This is the first cake I’ve ever made unless you count the chocolate fridge cake but that one wasn’t baked, I even had to buy a cake tin specifically for this as I didn’t have one. Apparently the recipe has its origins in an Amish recipe from the 1720s which was adapted by the American Girl Scouts in the 1970s, it’s currently doing the rounds in the UK under the name “Herman The German Friendship Cake” and there’s even a dedicated website for it. It’s a sourdough type cake with cinnamon, apple and raisins and the idea is that the sourdough starter is split towards the end of the process and you can give some away to friends so they can make their own. If that’s not the sort of thing your friends would thank you for it is also possible to freeze the starter to use later.
I’ll not include the recipe here as I’ve simply followed the instructions I was given. To make your own starter from scratch you just need a handful of ingredients, read the process here. From there follow the full instructions here (pdf file) and after 10 days you will be ready to make the cake.
The website also has other cake recipes you can make with the same starter and even a bread recipe. I’ve made the standard one and frozen the remaining three starters and plan to try some of the other variations soon.