Cakes/ Dessert/ easy/ Holiday/ no mixer/ quick savory

Spice Cake

August 31, 2018

This spice cake recipe is the only recipe you’ll ever need. Incredibly moist, flavored with a mixture of spices, with a texture that almost melts in your mouth! It’s quick and easy to make and doesn’t require a mixer. The cake is great by itself, the cream cheese frosting is just a bonus. It’s going to be your new favorite winter and holiday cake.

Spice Cake

A while ago I suddenly recalled a cake I had in Paris a few years ago. I don’t know what reminded me of it, but the moment I started thinking about it I couldn’t stop. I remember Erez though it was too spicy, but I thought it was perfect. It reminded me my mom’s honey cake, but it was spicier. I didn’t remember how that cake tasted like exactly, but I knew I had to try creating one myself. When this cake came out of the oven, it was so good that me and Erez could finish the whole cake in 5 minutes, but luckily we saved a few pieces, and it tasted even better the day after.

Spice Cake

Spices

I use a combination of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. If you don’t like nutmeg or cloves you can leave one of them out, but trust me, this mix of spices gives the most wonderful spicy flavor.

Sugar

I use a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar. The latter adds moisture to the cake. You can use only brown sugar or only granulated sugar (3/4 cup).

Oil, applesauce, buttermilk

They all make this spice cake extra moist so it stays tender for days. If you must skip the applesauce, use buttermilk instead (total of 1 cup), but the applesauce makes a difference in this recipe! I made homemade applesauce and it’s super easy. I halved the recipe, so I used 2 apples, some water, a splash of lemon juice, and cooked for 15-20 minutes until soft, then mashed it with a fork. It’s ok if it’s a little chunky, or, if you prefer a smooth texture, process it in a food processor.

Spice Cake

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5 from 1 vote
Spice Cake
Spice Cake
YIELD: 16 servings
 

For a 9x13-inch cake, double the recipe (both cake and frosting) and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake stays moist and flavorful for a few days, so you can make it 1-2 days ahead. 


Ingredients
Cake
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (170 g/6 oz.) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g/1.7 oz.) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or another flavorless oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
  • 4 oz. (115 g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/55 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (175 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease an 8x8-inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined for about a minute. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add applesauce, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and mix as little as possible, just until combined and smooth.

  4. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.
  5. Make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. If you want a thicker frosting, add 1/2 cup more powdered sugar. Frost cake with the frosting.
  6. Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake is best served at room temperature.

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Kirsti
    September 2, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Yum! I love a good spice cake, and this cake looks perfect for the upcoming cooler months. Pinned! 🙂

  • Reply
    Joanne Buscarini
    September 2, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Can this spice cake be frozen ? Thank you

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 3, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Yes, and if you leave out the frosting it can be frozen for up to 2 months.

      • Reply
        Emily
        August 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

        I made this with mashed pumpkin instead of the applesauce and buttermilk and it was super perfect and moist, and I used 1/2 cup of cool whip instead of the butter in the frosting and it was heaven

  • Reply
    Ria
    September 18, 2018 at 9:56 am

    What can i sub the applesauce for?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 20, 2018 at 6:30 am

      Hi Ria, you can find this info in the above post.

      • Reply
        Jean
        July 26, 2019 at 11:00 pm

        Could I make this recipe into cup cakes? How long would baking time be?

        • Reply
          Shiran
          July 30, 2019 at 2:54 am

          Yes you can, about 15-20 minutes.

  • Reply
    Tiff
    September 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Would this recipe be enough to make a 3 layer cake? You mention it’s tender. Would it fall apart easily? Also, would the cooking time remain the same? Looking to make this for Christmas! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 25, 2018 at 10:55 am

      You’ll need to double the recipe for a 9-inch layer cake. It’s moist but it will be ok. The baking time will be different so keep an eye on it.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    October 12, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I just tried this recipe and the cake is bubbly and burnt on top but totally liquid all through the middle! Is there any chance there is supposed to be more than 1 1/4c flour? The batter seemed really thin but I figured it was meant to be that way – now I’m not so sure!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 14, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Hi Maggie, this is the correct amount of flour and ingredients. If the top is browning too fast compared to the bottom, cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil for the rest of the baking time.

  • Reply
    sivan
    December 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    hi Shiran!
    I was wondering if it’s ok to split the batter into mini loafcake paper pans as long as i do not over fill so it can book?
    each size is about 4x2x2

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 15, 2018 at 5:55 am

      Yes you can 🙂 Bake them until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 9, 2019 at 10:54 am

    This cake was more than delicious! However, I did sub melted butter for the oil, and cut a bit of the salt (since it was salted butter). I used homemade applesauce and it was so good with the little chunks of apple throughout the cake.

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 26, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Just made it, including the homemade apple sauce. Very yummy and moist! I used one 9in pan, baked at 350 for 20 minutes, lined with wax paper. No issues. Hardly any left. I will have to make this again. If I wanted to make a bundt cake, do I double the recipe? Do you have a glaze recipe to go with a bundt recipe? Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 5, 2019 at 4:05 am

      Hi Karen! It might be too moist for bundt cake, I haven’t tried it so I don’t know. You can make a simple glaze by mixing powdered sugar with a bit of milk and vanilla extract.

  • Reply
    Jenna
    April 28, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    I think your flour measurement is off somehow? 1 1/4 cups of flour would be closer to 10 oz, not 6.

    • Reply
      Linda
      May 31, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      I just made this cake. Have yet to taste it but looks awesome. Someone must have a weird oven because mine was cooked perfectly in 35.

  • Reply
    Yukti Arora
    August 19, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Nice cake recipe………….keep posting such mouth watering cakes.

  • Reply
    Shivani
    August 30, 2019 at 1:22 am

    WOW!! This cake looks amazing.. Can’t wait to try this.. Thank you so much for sharing such a mouth watering spice cake recipe with us.. Loved it!! Keep posting.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Hi! This looks delicious. I’m on the hunt for a homemade spice cake recipe to pair with penuche frosting (basically a brown sugar icing). Is this cake super sweet? The icing is extremely decadent so I need a spicy but not very sweet cake. This seems like it would fit the bill but wanted to check. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 11, 2019 at 5:16 am

      Hi Sarah, I don’t think this cake is overly sweet at all, but it’s about personal taste 🙂 You can use a bit less sugar if you prefer.

  • Reply
    Gabriella
    November 13, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Hello! I am excited to make this cake but wanted to make it as a double layer cake 6 inch cake. How do you recommend that I alter the recipe?

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