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New England spider cake

If you're after an ethereally light and fluffy cake, this one's not for you. A dense and delicious number, it has a just-set cream top that's crying out for a generous drizzle of maple syrup. And who are we to refuse? In New England this is served with crisp bacon for breakfast, but we like it as a dig-in dessert, too.

You'll need

500 ml (2 cups) milk 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice 165 gm (3/4 cup) caster sugar 130 gm coarse polenta 110 gm (3/4 cup) plain flour ¾ tsp baking powder 2 eggs Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste Pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve 20 gm butter, diced 200 ml pouring cream Pure icing sugar, for dusting (optional) Maple Syrup, to serve


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Combine milk and lemon juice in a bowl and leave to curdle (2-3 minutes). Mix sugar, polenta, flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl to combine. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and curdled milk and whisk until smooth.
  • 02
  • Melt butter in a 30cm-diameter ovenproof cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add batter, then pour cream into the centre. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and set (50 minutes to 1 hour). Stand for 20 minutes, then dust with extra cinnamon and icing sugar, and serve warm topped with maple syrup.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Spicy mulled cider.

Featured in

Jun 2016

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