It’s important that you have a nice cake alternative for the holidays so we’re providing a recipe Tiffany Christy – Pastry Chef at Larks Home Kitchen Restaurant in Ashland, Oregon. Larks is part of the Ashland Springs Hotel.

Tiffany started baking at 14 and had her first apprenticeship by 16. By 18 and 19 she attended the Western Culinary Institute and went on to become pastry chef at McCormick & Schmick’s. At 22 she relocated and started at the Ashland Springs Hotel. He quickly moved up to head Pastry Chef and it is easy to understand why. Tiffany won the Iron Pie competition in 2007 and Silver at Bite of Rogue Valley Iron Chef competition in 2008. We were delighted she shared her spic cake with us. It tastes as good as it looks.

The most difficult process is the buttercream frosting. For those who want to make Tiffany’s wondeful cake but have an easier recipe, I’ll post one tomorrow.

Spice Cake with Pear Compote and Neo Classic Buttercream Icing
3 Eggs
6 Yolks
3/4 C. Buttermilk
1 1/2 T. Vanilla
21/4 C. Flour
2 1/2 C. Sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 T. Cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. allspice
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 C. + 2T. Oil


  • Pre-heat oven to 325
  • Spray and parchment two 9-inch cake rounds.
  • Combine first four ingredients in bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Place the next set of ingredients in a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Add the butter to the flour mixture (mixer on low speed) until the butter is equally
  • distributed, than add the oil. Slowly add in the egg mixture until well combined; mixture should be fluffy and light in color.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until tops are darks and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from pan and let cool on racks.

    Pear compote:
    4 ripe pears of your choice
    1/4Cup Brown Sugar
    1/2 T Powdered Ginger


  • Peel and small dice pears.
  • Add the brown sugar and ginger to diced pears and let rest.

    Neo Classic Buttercream Icing:
    6 Large Egg Yolks
    3/4 Cup Sugar
    1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
    2 Cups (1 pound) Softened Butter
    2-4 Tbsp. Liqueur or Eau-de-Vie of your choice (optional) Maralyn and Brenda always use light rum.

    Ground Hazelnuts


  • Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the range.
  • Beat the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer until light in color.
  • Meanwhile, combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and syrup comes to a rolling boil (238 degrees). (The entire surface will be covered with bubbles).
  • Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.
  • In a stand mixer pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off.
  • Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Continue beating until completely cool.
  • Gradually beat in the butter and, if desired, any optional flavoring.
  • Place in an airtight bowl.
  • Bring to room temperature before using.
  • If you must reheat it to restore texture, only do so after it has reached room temperature or it may curdle.

    Optional Chef’s Tip: To add chocolate to the buttercream, use about 6 ounces of melted, cooled chocolate.

    To Assemble:

  • Trim edges off cake so they are even.
  • Slice each layer in half.
  • Put first layer of cake on serving plate (or cover disk with foil and place on that).
  • Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the layer to keep it moist.
  • Place some of the pear compote (or any fruit filling) over icing.
  • Apply next layers and repeat. (If you build up the outside edge of frosting, it will help keep the cake even.
  • Apply frosting to top and sides.
  • Use a smooth edge to even side and top.
  • Optional: take ground hazelnuts (or any type) and lightly rub on sides.

    If you get a chance, you may want to try Larks at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel.
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    Maralyn D. Hill and Brenda C. Hill
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