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Layered Spice Cake

This layered spice cake recipe is tender and everything you love about the fall spices. Topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting, this spice cake is one for the books!

Are you a pumpkin spice fan? This is hot topic of debate. It’s either “um, YES! Is this even a question?!” or “No THANK YOU! Keep that basic fall flavor for yourself.” 😂 A big ol’ spice cake is the best option no matter which person you are as it’s all fall flavors without any worry of pumpkin if you hate it. 

A two layer cake with whipped cream between layers and on top. A slice has been cut out of the cake.

My dad was all about the spice cake growing up but we ate our’s with a bunch of cooked caramel frosting. I still have yet to photograph that spice snack cake, but I promise it is totally on my forever long to-do list. You guys, I have over 100 recipes scheduled to post and a gazillion drafts of recipes to photograph. I cannot stop! 

 

Whether you like pumpkin spice or not, it’s hard press to find someone who doesn’t love the traditional fall flavors.

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Cloves

Allspice

Ginger

It instantly brings you back to your childhood and the crisp air in the fall while picking pumpkins.

This homemade cake recipe has all of those flavors we all love and it’s topped with a smooth decadent cream cheese frosting that is honestly my favorite part.

I say, let them eat cake! Better yet, let us all eat cake!

A slice of two layer spice cake with cream cheese frosting. It is on a white plate with a fork next to the cake. A cake plate with the rest of the cake is in the background.

Ingredients Needed for Spice Cake

Don’t be intimidated by making a layered cake from scratch! We are going to walk you through each ingredient and each step. Head down to the recipe card for all the exact measurements. Here is the ingredients list:

For the Cake

  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Ginger 
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Light Brown Sugar 
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Unsweetened Applesauce 
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Buttermilk

For the Frosting

  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla

Top view of a two layer spice cake that is frosted with cream cheese frosting.

How Do You Make Homemade Spice Cake Recipe From Scratch?

Here’s a little known fact about me, I hate decorating cakes. Shhhhh…don’t tell anyone. I was going to just make a 9×13 for this cake and skip the decorating, but then I got brave and inspired. I put on my big girl pants and got to work! So you can do it too, and making it look a little fancy can be super simple! I’ll walk you through the steps and how to make decorating easy.

For The Cake

  1. Preheat oven and spray two 9 inch round pans (you could use 8 inch as well) with non-stick baking spray then dust with flour.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves, set aside.
  3. Add sugars into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Pour vegetable oil and applesauce into the bowl, set mixer with paddle attachment and blend until well combined.  
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  5. 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
  6. Divide evenly into baking pans. Bake.
  7. Allow to cool in pans about 5 minutes then set directly in the freezer for 20 minutes.

For the 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. Frost cake. 

Once you have the cakes baked and the frosting made, you are ready to construct this beautiful cake. Jump to the next section for all my tips for making a layered cake and decorating it.

A slice of two layer spice cake frosted with cream cheese frosting. The cake is on a white dessert plate with a fork next to it.

How to Make and Decorate a Layered Cake

After your cake has been in the freezer for 20 minutes, pull them out and make sure they are cooled completely. Turn them over onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

If the tops have domed, use a nice serrated knife to gently level them. Now here comes the construction…

Place a little frosting down on your cake pedestal or plate and place one of your cakes bottom side down onto the frosting. The frosting helps hold the cake in place.

Then put a generous amount of frosting on top and spread it over the top of the cake. Then take the other cake and place it bottom side up down onto the frosted cake.

Save a cup or so of frosting for decorating the top, and then use the rest of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Don’t get too stressed about it being perfect. The most rustic “naked” look is in these days.

You can keep the decorating on top simple and just decorate 1/3 or 1/2 of it. It looks minimalist without you trying. And take an ingredient like cake crumbs, toast them and use those for a natural addition vs sprinkles.

Easy peezy!

A two layered spice cake on a cake plate. The cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting and the bottom layer is rolled in a crumb mixture.

Can I Use Low Fat Cream Cheese in Frosting?

Make sure to use full-fat, brick style cream cheese so that your frosting is thick and creamy. Low fat cream cheese does not work as well in this frosting.

What is the Difference Between Carrot Cake and Spice Cake?

Carrot cake and spice cake are very similar. Carrot cake is essentially a spice cake with the additions of shredded carrots giving it a slightly sweeter taste and a more delicate and tender interior.

Will Spice Cake Give You Heartburn?

Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg can trigger heartburn or aggravate the symptoms of heartburn.

A slice of spice cake. There are two layers with cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top of the cake.

Can This Cake Be Frozen?

Spice cake can be frozen.

Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, foil or place in a plastic freezer bag.

Cake can be frozen for up to 3 month.

What Frosting Goes with Spice Cake?

Cream cheese frosting goes well with this cake recipe.

Brown sugar frosting, caramel frosting and maple frosting are also good choices!

How Long Will This Cake Keep?

Spice cake will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature.

Cake should be covered well with plastic wrap of foil.

A partially eaten slice of two layer spice cake. The cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Why Does Cake Crumble?

Batter that has been improperly mixed or under mixed may cause cake to crumble.

Too much sugar can also cause cake to be crumbly.

Is There a Substitute for Allspice?

Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove mixed together can be used as a substitute for allspice.

You could also use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves as a substitute for allspice.

A two layer spice cake on a cake plate. The cake is frosted with cream cheese frosting. frosting

This cake is full of the fall flavors you love and then topped with a cream cheese frosting that is to die for! This spice cake is tender and warm and belongs on the table for your next fall gathering!

More Delicious Fall Cake Recipes!

 

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney
155 days

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A two layer cake with cream cheese frosting between layers and on top. A slice has been cut out of the cake.

Spice Cake

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18
This spice cake recipe is tender and everything you love about the fall spices. Topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting, this spice cake is one for the books!

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar packed
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Applesauce unsweetened
  • 4 Eggs large
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz. Cream Cheese Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter Softened
  • 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

For The Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9” cake pans (see note) with non-stick baking spray then lightly dust with flour and shake out excess. 
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves, set aside.
  • Add brown sugars into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Pour vegetable oil and applesauce into the bowl, set mixer with paddle attachment and blend until well combined.  
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla. 
  • 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
  • Pour into baking pan. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-48 minutes.
  • Allow to cool in pans about 5 minutes then set directly in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and set out until completely cooled. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

For The Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. 
  • Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until well blended. Frost cake. 

Notes

You can also use 8" pans or a 9x13 pan. The baking temperature and time will be the same for all.
This cake will keep for 3-4 days.  Cover tightly to store.
Nutrition Facts
Spice Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 383 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 215mg9%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 46g51%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 478IU10%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A two layer cake with whipped cream between layers and on top. A slice has been cut out of the cake.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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