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Seed Cake – Inspired by Literature

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.” Seed cake recipe reprinted with permission from my book,”Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner.”
Servings 8 or so


  • 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
  • 1-½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup evaporated cane sugar *
  • cup hemp flax or canola oil
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • cup raisins
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • 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.