Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eating Spider Cider Cake and Skinnydipping with Alice, Annie, and Joybell of Alice's Tulips

Whirlpool Quilt Block

Alice has asked the Quilters' Book Club over for some of Mother Bullock's Spider Cider Cake with an invitation to go skinny dipping in the creek afterward with her and Annie and Joybell!  (We hope Mr. Samuel Smead is not around to snoop!)

Here's Mother Bullock's recipe if you'd like to make your own cake at home:

Spider-Cider Cake
¼ pound (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ of a whole nutmeg grated (1 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 cup sweet cider (plus 1 tablespoon more if at high altitude)
2 cups flour (plus 2 tablespoons more if at high altitude)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.
3.  Add baking soda and nutmeg. 
4.  Add the cider and flour to the mixture, beating until just combined. 
5.  Pour into a greased 10-inch cast iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet.
6.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. 

Although this cake does have cider in it, it does not contain spiders!  In times past, this cake was made in a spider – a cast-iron frying pan, originally made with long “spider legs” that held it above the coals on the hearth.

A cream cheese frosting is a nice, modern addition:
Combine 1 stick of butter or margarine, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and cream well.  Gradually add 1 pound of powdered sugar, beating well.  Spread on cooled cake.  (This makes more than enough frosting!)  If mixture is too thick to spread, add a small amount of milk. 

I am nearly positive I found this recipe awhile back on author Sandra Dallas' website but can't find it there now.  Enjoy!

Alice writes to her sister, "We have the best crop of apples ever you saw.  We dried apples.  We stirred up apple butter.  We cooked applesauce, enough for the whole Union army. . . But we still had trees and trees of apples. . ."  Please share an apple recipe with Alice and Mother Bullock (and the rest of us, too).  Email your apple recipe to starwoodquilter@gmail.com.

By sending an apple recipe, you are also entering your name in a giveaway for Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  The winner will be announced on June 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Hmmm, I should have plenty of apple recipes. My uncle had apple trees of many varieties. As a kid we helped sell apples along the road and picked up wind-falls for cider. Of course we enjoyed apple pie and apple-butter jam and learned to eat around the worms.

  2. Hubby makes 'aebleskivers' every January 1st, and we put diced apples in the batter (hence the 'aeble' part). It even takes a special pan to make these (we now have 2 different pans). Sprinkle them with powdered sugar after they are done. Yum! I'm hungry now!

  3. The spider pan was mentioned in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, so I knew what the author meant! Anyone remember the spider pan from LIW?


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