Mastic Cake and a Baby

She’s finally arrived – Little Miss Spice was born on 22 April, weighing 7lbs 4 (3.3kg).  We’re now back at home and trying to get used to our new life which seems to be full of an endless cycle of washing, changing nappies, crying, feeding, sleeping and starting all over again so I’m not sure how much blogging is going to get done over the next few weeks (I have been writing this post for almost a week!).   But, she’s worth it, and absolutely gorgeous.

It’s hard to remember life before she arrived but a few weeks ago I was reading a post on Katrina’s blog, Culinary Flavours, about a Greek mastic flavoured pastry.   I’d never heard of mastic and so was delighted when Katrina very kindly offered to send me some.  It is a resin from the mastic tree and has an unusual pine/cedar type flavour.  Have a look at Katrina’s blog for more information about it.

Well, when I received the mastic I was in a cake baking mood and so I decided to make a mastic scented cake.  I researched flavours that go with mastic and came up with cardamom and decided to make a mastic and cardamom cake.   I was advised that mastic is a very strong flavour and can be an acquired taste and so to use very little to begin with.   I found a basic recipe and halved all the quantities to make a smaller cake and used less than the recommended amount of mastic too. I added cardamom hoping that it would balance out the mastic and go well with the ground almond, but in the end I couldn’t taste the cardamom as the mastic overpowered it. Overall, it was a lovely soft almondy cake but I couldn’t decide whether I liked the mastic or not.   It was different and interesting but part of me thought, I would rather just eat almond and cardamom cake as the mastic left a slight aftertaste.  Maybe I overdid it a little.   Next time I will add just a pinch of ground mastic and will up the cardamom. So, even though this was not a complete success, I’m pleased to have tried something new and especially grateful to Katrina for sending the mastic.


125g ground almonds

125g icing sugar

110g butter

2 eggs

75g self-raising flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

2g mastic(but would use much less next time)

1 tsp caster sugar

2 cardamom pods

How to Make Mastic and Cardamom Cake

1. Put the mastic, caster sugar and the seeds from 2 cardamom pods in a spice grinder.    Grind to a powder.   Put this powder in a large mixing bowl with the ground almonds, icing sugar and butter.    Cream together.

2. Add the egg and beat with a whisk.  Then add the self-raising flour and baking powder and whisk until everything is combined.

3. Put the mixture in a greased cake tin and bake in the oven at about 170C for 45 minutes.

15 thoughts on “Mastic Cake and a Baby

  1. kitchen flavours says:

    Hi Corina,
    Congratulations on your baby girl! So happy to hear about your new bundle of joy!
    And that cake looks moist, I have not heard of mastic before, am pretty curious now, I’ll google for more info later on.
    Take care, get plenty of rest (if you can!). Congratulations to you and your family!

  2. jacquelineroll says:

    Congratulations on your baby girl Corina. I’m sure you are discovering a new way of life altogether now!
    I had never even heard of mastic before so thanks for blogging about it. The cakes looks perfect to be served with afternoon tea 🙂

  3. Fiona Maclean says:

    Many congrats! I thought mastic was something you used in DIY, so quite curious about using it in cooking – personally I think the cake looks lovely and I’d probably just make it without the mastic if the ‘acquired’ taste isn’t that great…!

  4. Katerina says:

    First of all congratulations on the new arrival! Being a mom in my opinion is the most difficult and yet happy task I have ever undertaken (you will get to realize it as she grows up)! The cake looks very moist and delicious. Perhaps next time put less amount of mastic in it if it was too strong but remember when you put mastic to something do not bother adding anything else because its flavour will overpower all the other ingredients. Try making some custard with it or ice cream if you have the time. They are really good with mastic! Take care!

    • Corina says:

      Thank you. I’m so happy but it’s exhausting. I’m finding it difficult to find time for anything except look after the baby at the moment but I’ll do my best to write something soon.

    • Corina says:

      Thanks Tandy. Everything is going well but I am just so busy I have hardly any time for blogging or reading my favourite blogs but I’m hoping in a few weeks it’ll get easier.

  5. MaryMoh says:

    Congratulations on your baby girl, Corina!! It’s wonderful to know that you still blog even though you are very busy. I actually wonder how you can still do it! 😀 Thanks very much for sharing a lovely recipe.

  6. kitchen flavours says:

    Hi Corina,
    Thank you for your visits!
    How is little baby doing? You must be extremely busy! Take care and try to sleep when baby takes a nap! Easy for me to say! Dozens of chores to do when baby takes a nap! Wish you a great weekend with your family! 🙂

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