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.

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4.1 20
I agree that this was, crazily, too light and to "fall-apart-ish". I made it again and used all purpose flour instead of cake flour, then grated in an old apple I had that needed to be used. This time is was much more moist, had the perfect crumb to hold up to cream cheese frosting item not reviewed by moderator and published
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
I made this for the first time at my work Christmas Party last year. They loved it so much they asked me to make it again for this years Christmas Party. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The cake was pretty easy to is very moist! I did deviate from making it a layer cake and just used a bundt pan. The frosting was really easy to make, but it is really sweet. I will use less sugar the next time!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
...the first time. The icing is so light and fluffy. I was a little disappointed in the lack of flavor with the cake. Next time, I will double the cinnamon and add it to the frosting. It sort of tasted like air with butter cream frosting. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the first spice cake I've made and I just LOVED it. Very moist, and not too overpowering. Didn't have a problem with it sinking at all, but as for the frosting, I only used 3 cups of sugar instead of 6. It was sweet enough! Great cake, will definitely make it again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
For flavor, this cake deserves 5 stars but I tried making it twice and both times it sunk and both times was crumbly. I make cakes several times a week so I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing and I had an order for a spice cake and I really wanted this one to turn out but no such luck. In all fairness, I did try two times. I'll keep searching. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My Dad requested a spice cake for Father's Day, so I decided to give this one a try. I am so glad I did, this is delicious!! It was so easy to make, and not 'overly spiced' like some are. This tastes like the yummy spiced cake donuts served at Holiday time in the donut shoppes. I followed the recipe exaclty, except I left out one of the eggs. I baked this in a parchment-lined 13 x 9 pan for 42 minutes (checked at 35) and turned it out onto a platter to frost. I used my own standard buttercream frosting recipe. The entire cake was devoured, with loads of compliments. Even the people who claimed to hate spice cake gobbled it up. My daughter, who initially CRIED because she said "spice cake is gross" asked me to make this again! My Dad was very happy, too! This recipe is a keeper that I intend to make over and over. You will not be disappointed!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This spice cake is delicious and easy (even with a few substitutions I had to make--corn starch added to make "cake flour" and butter and milk for heavy creme)! I have done lots of baking (cookies-brownies-pastries, etc.) but never a homemade cake--this was perfect. The icing is very sugary, but I liked it. I did add a bit of cinnamon and whipped it into the icing. I also added about a tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon to the cake mix. DELICOUS! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw this recipe on her show and thought what a perfect choice to bring to a holiday party. Instead of making a cake I made 3 different sizes of cupcakes and everyone liked them. Definitely recommend that if you want something different, that this is a good choice. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hey Paula, This is the second recipe I have made of yours and the second time in my life that the cake fell. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Could the change in altitude have something to do with it. I am very experienced with baking and have only had this happen with your holiday spice cake and your caramel cake. Any suggestions? Or help. I watch your show faithfully and the cake still tasted great even with the fall... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like your style. Apple sounds good on this. You get the stamp...a certified G!  item not reviewed by moderator and published
We loved this too. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Holiday Baking & Dessert Recipes