Brenda Stanley
Belle's Crazy Spice Cake is mixed up in the pan.

There is something about the spicy sweetness of ginger. I love using it in all types of recipes whether it is fresh and grated into stir-fries or dried and baked into all types of sweets.

One of my favorites is a dessert I call Crazy Spice Cake. I have no idea how it got that name, but I think when my mother used to make it, I would watch and think it was crazy. The reason is, this cake is mixed completely in the pan. You measure in the dry ingredients and then make several hollows and that is where you put the wet ingredients. You then stir it all together with a fork.

It bakes up moist and sweet, and the best part is the rich and tangy sauce that is drizzled over each piece while it’s still warm. It soaks into the cake and is simply delicious.


Belle’s Crazy Spice Cake

1½ cups flour

½ cup sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients in an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. Make three craters.

In one crater, place the oil, in another put the vanilla, and in the last one put the vinegar. Pour the water over the top of everything and then mix well with a fork. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. When it is all mixed together, bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. While the cake it baking, make the topping.


3 tablespoons butter

3 teaspoons flour

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

Orange juice

Melt the butter and whisk in the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk in just enough orange juice to thin into a sauce.

When cake is done, cut into squares and drizzle the hot topping over the top.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. Her website is at