Authentic Gateau de Sirop: Louisiana Cane Syrup Cake

Eleanor Rose

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#1
old-fashioned-syrup-cake-4.jpg

I grew up enjoying biscuits with cane syrup, but I never knew about Cane Syrup Cake until fairly recently. My grandparents ate cane syrup and biscuits for breakfast almost every day of their lives. The difference in the taste between cane syrup and maple syrup is vast. Both are sweet, but that’s where the similarities end. Cane syrup has a much more robust flavor and appearance. It can best be described as hearty syrup.

I well remember sitting at my grandparents table watching my grandmother pour warm cane syrup into a bowl and mix in softened butter. Then she would instruct me to “sop it up” with her fresh hot biscuits. As I was doing some research on cane syrup, I came across several recipes for Cane Syrup Cake - a dish that is at least 100 years old with Cajun origins. I adapted the one below from an old article in the Times Picayune.

Gateau de Sirop: Louisiana Cane Syrup Cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup of pure cane syrup, (recommend Steen’s*)
1/3 cup boiling water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8 by 4 in loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate bowl (it will need to be big enough to mix in the flour mixture), combine the shortening, sugar, syrup and boiling water and stir to blend. Add in egg and whisk to combine.

Stir in flour mixture a little at a time to the shortening mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted through the center of the cake.

Allow cake to cool before turning it out to prevent it from sticking to the sides. Dust the top with powdered sugar.

Slice and serve while still warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and a drizzle of cane syrup.


Note: Steen’s syrup is available at www.steensyrup.com.

21f6a888451b794e160714cc8bf641bf--new-orleans-louisiana-cooking-ingredients.jpg
 

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Eleanor Rose

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#3
Ellie. Glad to see that you and Doug survived the hurricane and are safe. This recipe looks absolutely delicious and reminds me of a gingerbread cake. My grandmother used a lot of pure cane syrup in her recipes and it certainly added a tremendous flavor. David.
Thanks David! We're dealing with some localized flooding, but the weather has cleared. Sounds like some rain may be heading in your direction. If so, stay safe and dry my friend.
 

Eleanor Rose

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#6
My only question is how sweet the cake really is, because of the cane sugar. I have to get pickier about my sugar intake. Otherwise the cake does look good.
This is a densely sweet cake. It is meant to be made as a single layer and served in small portion sizes. A small piece with coffee (or better yet café au lait) is satisfying. Hope that helps a little.
 

alan polk

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Jun 11, 2012
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2,049
#7
I have not had that particular cake before, but I’m sure I’d love it considering how much I like cane and molasses. Cane syrup is a bit more earthy than molasses, at least in my opinion, and is why I prefer cane to molasses. I will certainly try to make it. Thanks for posting!

Just for kicks, here are a few recipes locked away in my 3x great grandma’s cook book that involve syrup.

My great grandmother used to make the following cake she got from her grandmother (my 3x) and she would often substitute cane for molasses in it. I inherited the cookbook and the recipe was from an 1868 newspaper:
EC4D04CF-55B0-44D5-A0CC-04E8C9FD2F12.jpeg


In that same 1868 article was a recipe for Johnny Cake (hoe cake, as we call it). It also called for molasses but I bet would be great with cane syrup:


0B46D37F-8B9A-40D4-A3FA-0C9CA8C13FB8.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
13,819
Location
north central florida
#10
old-fashioned-syrup-cake-4.jpg

I grew up enjoying biscuits with cane syrup, but I never knew about Cane Syrup Cake until fairly recently. My grandparents ate cane syrup and biscuits for breakfast almost every day of their lives. The difference in the taste between cane syrup and maple syrup is vast. Both are sweet, but that’s where the similarities end. Cane syrup has a much more robust flavor and appearance. It can best be described as hearty syrup.

I well remember sitting at my grandparents table watching my grandmother pour warm cane syrup into a bowl and mix in softened butter. Then she would instruct me to “sop it up” with her fresh hot biscuits. As I was doing some research on cane syrup, I came across several recipes for Cane Syrup Cake - a dish that is at least 100 years old with Cajun origins. I adapted the one below from an old article in the Times Picayune.

Gateau de Sirop: Louisiana Cane Syrup Cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup of pure cane syrup, (recommend Steen’s*)
1/3 cup boiling water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8 by 4 in loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a separate bowl (it will need to be big enough to mix in the flour mixture), combine the shortening, sugar, syrup and boiling water and stir to blend. Add in egg and whisk to combine.

Stir in flour mixture a little at a time to the shortening mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted through the center of the cake.

Allow cake to cool before turning it out to prevent it from sticking to the sides. Dust the top with powdered sugar.

Slice and serve while still warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and a drizzle of cane syrup.


Note: Steen’s syrup is available at www.steensyrup.com.

21f6a888451b794e160714cc8bf641bf--new-orleans-louisiana-cooking-ingredients.jpg
New cake on me,have to see what the boss thinks.
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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Feb 15, 2015
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Location
New York, New York
#13
Sounds tempting, but awfully sweet!

Love these old time recipes and accompanying stories. I think that's what makes cooking and baking such a treat, the sharing of not only food, but also tradition and in turn it creates a sense of community among people. Like here on the forum and at pot luck church events or even in baking courses I've taken. Food really does bring folks together!
 
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