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Holiday Special Spice Cake

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This recipe for Spice Cake makes a deliciously moist and fragrant cake that is perfect for serving as a warm dessert in the fall or during the winter holidays. The frosting, which is made from cream cheese and has a creamy and tangy flavor, goes wonderfully with the warm spices that are in the cake. The tender, crumbly bread will almost immediately turn into a customer favorite.

After you’ve had a taste of this spice cake, you won’t be able to resist going back for more thanks to the tantalizing mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg that it contains. This cake is made with oil, applesauce, and buttermilk, which together produce a texture that is so velvety, velvety, and moist that it almost seems to melt in your mouth.

Although there are a lot of different things that go into making this cake, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Even a mixer isn’t necessary for the batter preparation! When following this recipe, you can always anticipate results that are tender as well as rich. The pre-packaged dry mix is no match for this.


  • Baking powder: For the best results, use only baking powder that has recently been opened.
  • Any recipe for spice cake absolutely must include various spices. I add some ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to the mixture. The flavor that is produced when all of these spices are combined together is incomparably soothing.
  • Sugar; the flavor achieved with brown sugar is the most intense. The decadent flavor of the cake can be attributed, in part, to the molasses that is found in brown sugar. Brown sugar yields a cake that is not only softer but also more moist when compared to granulated sugar. Even though I prefer using light brown sugar, using dark brown sugar when I’m out of the lighter variety is acceptable.
  • Oil, such as vegetable oil or another type of flavorless oil, is an excellent choice. The moistness of the crumb of the spice cake can be attributed, in part, to the oil.
  • In this recipe, you should only use unsweetened applesauce. Applesauce, similar to oil, contributes to the moistness of the cake while also adding flavor.
  • Another component that contributes to the moist texture of the finished cake is buttermilk. In addition to that, it helps to keep the crumb tender.
  • In order to make the frosting, you will need butter, and specifically unsalted butter. It is not desirable for your frosting to have a salty flavor.
  • In order to achieve the best results, use only blocks of full-fat cream cheese when making the frosting that calls for cream cheese. You do not want the cream cheese that comes in a tub because that is not what you are looking for. Because some of the less expensive brands of cream cheese aren’t as thick as others, the frosting you make with them might turn out to be too runny.
  • Sugar that has been finely milled into a powder form; due to its fine consistency, powdered sugar is an excellent choice for sweetening and emulsifying frostings.


For the Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar (440g)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (240ml)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (240ml)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (120ml)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (227g)
  • 1 (8-ounce/113g) block cream cheese room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (720g)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Calories: 892kcal 
  • Carbohydrates: 125g 
  • Protein: 7g 
  • Fat: 42g 
  • Saturated Fat: 17g 
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g 
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11g 
  • Trans Fat: 1g 
  • Cholesterol: 123mg 
  • Sodium: 322mg 
  • Potassium: 172mg 
  • Fiber: 1g 
  • Sugar: 98g 
  • Vitamin A: 840IU 
  • Vitamin C: 0.2mg 
  • Calcium: 124mg 
  • Iron: 2mg


  1. In a sizable mixing bowl, each of the following ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg—should be thrown in and given a good whisking.

2. In order to make the batter, take a medium bowl and whisk together the brown sugar, oil, applesauce, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until completely smooth.

3. Add the sugar mixture to the flour and whisk until the two ingredients are almost completely combined.

4. Fourth, divide the batter evenly between two cake pans that have been prepared. After half an hour, test the center by pressing on it and seeing if it springs back into place. After ten minutes, invert each pan onto a wire cooling rack so that the cooling process can be completed.

5. After combining the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer that is equipped with the whisk attachment, the mixture is beaten on medium speed until it is silky smooth and fluffy, and then the powdered sugar and vanilla extract are added.

6. Set up a cake stand or a serving plate with a layer of cake and proceed to the next step. Spread one cup of frosting over the top of the cake. Frost the entire cake, including the top and sides, after covering the cake’s top with the second cake layer and doing so. Regarding the decorations, you may do whatever you like. Before you begin cutting the spice cake, place it in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.


  • If you want perfectly even cake layers, use a scale to measure your flour; it’s the most accurate way to do it. Without a scale, you can measure flour by spoonful, fluffing it with the spoon, and then leveling it off with the knife. By doing it this way, you won’t accidentally fill the measuring cup too full.
  • Overmixing the batter will result in a dense cake. Get everything just combined by mixing.
  • Always work with ingredients at room temperature for optimal blending. A lump-free frosting is easier to achieve if the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. It is also easier to incorporate the eggs into the batter without overmixing if they are at room temperature.
  • Butter should be allowed to sit out on the counter for at least an hour or two after removal from the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature. You can risk watering down the cream cheese frosting by softening the butter in the microwave. Cutting the butter into cubes will help it reach room temperature more quickly.
  • To ensure an even bake and the removal of any air bubbles from the batter, tap the pan on the counter a few times.
  • If the spice cake layers have a dome on top, cut it off with a serrated knife so they can be stacked. To ensure that your cakes bake to the same height, use cake strips. Cake strips prevent a dome from forming in the center of the cake by ensuring that the entire cake rises at the same rate.
  • When putting together the spice cake, take your time. Make sure the cake is completely cool before you frost it. The frosting could run off if served too soon after baking. The cake is both soft and moist, so handling the layers with care is essential before stacking.
  • If you’d like, you can press 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts onto the sides of the frosted cake for decoration, or you can add them to the batter.


Where should I keep this cake?

Keep in mind that the cream cheese icing requires refrigeration. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or a cake dome and refrigerate it for up to three days.

Can I prepare this in advance?

The spice cake’s individual parts can be prepared and kept in the fridge for up to two days. Put in the fridge and put together whenever you want. The cake layers can be frozen separately.

Is it okay if I put the cake in the freezer?

This spice cake can be stored in the freezer. This cake freezes well both whole and in slices, with or without frosting. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, or transfer it to a container that can withstand freezing temperatures. Put the cake in the freezer and you can keep it for three months. You should bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Freeze if you need to.

Has anyone compared this to carrot cake?

Both cakes are spiced and frosted with cream cheese, but they are otherwise distinct. Carrot cake’s signature ingredient is shredded carrots, along with chopped nuts.

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