Groaning Cake: as featured in The Birth House


I recently finished reading The Birth House by Ami McKay. This recipe is mentioned several times. At first it appealed to me because it sounds delicious. As I continued reading it, the biggest part of the appeal became the sense of tradition, womanhood and community that were represented through this cake. The book states, “the tradition of groaning cake, or kimbly at (or following) a birth is an ancient one. Wives’ tales say the scent of a groaning cake baked in the birth house helps to ease the mother’s pain”.”

This afternoon I am off to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a good friend’s new baby. It seemed almost serendipitous that I should come across such a perfect recipe for the occasion.

2 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups apple (grated, no skin)
1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients except sugar. Add apple and stir well.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, orange juice, molasses and sugar and combine thoroughly.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix well. Stir in almond extract. Divide batter evenly between 2 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes until loaves are golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Additions: raisins, dates, dried fruits, or nuts.

Cut each loaf into 12.
3 Weight watchers points plus per slice

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