You don’t really need an excuse to make an exquisite cake, but why not use these chilly fall days? We figure it’s as good an excuse as any other. We have been hard at work developing this homemade spice cake recipe to ensure that it meets all our fall flavor requirements. It was no easy task, but you’re welcome in advance.
So, what are those fall requirements you ask? Well, it’s got to bring the flavor and have a warming effect, all while also maintaining the perfect light cake texture. It’s taken us a while to perfect this one, but we think we hit the nail right on the head with it.
The fall-inspired flavor comes from the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. These quintessential autumn spices really liven up the flavor without being overbearing — especially when balanced so beautifully by the sweetness of a traditional buttermilk cake batter. Once it’s out of the oven, the final product is light, airy, and just a little spongy. Basically, it’s perfect.
We put together two layers of this perfect little cake with a simple cream cheese frosting and topped it with a sprinkle of Maple Dust for decoration. The frosting does wonders to add just a little bit of variance to the texture and a hint of mellow sweetness. While we feel that this is the perfect icing for this particular cake, we also tested it with an orange citrus icing that was a pretty close runner up.
The version shown here is a traditional stacked cake with a frosting filling, but you can also serve it as a sheet cake. Sheet cakes are great for larger groups. Just be sure to add a little extra frosting on top to balance out the lack of icing in the center.
Use this homemade spice cake recipe as a basis for creating a warming tea gathering this fall by pairing it with our Apple Cinnamon Warmth Tea. The combination of apples and cinnamon blend perfectly with the spices in this cake. If you are opting for a citrus icing, we suggest going with our Candlelight blend white tea; the delicate blend of orange and champagne is a great counterpart for this cake as well.
Care to make a whole event around this cake? Combine Monte Cristo Tea Sandwiches with Apple Slaw Sandwiches and a Devilish Egg Salad Sandwich to create a fall-themed tea sandwich trio. Round it out with an Autumn Arugula Salad and a simple root vegetable soup. Finish off your menu with this homemade spice cake recipe to leave your guests feeling full with the comforts of autumn.
Homemade Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups prepared cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch baking pans or one 9×13-inch sheet pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves into a medium sized bowl; set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until it becomes smooth and creamy. Carefully add in both sugars, and mix until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs one at a time, until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix well.
Add the flour mixture a cup at a time until a well-blended batter forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Transfer to the oven and bake (the 2 8-inch pans should be 35 to 40 minutes, and the 9×13-inch will be about 30 to 35 minutes).
Once cooked through, remove the cake(s) from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Use frosting to assemble and frost cake as desired, and serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar, plus more as needed
In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and slowly beat in the powdered sugar until a thick spread forms.