Rosalie's Tom & Jerry Cake

Saturday 18 May 2019

I guess it must have been a few months ago, my friend Noelle (who lives in Nova Scotia) was talking on Facebook about her mother's recipe for a Tom & Jerry Cake that she was baking in the oven and how lovely it smelled while it was baking.

I was instantly intrigued.  I had never heard of a Tom & Jerry Cake and my family goes way back in Nova Scotia's history to its very earliest days.  

The fact that it was one of her family recipes really interested me.  

I love recipes with a family history.  Taste (in my opinion) is a really important part of the fabric of a family. It seems to me that food and recipes with a family history taste all the better for that fact.

I asked her about the recipe and she very generously shared it with me and I know she will be really pleased that I finally baked it and am sharing it with you.  

Recipes shared in friendship are really special indeed.  I have a big blue vinyl binder filled with such things and let me tell you it is a family treasure . . .

A real treasure trove of friendship and family and love in the form of recipes just like this one . . . with a touch of special love built into each one.  

I Published a volume of some of the best of those a number of years back in a book I called, what else but  . . .  Recipes From the Big Blue Binder.

I finally got around to baking the cake today and let me tell you it did not disappoint!  Not one whit! Not surprisingly it was a true winner of a spice cake

It smelled like pure heavenly bliss when it was baking.  The batter is broken into two layers.  

You make a vanilla batter and then you remove some of it and add molasses, cocoa powder and warm baking spices to it, which creates a lovely, spiced batter that you fold sultana raisins into.

 This spicy batter gets spooned into a prepped bundt tin and then the vanilla batter gets spooned over top.  

I used the full amount of spice that Noelle recommended, but if you are not overly fond of spice you can cut them back a bit if you like.

When baking the vanilla batter sinks a bit into the spiced batter making a lovely pattern in the cake as you can see.

I dusted the finished cake with icing sugar  . . .  but that is just me, because . . .  I like plain cakes prettied up a bit with a dusting of sugar.

If you are not fond of raisins, you could leave them out I guess.  We like raisins so I had no problem with them being in there.

This truly is a lovely cake . . .  with a moist and delicious crumb . . .  somewhat dense . . .

This is a cake that goes well with hot drinks . . .  or cold glasses of milk  . . .

I also think for special occasions a nice scoop of vanilla on top would go down a real treat! Thank you so much for sharing with me Noelle!

Rosalie's Tom & Jerry Cake

Yield: 16
A beautiful two toned cake which you can bake in either a bundt tin or  a deep 9 inch cake tin.  Two batters, a spicy gingerbread type studded with sultanas and a lovely vanilla cake are baked together to give you a moist and delicious cake that the whole family will enjoy. A gift from my good friend  in Nova Scotia, Noelle.   It is a lovely dense  & delicious cake that is well enjoyed with a hot cuppa or a glass of milk.


Tom Layer:
  • 220g butter (1 cup)
  • 380g sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 420g plain flour (3 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240ml milk (1 cup)
Jerry Layer:
  • 2 TBS dark cocoa powder, sifted (not drinking mix)
  • 3 TBS mild molasses
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 115g sultana raisins (3/4 cup)


How to cook Rosalie's Tom & Jerry Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter and flour a large Bundt pan or a deep 9 inch round tin.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla for the Tom layer together until very light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, making 3 dry and two wet additions.
  3. Remove 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter to another bowl. (The amount depends on your preference of how much spice batter you want. I removed 1/2 of the batter.)  To this batter beat in by hand the molasses, spices, cocoa powder until well incorporated and then fold in the raisins.
  4. Spoon the spice batter into your prepared pan. Spoon the vanilla batter on top and smooth out.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the cake tests done.  You may need to cover the top with some aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes or so if you think it is getting too brown.
  5. Let sit in the tin for 15 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. I dusted mine with icing sugar.


Noelle's Notes - Mom always used canned milk. My sister uses less of the molasses, spices and cocoa but I like my spice batter to be dark and rich. (I used it all and it was lovely.)   I have written the recipe not as mom wrote it because as you know, the best recipes are just jotted down and never include what to do with the ingredients.  At 350*F I find the cake in my oven usually bakes in about 1 1/4 hours.  I have lowered the temperature to 325*F (165*C/gas mark 3) and baked it for 1 1/2 successfully.
Created using The Recipes Generator 

Noelle probably doesn't know this, but when I was a small child my father used to read to me every night.  One of my favourite stories was a book I had about Tom & Jerry.  If I close my eyes I can still hear my father's voice in my head reading it to me.  

He would affect different voices for each character.  I think the high squeaky one he did for Jerry Mouse was my favourite!  In the book it was a really fine day, and Jerry and his little friend Tuffy decided it was the perfect day for a picnic. 

 Of course this involved stealing food from the big people's kitchen.  I am quite sure if this cake was there it would totally be on their menu! 


  1. Sweet post and beautiful cake..I loved the Tom and Jerry cartoons on TV:)

    1. Oh me too Monique! I don't like the cartoons they have today. I am an old fuddy duddy I guess! xoxo

  2. I'd like a piece of that right now! And ah, memories!

    1. And you would be welcome to have one Jeanie! Its a fabulous cake! xoxo

  3. I have to ask Noelle does she live in Halifax? I am also friends with her and saw her Facebook post. I was trying to find this recipe. We would go to Nova Scotia every summer going up. Tom and jerry cake was one of my favorite.

    1. Technically she lives in Dartmouth, but I said Halifax because I always closely associate the two as being the same general area and I didn't think my readers would be familiar with Dartmouth, but they would be Halifax. This is truly a fabulous cake. Time to bake another one methinks! xoxo

  4. I’m also from Nova Scotia and my grandmother made this every year but we had cherries in the white side. One of my favourites!

    1. Oh, I am so sorry for the late response! Almost a year. I am usually much quicker than that! I love the idea of cherries on the white side! xo

  5. This is the same recipe my grandmother handed down to me. The only difference is she never put cocoa in hers. It has become my favorite Christmas cake except for the cloves which are too strong for my system. Love, love it!

    1. You are right about it being a great cake for Christmas! It's a real favorite here any time of year! Happy Christmas! xo


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