Holiday Spice Cake

Total Time:
55 min
20 min
10 min
25 min

8 servings

  • Cake:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Quick Butter Cream, recipe follows
  • Finely chopped nuts, for garnish
  • Cocoa powder, for garnish
  • Quick Butter Cream:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves.

Cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately beginning and ending with the dry.

When the batter is well mixed and smooth, divide it amongst the 3 prepared cake pans and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely. If the cake layers have domed a little during the baking process, slice off the tops with a long serrated knife so they are flat and even.

Place the first layer, cut side down, on a cake pedestal or serving plate. Spoon about 3/4 cup of butter cream onto the center of the cake. Spread it almost to the very edges with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers. Garnish the top of the cake with finely chopped nuts and cocoa powder.

Quick Butter Cream:

Beat the butter, shortening and salt together until creamy with an electric mixer. Add half the confectioners' sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Gradually beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar alternating with the cream mixture until it is all incorporated and the frosting is very light and fluffy.

View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
4.1 19
This is so tasty. I did change a few things. I took out cloves and used anise instead. And I forgot butter milk but I looked online and found a substitution. Bust it was super easy and fast hand it stacked and frosted within 90min of pulling it out of the oven item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious. Easy. Beautiful. Different. I made this cake for my mother's 90th birthday as it was the type of cake she requested when I asked her, "what kind of cake would you like?" I remember as a child she made spice cakes and I hadn't thought of one in years. So glad she did. This recipe was easy to make and delicious leaving me to ponder why anyone would bother buying a boxed cake mix. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this spice cake for Thanksgiving and it turned out great! I followed the recipe exactly. I used liquid, not powdered buttermilk. The level of spice in a recipe is highly individual. I used all new spices, including fresh grated nutmeg and it was perfect for me. The crumb on the cake was fine and didn't fall apart. The cake didn't fall in the middle. There are lots of reasons why cakes fall...old leavening, inaccurate oven temp, not using the exact ingredients, taking the cake out of the oven too soon or opening the oven door at a critical time, overworking the name a few. The frosting is sweet but holds together and spreads well and doesn't sog up the cake. I topped it with toasted coconut and glazed pecans I made. It looked like a cake out of Gourmet! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these into cupcakes rather than a 3-layer cake and they came out great! I cooked them for 18 mins and after they were golden brown and the top was slightly crispy. Perfect! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was not impressed with this cake. I had the same experience as another reviewer--it fell apart. Too light. I also did not think the spices were right. Not at all like my Mom's, which recipe was lost. It needs more cinnamon. I made it for my grandson's birthday and it quickly was dubbed the "floppy cake." However, my granddaughter did like it and requested it for her birthday. I'll try to find a better recipe when that time comes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was very easy to follow and easy to make. Although I did think the cake had a little too much sugar but everything else tasted great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was easy to make, everyone loved it but I thought it was a little dry. The taste was good and can't figure out why it was dry. I followed the recipe exactly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
To say I was excited to make this cake would be an understatement. I had read the comments and expected a great result. Sadly, I was mistaken. The cakes completely fell a part to say the least. The taste was mediocre to bland, the texture was completely off, the entire cake sunk within minutes of coming out and I was on a whole traumatized by the entire experience. DO NOT MAKE THIS. I replaced it soon after with a boxed Duncan Hines version and excuse the pun, but it totally took the cake. My favourite part of the entire experience was the satisfaction of shoving the whole thing into the trash can. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I find that if I only keep my spices for 1-2 months, and have them ground fresh they taste so much better. I thought this cake was just spicy enough, not bland at all. If yours was blah, perhaps your spices were too old? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this following the recipe, but uses vanilla cream between the layers and used the butter cream frosting for top and sides. Good cake but a little dry which may have been my fault. Over all it's a good cake as evidenced by it's disappearance this morning. I would make it again but be careful to bake it just enough. I also used powdered buttermilk and that may have caused the dryness. Those southern gals always know how to turn out a good cake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We loved this too. item not reviewed by moderator and published

This recipe is featured in:

Holiday Baking & Dessert Recipes