Many weed lovers dream of taking a trip to Amsterdam.
A city with more than 200 “coffeeshops” where you can sample a huge selection of legal weed? What could make for a better vacation? It’s like Disneyland for grownups.
Before you book your tickets, though, we have both a warning and some valuable advice.
Here’s the warning: there’s a renewed push by Amsterdam politicians to ban foreigners from coffee shops.
Most locals simply stop into the shops, buy weed, and go home. But some tourists who visit the city just to smoke up become nuisances — at least in the eyes of people who live nearby. The ban may not happen because the city relies on tourist dollars, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Now, the advice. If you visit a coffee shop, don’t leave without trying a space cake.
Intrigued? Read on.
What Is a Space Cake?
Those who live in legal states may have seen space cakes in well-stocked local dispensaries.
However, Amsterdam’s coffeeshops can lay claim to having invented and popularized these potent goodies. And to be honest, sampling a space cake in the communal environment of a weed shop, where people are chatting, having a beverage, and getting their buzz on, is simply more enjoyable.
Let’s get to the details. The term “space cake” is now commonly used to refer to any sort of cannabis-infused cake, but it’s rigorously defined as a single-serving piece of cake that’s been infused with weed. Think about the packaged pieces of cakes they sell in convenience stores or gas stations — but tastier, fresher, and psychoactive — and you’ll get the picture.
Traditional space cakes are made with pound cake, and that’s not an accident; pound cake is loaded with butter. Butter, of course, is largely fat. And THC binds to fat, which ensures its potency and bioavailability in edibles. That’s why edibles are made with cannabutter (or canna-oil) and not with decarbed flower simply mixed into the batter.
In short, weed mixed with butter gets you higher than the weed would on its own, so pound cake is the ideal choice for making space cake.
These treats aren’t necessarily plain yellow cake, though. Chocolate, nuts, and spices are often mixed into the batter, and there are many other varieties and flavors of space cake available in coffee shops (and these days, in American dispensaries). And as we’ve mentioned, “space cake” is now often used to describe any type of marijuana-infused cake.
What Happens When You Eat a Space Cake?
You get high — but not right away. Like any edible, a space cake can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes (sometimes even longer) to kick in.
The reason is simple. When you smoke, vape, or dab weed, the smoke goes right to your lungs, and the THC quickly makes its way through the bloodstream to the brain. When you consume weed-infused products, those products must first be digested before the THC is freed to be sent to the liver and eventually to the brain. That process takes much more time, but the high is also stronger and lasts longer.
For that reason, a coffee shop is a perfect venue for enjoying space cake. You can have an espresso or some tea, kick back with friends, and wait for the effects to set in.
The high won’t always be the same. It depends on the cannabis strain used to prepare the edible and the amount of flower used to make the space cake.
Most cakes are labeled with the strain of weed they contain but not the specific dosage. They’re likely to only be described as “light,” “medium,” “strong,” or “very strong.” Those are guidelines, but they’re not guarantees. You’ll get high, but there’s no way to predict how high. Of course, for many people, that’s part of the fun.
The space cakes you can buy in many American dispensaries are often just as good, although the full experience depends on the ambiance of the place where you consume them.
And there’s no reason why you can’t make your own delicious and potent space cakes in the comfort of your own home.
Making Space Cake
There’s no “right” way to make space cake, although infusing a pound cake with weed would be the most traditional approach.
That means there are lots of recipes you can find online and in cookbooks for this yummy edible. Here’s one of our favorites, courtesy of Weedmaps.
You probably know that you can’t put raw flower into edibles because its THC hasn’t been activated. The THCA found in raw cannabis is turned into psychoactive THC when exposed to heat; that happens automatically when you smoke or vape. Otherwise, you have to do it manually through a process called decarbing (short for decarboxylation).
- Break up or grind your bud, so the pieces are the size of a grain of rice.
- Put the weed on a baking sheet covered with crumpled aluminum foil, and cover it with more foil.
- Bake at 225°-230° for 30-45 minutes until it’s golden brown. Cool.
Now, let’s make cannabutter.
- Melt ½ cup butter in a pot or double boiler (the double boiler prevents burning), and then stir in your decarbed weed.
- Cook over medium heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Filter the butter/weed mixture through cheesecloth and let the cannabutter cool in the refrigerator.
Easy so far, right? Time for the cake.
Making the Cake
This recipe makes approximately eight servings.
- Preheat oven to 350°, grease and flour an 8”x8” or 9”x9” cake pan, and soften the cannabutter.
- Combine 1¾ cups flour, 1 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, 2 beaten eggs, ¾ cup milk, and ½ cup cannabutter. If you want less-potent space cake (always a good place to start), use less cannabutter and make up the difference with regular butter instead.
- Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool. Eat. Space out!
This space cake will be similar to the ones you can buy in coffee shops, with a strong butter flavor. For variety, add chocolate, chocolate chips, nutmeg, cinnamon, or anything else that will delight your taste buds while you wait for the high to kick in.
Space Cake: FAQ
Q: Don’t coffee shops also sell space smoothies, space muffins, and other edibles with “space” in their names? Is there anything special about them?
A. The shops realized they had a good thing going with the space cake name, so they just added the word “space” to most of the edibles they sell. A space smoothie is simply a weed-infused smoothie — and it’s most definitely worth trying on a hot day.
Q: Why do space cakes and other edibles get you higher than smoking?
A: When they’re digested, and the THC is sent to the liver, THC is metabolized into a slightly different psychoactive compound, 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent and lasts longer than THC.
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