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What Is a Spelt Cake?

Jack Magnus
Jack Magnus

A spelt cake is a cake made with spelt, an ancient type of wheat. There are many spelt cake recipes available. One can also adjust a favorite recipe by substituting spelt for regular flour. Cake mixes containing spelt are a convenient way to prepare such a cake or one can find pre-made spelt cakes in many health food stores.

Flour made from spelt is very similar in consistency and texture to red winter wheat flour. Red winter wheat is the type of wheat most commonly used for regular all-purpose flour. Sprouted spelt flour also is available and is sometimes used by people with special dietary needs.

Spelt was cultivated in the ancient Middle East.
Spelt was cultivated in the ancient Middle East.

Spelt has been cultivated for thousands of years and was grown in Mesopotamia and the areas surrounding it. It has been a food crop in Europe for at least 300 years, and has been grown in the United States since the late 1800s. This grain has been used primarily as feed for cattle and other animals, and is comparable to barley and oatmeal in terms of its protein and nutrient contents.

Citrus zest is used to make spelt cake.
Citrus zest is used to make spelt cake.

People who have wheat allergies are often able to eat products made with spelt flour. This is because spelt flour is very low in gluten, the prime allergen in wheat. Those who are on carbohydrate-restricted diets also are able to use spelt, because it is high in protein and fiber.

There are many mixes for spelt cakes available on the market. Most spelt cake mixes can be adapted to suit one’s tastes. A basic pound cake mix can be used to make a number of different cakes by adding fruit, coffee or nuts. A spiced spelt cake mix can be made into an applesauce cake or gingerbread. Coffee cake mixes can be enhanced with the addition of raisins, nuts or jam.

For those who enjoy baking, there are a number of recipes for spelt cake. One can make a cheesecake with a spelt crust using basic ingredients such as flour, eggs and sugar. Pound cake recipes designed for spelt flour produce rich, buttery cakes that are considered indistinguishable from winter wheat flour versions.

A citrus spelt cake can be made by adding lemon juice, orange juice and zest to a pound cake mix. Zest is the grated peel of citrus fruit. It can be purchased, or one can grate the peel of fresh citrus fruit, taking care to only grate the actual peel and not the bitter white inner layer.

If one has a favorite recipe that uses wheat flour, it can usually be made with spelt flour, though it may be necessary to add a little extra liquid to the mixed ingredients. There may be a bit of trial and error required to adjust the flour-to-liquid proportions. The flours are quite similar, though, so any adjustments will usually be minor.

Discussion Comments


If you need to add extra fiber to your diet, it is a good idea to replace white flour with spelt flour in your recipes. The taste is great, and the fiber content is higher which will benefit your health.


I bake a lot with spelt flour, and I have found that adding honey to spelt recipes makes a nice combination of flavor and moisture. It compliments the spelt much better than sugar does, and make the finished bread or cake fluffier than sugar does.

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    • Spelt was cultivated in the ancient Middle East.
      By: bogdanserban
      Spelt was cultivated in the ancient Middle East.
    • Citrus zest is used to make spelt cake.
      By: alexlukin
      Citrus zest is used to make spelt cake.