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Seed Cake

In her lusty soliloquy in Ulysses, Molly Bloom recalls “the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth.” Here’s the seed cake recipe from my book. Containing leavening and seeds, it’s not suitable for Passover, but can be enjoyed throughout the rest of spring, throughout the whole year. Plus, who else will give you a seed cake recipe, Job and James Joyce together in one Meatless Monday post? Only me, folks. Yessssss.


  • 1 cup unsweetened soy or hemp milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds also known as flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole anise seeds
  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar*
  • 1/2 cup hemp flax or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Lightly grease an 8” round cake pan or a 9”x5” loaf pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine soy milk with flax, chia and anise seeds. Stir lightly to combine and let sit while you assemble the other ingredients.
  • In a large bowl sift together whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder. Grate in lemon zest.
  • In another bowl, mix together evaporated cane sugar, hemp or canola oil, apple sauce and lemon juice. Add to dry mixture, along with the soy milk, which, thanks to the seeds, will have thickened madly. Stir together, then fold in the raisins.
  • Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is golden, puffed and a tester inserted in the center comes away crumb-free and clean. You can also give it a gentle poke with a finger. It springs back perfectly when baked through.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Wrapped well and refrigerated, it keeps for several days.


*Less processed than white sugar, it looks similar to light brown sugar. It’s sold in natural food stores and in many supermarkets. It’s the go-to sugar in all “Feeding the Hungry Ghost” recipes.