Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Pin

Several years ago, my friend Kayla asked me to make her favorite cake, Spice Cake, for her birthday. Obviously, I agreed to this request, even if it took a few years for me to deliver on. Her birthday was last weekend, and on Monday morning I showed up at her desk, pulled the lid off my cake carrier, and said “SURPRISE!”

She was generous enough to share the cake with her co-workers, which gave me a great test group for this spice cake. She said the cake got RAVE reviews from her co-workers. Good balance of frosting to cake ratio, the right level of spice, and well-decorated. I will take those reviews and recommend this cake to you!

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

What do you think of my new cake stand?

The Hubby calls me a cake stand hoarder. When I came home with it last weekend, he asked me why I bought another one of “those”. I smiled and told him it was only $3.99 at the thrift store. He said, “so, don’t you have enough of ‘those’ already?” I defended my cake stand obsession by reminding him that I use my cake stands all the time for entertaining and taking photos. He shook his head, knowing he lost the battle and walked away. He just doesn’t understand.

I will also defend the fact that I didn’t have this color in my cake stand collection yet, so it was needed.

And this cake stand is the perfect contrast to the golden brown of the pecans. I am pretty sure none of my other cake stands would have complimented this cake as well as this gray stand. Which is totally why I needed this stand.

I am not going to say whether or not this cake was in my plan when the stand came into my life; that is just semantics.

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream 1

We should also talk about the amazing Cream Cheese Buttercream on this cake. I am calling it a buttercream because you will notice from the recipe, there is an equal portion of butter to cream cheese. This frosting recipe can’t be beat. It holds up perfectly to piping, but is nice and smooth for spreading. And the taste is perfect- not too sweet and a little tangy, like a good cream cheese frosting should be.

This cake would be perfect for an Easter gathering. Similar enough to a carrot cake, but not carrot cake for those who don’t like carrot cake. That makes sense, right?

Enjoy the recipe!

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Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream


    Cake Recipe:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated apple (2 medium apples, peeled)
  • Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups Butter (3 sticks), slightly softened
  • 12 oz Cream Cheese, slightly softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Optional: 2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line- with parchment paper- the bottom of 3- 8inch round pans.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and other spices together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Stir together oil, brown sugar, molasses, applesauce, grated apples, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  4. Equally divide cake batter into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in pans. Turn cakes out on to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Make cream cheese butter cream only when ready to frost your cake.
  8. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer and large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Scraping bowl periodically to ensure all butter is whipped.
  9. Add cream cheese, salt and vanilla to butter and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Scraping bowl periodically to ensure everything is whipped.
  10. Add half of the sifted powdered sugar, and mix on low until fully incorporated. Then add remaining powdered sugar, mixing on low until fully incorporated.
  11. Turn mixer to high and whip frosting for 5 minutes.
  12. Frost cool cake immediately. If you are not frosting your cake immediately, place frosting in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. To frost, add chilled frosting to mixer to fluff back up.
  13. Optional: Add chopped pecans to the sides of cake once frosted.
  14. Store prepared cake in refrigerator.
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About Rachel

Country girl turned urbanite. Finding ways to mess up my kitchen, keep my country roots and explore all that city living offers!

12 thoughts on “Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. I would absolutely love for you to surprise me with this cake next…lol!! Looks great!! I will certainly have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This cake is so pretty, and I bet it tastes wonderful! Carrot cake is good, but sometimes you need something a little different, so this would probably do the trick. 🙂

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