This nutmeg cake is based on a traditional Armenian recipe and it's one of my all-time favorites. I like to think of this cake as reverse coffee cake - with the crispy bits on the bottom instead of the top. This is how it works - Brown sugar, flour and butter are pulsed together in a food processor. Half of the mixture is used as-is to form a cookie-like layer on the bottom of the pan. Milk, leavening and lots of grated fresh nutmeg is added to the remaining crumb mixture and poured on top. The result is a crisp, buttery, caramel-like crust on the bottom with a light and airy cake on top – heady with the flavor and fragrance of the fresh nutmeg. —eva @myfrontburner
dark brown sugar
unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch spring form pan.
Pulse brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in food processor. Add butter and pulse mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs. Spread half (about 3 cups) of the mixture over the base of the pan. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, lightly pat the mixture down.
Whisk the milk, egg, nutmeg and baking soda together in a small bowl. Pour milk mixture into food processor with remaining crumbs and pulse until just combined, about 8 pulses. Pour cake mixture into the cake pan over the top of the dry mixture. Bake until skewer comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool in pan until it begins to pull away from the sides, about 10 minutes. Release the sides and cool completely. Sift confectioners sugar over the top of the cooled cake before serving.