Spice Cake Recipe [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 1 reviews

Spice Cake is not your ordinary sweet dessert! It is dense, moist, and full of autumn and winter flavors that both adults and kids will love. Learn how to easily make this cake by watching the short video tutorial below. 

If you are looking for a pastry that is one of a kind, then, this is it! It has intense flavors in one tasty pastry. Owe it to the mixture of spices that it contains. If you like this, then, you can also try my recipe for Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes, Classic Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Bread. You will surely love them!

image of spice cake garnished with sprinkles

Spice Cake Recipe

Spice Cake reminds me of the taste of gingerbread with the texture of a banana cake. Like gingerbread, it has a rich flavor profile brought by cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

All of these contribute to a unique pastry that is also moist and dense! Also, pecans and raisins are added for crunch and chewiness.

What I like about it is that you can make a sheet cake out this recipe, top it with a layer of cream cheese frosting, and it is done! Nothing fancy is required and yet it is absolutely delightful!

picture of batter pecans and raisins for spice cake

But, of course, you can make it into layers and decorate all over it with frosting, just like what is included in this recipe.

This is a nice pastry to serve at afternoon tea parties or a simple get-together. It is not as sweet as other desserts, so, it is something new for the palate that your guests will surely love.

What is Spice Cake?

It is a traditional cake that is full of spices, typically with fall flavors. It is said that it has been around since the 19th century and still is regarded today as a favorite among families.

image of sliced spice cake topped with sprinkles on a plate

How to make Spice Cake:

  • Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven. Also, grease the baking pans with a non-stick spray and sprinkle a thin layer of flour and then, set aside.
  • Prep the dry mixture: Mix the dry ingredients, except for the sugar, with the spices in a bowl.
  • Prep the wet mixture: Using a mixer, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, and the rest of the wet ingredients.
  • Combine: Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture in batches, adding buttermilk in between. Also, add in the raisins and pecans.
  • Bake: Pour the resulting mixture into two pans, dividing evenly. Bake for about 28 to 32 minutes until each pan passes the toothpick test.
  • Cool: Allow each layer to cool in the pan for up to 10 minutes, then, remove each layer from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost: Make the frosting by creaming butter and cheese together, then, add in the rest of the ingredients. Then, use the resulting mixture to coat the layers. You can also put chopped pecans on top of the frosting.
  • Serve: Slice and serve at room temperature.

picture of a slice of spice cake topped with sprinkles on a silver plate

Can I add more spices?

The recipe is extremely versatile as you can add or leave out some if you like. If you want it to be more kid-friendly, then, you can lessen the spices but if you want a more intense flavor, feel free to add.

Can I make Spice Cake in advance?

Yes! It is even tastier the next day and can stay at room temperature for up to two days. covered loosely with foil or a wrap. You can even make the topping or layers separately in advance, then, assemble later when ready to serve.

Need to store it? You can simply put the whole thing in an airtight container then, refrigerate for 7 days.

How to freeze it:

To further lengthen the shelf life, wrap it in foil and place in a freezer bag. It will stay good for 4 to 6 months.

image of a slice of spice cake and pecan on a silver plate

Recipe Tips:

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5 from 1 reviews
Spice Cake Recipe
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 12 slices
Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 5 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt 
  • 2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon  ground nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon  ground ginger 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  allspice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground cloves 
  • 1 1/2 cups  light brown sugar  (packed)
  • 1/3 cup  maple syrup 
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup  applesauce  (unsweetened)
  • 4  large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup  buttermilk 
  • 1/2 cup  chopped pecans 
  • 1/2 cup  raisins 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz  cream cheese  (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter  (at room temperature)
  • 3 1/2 cups  powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract 

Instructions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with non-stick baking spray then lightly dust with flour and shake out excess. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, set aside.
  4. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, oil and applesauce into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment mix and blend until well combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once.
  5. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, then blend in buttermilk, then add remaining 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  7. Stir in with a spatula the chopped nuts and raisins.
  8. Divide mixture evenly among two prepared baking pans. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 - 30 minutes.
  9. Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 5 - 10 minutes then run a knife around edges to loosen the cake and invert upside down onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Cool completely then level tops of cakes as needed.

Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  3. Frost the cooled cake and garnish with sprinkles or chopped nuts.
  4. Chill to settle for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.
Calories: 629 Carbohydrates: 93 Protein: 7 Fat: 27 Saturated Fat: 16 Cholesterol: 92 Sodium: 443 Potassium: 334 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 70 Vitamin A: 546 Vitamin C: 1 Calcium: 157 Iron: 2
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Comments

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Tara Pittman

My son is having a birthday soon. This is a cake that he would enjoy

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Brianne

I can't wait to give this recipe a try! I have all the ingredients, and my kids love to help me cook in the kitchen.

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Celebrate Woman

Your recipe is so inspiring and so colorful! I may bake it these days, as we have less places to travel.

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Sherry

I don't think I've had spice cake since I was a teen. It's so good! I definitely need to make this.

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Kathy

This cake looks so good. I've always enjoyed a good spice cake. This one looks even more amazing then the ones I've made.

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Anne Marie

I love the combo of ingredients in this recipe. And the way you decorated it is fantastic!

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Jonna

We've been looking for new recipes to try as we are home all day and this looks like a fantastic one we need to try! It looks absolutely delicious!

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Lisa Joy Thompson

This spice cake recipe looks to-die-for! I plan to try some new recipes in the next few weeks while we're all at home. Adding this to the list of things to try!

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