Spice Cake ‒ Maustekakku

Random facts about Finnish coffee culture #12: Coffee came to Europe through Arabs. Although the biggest producers in the modern world are Brazil and Vietnam, in Finland the association to Arabs is still live and well. Camel caravans are pictured in coffee packets, the most famous cup factory is called Arabia and coffee spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger is labeled Arabian coffee.

The last one of the four dry cakes I'm posting has several names: spice cake, buttermilk cake, raisin cake or Arabian coffee cake. In the latter case it usually also has an icing featuring margarine, coffee, icing sugar and cinnamon. The spice blend here is very medieval, and foods like that are typically eaten only during December nowadays (as in gingerbread), but somehow this classic has managed to last all year round.

The biggest differences between recipe versions come from that spice blend. The spices themselves stay pretty much the same, but some like to add more cinnamon, some more cardamom and some more clove. I'm used to a bit stronger flavours than most Finns I guess, so my version has a double portion of them all.  There are also strong opinions on whether it should include raisins or not. Decide for yourself!

- 4.5 dl wheat flour
- 3 dl oat or soy yogurt
- 100 g margarine
- 1 dl sugar
- 1 dl raisins (optional)
- 2 tsp ground clove
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp baking soda

Combine dry ingredients, including raisins if you're using them. Melt the margarine. Mix in the melted margarine and yogurt as well. Pour into a ring-shaped cake mold, which you've greased and breadcrumbed. Bake for about an hour in 175°C.

Nutritional values / 840 g:
energy 2903 kcal
fat 85 g
protein 55 g
carbohydrates 328 g
fiber 19 g


  1. Mmmmm... I love spiced desserts. This sounds so yummy and fancy and really easy to make too. Will have to try it out soon.

    1. By the way, I found your blog through Rando MoFo. :)

    2. Think one of the best things in MoFo is just clicking through Randomofo and discovering completely new favourites. :)

  2. this sounds sooo good! I love spicy treats like this, even all year round. Also, I am intrigued by the idea of coffee spiked with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger!?

    1. Should try that myself actually. I do sometimes toss a little cinnamon in coffee, but never quite this chai-like combo.

  3. I'm really enjoying your MoFo theme. The random facts about Finnish coffee culture have been fun and interesting. I love that this one explains why a dinnerware company in Finland is named "Arabia". The recipes have been great, too. So far, I've saved about half of them as things I want to try. I usually prefer cake without icing but the description of the icing for Arabian coffee cake sounds so good, I'm definitely going to add it to the spice cake. Thanks for all of your hard work on this!

    1. Awesome! :) The name of the factory actually doesn't come from that lucky coincidence though, but their factory was originally built in Arabianranta, Helsinki. Finland is full of names referring to faraway places like that and they're all from the industrialisation period. In my home city Tampere there's for example Siberia, Sixtus Chapel and the pass of Thermopylae.


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