Groaning Cake Recipe | Postpartum Recipes | PBS Food

Groaning cakes are a traditional recipe packed with nutrients for postpartum care. (Recipe Courtesy of Aube Giroux of the Kitchen Vignettes Blog)

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  • For the Cake Batter:
  • 3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tps salt
  • Spice mix: 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp ground fennel seeds, 1 tsp ground fenugreek)
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated apple (loose, not packed in)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (loose, not packed in)
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (loose, not packed in)
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • For the cream cheese icing:
  • 1 x 8 oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spice mix, and walnuts (if using).
  2. Put the butter in a medium metal bowl and place it in the hot oven until it begins to melt a bit. Remove from the oven. Add the honey and molasses and whisk until blended. Add the rum and mix well, until heavy and silky.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the yoghurt, milk, grated apple, grated carrot, grated zucchini, and coconut. Add this to the honey-butter mixture and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently, until the batter is homogeneous. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour into an oiled and floured 10-inch springform cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes in a 350F oven. The cake is done when the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cake should be cooled for about 10 minutes in the pan, and then removed from the pan to continue cooling on a rack.
  5. To make the frosting, blend the room temperature cream cheese and maple syrup, using a hand blender or electric mixer. Refrigerate until cake has cooled. Once the cake has cooled, butter the frosting on top of the cake. Slice and serve.
  6. This cake can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum and kept for 1 to 2 days at room temperature. The cream cheese icing should be kept in the fridge until ready to use.
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