Bringing the Word In: “Scripture Cake”, Healthy Style

By on December 6, 2012

By Jennifer Cote –

When a friend suggested that we make “Scripture Cake” for our church’s Annual Women’s Christmas Dinner, I jumped at the chance to research the subject. Some date this cake back to the late 1700s; a few versions were published in the 1800s. It was also known as “Bible Cake” and “Old Testament Cake”, with some variations of ingredients, and which Bible verses were used.

As a learning tool, young bakers could become familiar with Bible verses, and decipher the riddle. I created a “cheat sheet”, as I mention the actual ingredients. But traditionally, one would need to study the scripture to determine what baking ingredient it was referring to.

Since the recipe was not set in stone, I took some liberties with it. I wanted to include a specific verse: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver,” from Proverbs 25:11. After all, my friend’s words seemed very apt, when she suggested the cake idea to me! And, adding apples to a cake made perfect sense, too, from a taste standpoint.

I also wanted to include some olive oil, as I’ve been developing more desserts lately with olive oil substituting for the butter, yielding some pleasant results. With several great verses about olive oil to choose from, this also made sense.

What didn’t make as much sense to me, were some of the old Bible verses used in the older versions! In particular, the verse for milk (or yogurt) referenced a particular occasion when a tent dweller’s wife sweetened up the unsuspecting enemy with a cup of milk, only to turn and drive a tent post through his skull. It seemed this might not be what ladies want to ponder while eating their Christmas dessert.

Whether or not you’re inspired to read up on the various scripture, the cake itself is a delicious one. I might not have thought of this exact combination of ingredients, except that I started coming across some special verses through my research. They inspired the cake recipe you’ve got here, and I hope you enjoy it during this season’s festive celebrations!

Scripture Cake

I took liberties with an original “Scripture Cake” recipe, adding extra ingredients. All-purpose flour can substitute for millet flour, which is not in everyone’s cupboard. But the millet flour added just a bit more texture, going nicely with the subtle crunch of the dried figs. It can be found in health food stores, or can be made from millet seeds, ground in a coffee/spice grinder.

Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter (Isaiah 7:14-22…He shall eat butter)
  • 1/2 c. olive oil (Numbers 11:8… “It tasted like rich pastry made with olive oil”)
  • 2 eggs (Isaiah 10:14… “as one gathers eggs…”)
  • 1/4 c. honey (Judges 14:18… “What is sweeter than honey?”)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (Jeremiah 6:20… “and the sweet cane”)
  • 3/4 c. yogurt or milk (Joel 3:18…”the hills will flow with milk”)
  • 1/2 c. each, figs and raisins (1 Samuel 30:11-12…“They gave him …a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins.)
  • 1 c. apple, about 1 medium, chopped (Proverbs 25:11…A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
  • 1/2 c. almonds (Numbers 17:8…“blossomed and produced almonds.”)
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour (Leviticus 2:5…“made of choice flour”)
  • 1 c. millet flour (Ezekiel 4:9…“Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt”)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (Luke 13:20-21…“It is like leaven”)
  • 1 tsp. salt (Colossians 4:6…“seasoned with salt”)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. cloves (2 Chronicles 9:9…“large quantities of spices”)
  • 1/4 c. butter (Isaiah 7:14-22…He shall eat butter)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (Isaiah 7:15…“He will eat curds”)
  • 1 7/8 c. confectioner’s sugar (Isaiah 43:24…“You did not buy me any sugar cane”)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour an 8×11” pan.

Beat until light and creamy: > 1/2 c. butter > 1/2 c. olive oil > 2 eggs > 1/2 c. brown sugar > 1/4 c. honey

Into the creamed mixture, mix in until blended: > 3/4 c. yogurt (or milk)

Mix all other fruit and dry ingredients in a big bowl: > 1/2 c. figs, chopped > 1/2 c. raisins > 1 c. apple, peeled and chopped > 1/2 c. almonds, slivered > 1 c. all-purpose flour > 1 c. millet flour > 1 tsp. baking soda > 1 tsp. salt  > 1 tsp. cinnamon > 1/4 tsp. cloves

Stir the creamed mixture into the bowl of other ingredients, mixing just until blended. Turn into the prepared pan, baking at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or so.

For frosting, beat well until light and creamy: > 1/4 c. butter, room temperature > 1/2 stick cream cheese (4 oz.) > 1 7/8 c. confectioner’s sugar

After cooling, frost cake.

 

Cookbook author Jennifer Cote shares recipes and her faith, starting with her first cookbook, “From the Land of Milk and Honey“. Volume II, an e-cookbook, is coming soon, in between running a café with husband Tom, grandparenting, and organic gardening. More can be found at jennifercote.org; email Jennifer at [email protected].

 

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Bringing the Word In: “Scripture Cake”, Healthy Style