when we would get a whiff of the nutmeg floating in the air while it was baking in the oven. Sometimes words don’t adequately express or capture the memories.

My mother passed away when I was 10 years old, before I got a chance to learn her recipes. But I remember the taste and flavor of her cooking, and I’ve been trying to recreate so many of her dishes as an adult. It’s such an emotional process to experiment and nail the flavors, but I have been successful, and it’s been so nice to share the food with my family and tell them stories from my childhood along with my memories associated with the food. It’s been a journey to try and reconnect to my mom through cooking. About 2-3 years ago I realized the smell and taste I remembered was of nutmeg. So, knowing my mom’s basic recipe I tweaked it to include nutmeg, and I replaced white sugar with brown sugar to add a rich caramel flavor to the cake.

This cake is so easy to bake and it’s an absolute hit with my family and friends now. It feels like a warm cozy hug while under a fluffy blanket. Try the recipe out and you’ll know what I’m taking about 😊


250 gms All-purpose Flour

250 gms brown sugar

250 gms eggs ( 4-5 eggs)

250 gms unsalted butter, softened

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg powder (you can add more if you want a stronger flavor)

1tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp milk

A pinch of salt


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease one 10 inch cake pan or two 8 inch cake pans with cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add in one egg at a time and continue beating the mixture on a low speed, mixing until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt together.
  5. With the mixer still running on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix. Scrape the bowl (the batter should be thick). Add in the vanilla essence and milk and mix on a low speed. The batter is of a dropping consistency (meaning that a spoonful of the batter will leisurely drop or slide off a downward-facing spoon).
  6. Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The cakes are ready when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with a moist crumb or two.
  7. Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 15 minutes. Now run a knife around their edges and remove them from their pans, peeling off the parchment before placing them right side up onto a cooling rack to finish cooling to room temperature.

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