Kevin Belton's Cane Syrup Cake

Kevin Belton
The recipes in "Kevin Belton's Cookin' Louisiana" include a cane syrup cake. (Courtesy of Gibbs Smith)

About the recipe

Chef Kevin Belton, born and raised in New Orleans, is an affable ambassador of Louisiana flavor. His 2021 cookbook "Cookin' Louisiana" (Gibbs Smith) explores every parish of the state. The companion television series, produced by New Orleans' WYES, aired on 93% of the PBS stations in the United States. Learn more about Belton in this American South interview.

Serves: 8 to 10


2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt               

1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

1 1⁄2 cups Steen’s cane syrup

1 egg

1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda

3⁄4 cup hot water 

Cane Syrup Frosting

1⁄2 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons Steen’s cane syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 1 (9-inch) round cake pan. 

In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Stir to mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, cane syrup, and egg. Whisk to combine well. 

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the syrup mixture and then stir gently, just until the flour disappears. Add the baking soda to the hot water and then stir about half the water into the batter. Stir in another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining water, and finally the remaining flour, stirring gently each time just to mix everything well. 

Quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30–35 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched gently in the center, and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then turn it out of the pan and place it, top side up, on the wire rack to cool completely. 

Cane Syrup Frosting           

In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in half the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and the cane syrup and beat until smooth and creamy, periodically scraping down the bowl. 

Place cooled cake on a serving plate or cake stand, top side down, and generously spread the frosting over it, covering the top and sides. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Gibbs Smith.