Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This Spice Cake is made with moist layers of – you guessed it – spice cake and a delicious cream cheese frosting! It’s a classic cake that you can come back to over and over!

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingSpice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting decorated

I can’t even handle that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It feels like time is on overdrive. I can’t even remember what day of the week it is most of the time right now. Time just flies by and I’m trying to hold on for the ride!

We are supposed to close on our new house next week, which is crazy and exciting. I’m totally ready. I can’t wait to unpack and put together a nursery for these babies. We’ve been getting things for them, but have been unable to unbox them and set them up before moving. It’s total torture!

But now that Thanksgiving is this week, it’s going to come even quicker. I’m excited for the move and I’m ready for a good meal with all my favorite things. As always, this cheesy hash brown casserole and sweet potato casserole are on the menu. Two of my faves for basically any holiday. The tough thing to decide is usually dessert. So many options!

Best Spice Cake recipeSpice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe

If you haven’t decided on dessert yet, this cake is totally a delicious option. It would also be great for Christmas and allll the time leading up to it! There’s nothing quite like a dessert full of spice this time of year and this cake is just that!

To start, you’ll cream the butter and sugars together fully. Don’t skimp on the creaming time – it adds air to the batter that gives the cake it’s fluffy texture. In this particular cake, I used light brown sugar and regular white sugar. The brown sugar adds great additional flavor that compliments all the spices. Love it!

Next up are the sour cream and vanilla. Sour cream is one of my favorites to add to a cake for a pop of flavor and extra moisture. I’m a big fan.

Egg whites are next and help add structure to the cake. No need to whip them before adding to the batter, they just mix right in. You can toss them a bit before adding with a fork or something to break them up, if you like though.

Then we’ve got the adding of the dry ingredients and milk and water, adding them alternatively. That way you don’t over saturate or dry out the batter all at once. The batter doesn’t curdle or separate and it all comes together nicely.

The cakes bake up nice and fluffy and wonderfully moist! The cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment making a classic combination! A wonderful cake for the holidays – or anytime you get the craving!

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting slice


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Recipe

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Spice Cake is made with moist layers of – you guessed it – spice cake and a delicious cream cheese frosting! It’s a classic cake that you can come back to over and over!


Scale

Ingredients

SPICE CAKE

  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water, room temperature

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (172g) butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

1. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

9. Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined.
10. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
11. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
12. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

13. Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes.
14. Place the first layer of cake on your serving plate or a cardboard cake circle. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly onto the cake layer.
15. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
16. Add the final layer of cake on top.
17. Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting, then use the tip of a 9 inch offset spatula to create patterns on the sides and top of the cake.
18. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Best served at room temperature. Cake is best when well covered for 2-3 days.

Notes

If you’d like to make the crumble that I used for decorating the cake, you can find that recipe here.

Keywords: spice cake recipe, holiday dessert recipe, christmas cake recipe, thanksgiving cake recipe

Enjoy!

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Recipe rating

34 Comments
  1. Megan

    Hi there! I haven’t yet tried the recipe, but I’m wondering if you think it would work if I made cupcakes instead? I would assume that the bake time would need to be adjusted, but it should work, yes? Do you know how many it would yield? Thank you, this looks delicious!

  2. Liz

    The cake looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it for Christmas dessert! I was wondering about the crumble you used for the bottom edge of the cake? Is there a recipe reference for that?

  3. Lola

    Hi,

    in the cream cheese frosting, do we need to stick to the 10 cups of powdered sugar? can we use less? what is the minimum quantity we can use? thanks

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really all about consistency and volume. You can use as much as you like, you’ll just have a thinner frosting and less frosting (less volume) if you use less.

  4. Rebecca

    Hey Lindsey! Do you think if I tried to make this on a few sheet trays I could roll it into a jellyroll and make a stump? I want to make one with some unique flavors for the holidays!

    Thanks!
    Rebecca

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t usually feel the need to sift, but I go through flour very quickly with all the baking I do so it doesn’t usually clump or anything. If you think yours might, you certainly could sift it.

  5. Tracey

    I cannot believe I came across this recipe. Over Thanksgiving I had made a Churro Pumpkin Bread and we loved the spice of it. My son and I were wondering whatever happened to good old spice cake? No one ever makes them or blogs about them. I thing they are underated! Yum! I have this pinned and am going to make it for him when he is at home for Christmas. Thank you, this looks delicious!

      1. Jackie

        I just made this cake for my fiancé’s birthday. I have never baked from scratch a day in my life. One bite of this cake and the entire family literally said it was the best cake they had ever had!!! Thank you so much and I agree, one of the best cakes I have ever had!

  6. Aunt J

    Cake looks like a home run. Loving the photos! That wire rack rocks and the brown sugar nuggets take it over the top in making it look special. The photos just keep getting better and better. And I like the recipes, too. 🙂 Happy moving day!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12