Groaning Cake



Groaning Cake Recipe

 The tradition of the groaning cake, or kimbly, at (or following) a birth is an ancient one.  Wives’ tales say that the scent of a groaning cake being baked in the birth house helps to ease the mother’s pain.  Some say if a mother breaks the eggs while she’s aching, her labour won’t last as long.  Others say that if a family wants prosperity and fertility, the father must pass pieces of the cake to friends and family the first time the mother and baby are “churched” (or the first time they go to a public gathering) after a birth.  Many cultures share similar traditions – a special dish, bread, or dish or drink, spiced with cinnamon, allspice and/or ginger.  At one time there was even a “groaning ale” to go with it!

– From The Birth House, Ami McKay

I made this recipe for my dear friend after she gave birth since I read this book about a month before she was due!  A very good read and I highly recommend it : )


2 ½ cups of flour (Half whole wheat, half white)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

3 eggs

1 ½ cups apple, peeled and grated

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 250F
  2. Line the bottoms of two loaf tins with parchment.  Oil the sides with vegetable oil.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs.  Add apple, oil, orange juice, molasses, sugar and almond extract.  Blend well.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well.
  6. Divide batter between two prepared load tins.
  7. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

Modify to make it your own by using about a cup of raisins, dates, dried fruits or nuts.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s