Plantation Cupcakes

Tuesday 14 July 2020

The recipe I am sharing with you today is not only a small batch recipe, but it is incredibly nostalgic.  These are the kind of cupcakes our Grandmothers might have baked, and some of them probably did! Moist, delicious and spiced with warm baking spices!

The original recipe was published in The Farmer's Wife magazine in 1930.  It turned out to be very popular, and I am not surprised!

It won tons of blue ribbons at county fairs through the United States. It had to be a blue ribbon winner to get published in the magazine.  I got the recipe from a cookery book entitled The Farmer's Wife Baking Cookbook, over 300 blue ribbon recipes.

These are the kinds of recipes I love most of all!  Simple, comforting . . .  family friendly . . . historic. With no bells and whistles.

To be honest when something is so tasty, it doesn't need bells and whistles.  I did choose to ice them with a homemade lemon buttercream and who can blame me for dressing them up a tiny bit with some cupcake sprinkles.

Cupcakes were made for sprinkles, don't you think?

I loved having a cupcake when I was a child.  A cupcake is like having a "party" for one.  A tiny moist cake . . .  all of it just for you!

These are fabulously flavoured with warm baking spices  . . .  cinnamon and nutmeg . . .  actually the original recipe called for mace, but I didn't have any. If you do have some, feel free to substitute mace for the nutmeg.

Sweetened with molasses and brown sugar . . . which lend a depth of moistness to the cake and a wholesome sweetness . . . both go very well with warm baking spices.

I was tempted to add sultanas, but decided not to mess with the integrity of the cupcake the first time I baked them. It was enough that I was cutting the recipe in half.

The lemon frosting was one I concocted in my head.  I've always done that.  Made frosting up as I go along . . .

Its simply a couple tablespoons of room temperature butter, beaten together with 1 heaped cup of sifted icing sugar, a few drops of lemon extract and a TBS or so of cream or milk.

Just enough to give you a nice fluffy consistency.

If you like your cakes with an old fashioned flavour and flair, then this is the recipe for you!

Plantation Cupcakes

Plantation Cupcakes
Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: cook time: total time:
An old, old recipe which was first published in the Farmer's Wife Magazine in 1930. The original recipe made a dozen. I downsized to six.


  • 55g white vegetable shortening (1/4 cup)
  • 2 TBS soft light brown sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 87g molasses (1/4 cup)
  • 85g plain flour (3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 60ml milk (1/4 cup)
  • lemon buttercream frosting and sprinkles to finish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*f/ gas mark 4.  Line a 6 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Cream the shortening and sugar together until light.  Gradually beat in the egg until well mixed, then add the molasses.
  3. Sift together the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, making two dry and one wet addition until well blended.  Divide between the paper lined muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.
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If you would like to bake a full dozen cupcakes, just message me and I will be happy to send you the original full sized recipe!  In the meantime, enjoy! 


  1. These look delish, Marie. I love that combo of spices but you really had me at lemon buttercream. I'd do that on anything -- or just eat it out of the bowl!

    1. I totally agree Jeanie. Lemon Buttercream is the best! xoxo

  2. Perhaps it’s time to change the name of these? Plantations are not a thing to be celebrated. The cupcakes look beautiful though.


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