White Wheat Cake (Episode 6)

Episode 6 Recipe + Notes

Empty flour shelves during the pandemic weren’t just a passing annoyance for home bakers – they also showed flour supply chains are way more fragile than they should be in the era of climate change. Luckily, the regional millers we talked with in this episode are working to make our daily bread more resilient. And resilient is delicious! You’ll see as much the moment this White Wheat Cake – starring an Appalachian-grown and -milled grain – comes out of the oven.

Recipe for White Wheat Cake

This recipe comes from the Southern Ground cookbook by Jennifer Lapidus, who’s the founder of Carolina Ground. Recipe and accompanying notes are reprinted below with permission.

Left: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lapidus. Above: Southern Ground is a fantastic cookbook if you want to bake with more whole grains. Find recipes that use Southern-grown grains, but most of which also adapt well to grains grown around the country.


Inspired by the flavors of a Sachertorte, with bitter chocolate, apricot jam, and almond extract and the texture of an Italian semolina cake, I originally developed this recipe using Khorasan (Kamut) wheat, but it has evolved to embrace the availability of North Carolina–grown Appalachian White wheat. If you live out west, Khorsan or White Sonora works well—whatever you have available to you. I chose to make this a small (7-inch) cake, because I find that I tend to only make large cakes for celebrations, but a small cake like this is a lovely dessert any   time. To increase the size of the cake, just double the recipe and bake the batter in a 9-inch springform pan.


  • 57g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
  • 56.5g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 2 heaping tablespoons apricot jam
  • 104g (¾ cup) whole white wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 82g (⅓ cup) buttermilk
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 45g (1.5 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao), coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper cut to fit, then grease the pan and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Adjust to low speed and add the egg yolk and jam, then increase the speed and mix until fluffy.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Measure the buttermilk into a bowl and stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture in two additions, mixing only until incorporated after each addition. Add the chocolate and mix until just incorporated.
  6. In a separate medium bowl, whip the egg white until it holds stiff peaks. By hand, gently fold the beaten egg white into the batter, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake until the cake springs back when you touch the center lightly and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool 5 to 7 minutes before removing from springform pan. Cool completely on cooling rack before serving.
  9. Store covered in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days.

Episode Summary

Empty flour shelves during the pandemic weren’t just a passing annoyance for all the quarantined sourdough converts. They were also a sign that our food system and its industrialized supply chains are fragile, which isn’t so great in the era of climate change. In this episode, host Caroline Saunders traces the past 150 years of flour history, and the efforts by millers like Kevin Morse and Jennifer Lapidus to bring flour back to its regional roots. Jennifer Lapidus shares a recipe for white wheat cake, available on www.sustainablebaker.com

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