spice cake

One of my dad's favourite cakes is spice cake, so in the spirit of Father's Day I got out my cake pan and KitchenAid mixer.  This cake recipe is delicious, the spice flavour comes out nicely when you toast the spices in browned butter.  I've also used this recipe for mini cupcakes, which came out great and I think it would also make a tasty layer cake.

This time I made the cake with kamut flour instead of regular flour, so that it would be wheat & gluten free and my mom could enjoy a piece too.  The texture comes out a little different, more crumbly and a tiny bit grainy, but it was still fluffy and it rose nice and tall (which doesn't always happen with gluten-free flours).

I made maple buttercream icing topped with toasted pecans.  Trev made a butter-rum sauce to go with the cake (and ice cream that my mom brought over).  Ahhh, sugar heaven.  When I made the mini cupcakes I topped them with rum flavoured buttercream, but I can imagine a few other icing flavours that would be good (cream cheese, lemon, rootbeer?)

Spice Cake

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 whole eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare a 9 x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray and flour the pan.  Mix the cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves and nutmeg together in a small bowl.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a frying pan over medium heat.  Stir the butter constantly until it is lightly browned (not burned) then add in the mixed spices and stir for an additional 15 - 30 seconds.  Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in another small bowl.  Put the remaining 3/4 cup butter into the bowl of the stand mixer and cream the butter with the sugar and molasses on high-speed, until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the cooled butter and spice mixture and the grated ginger and mix together, scraping down the bowl again.  Add about 1/2 of the egg mixture, and mix on medium until incorporated, scrape down the bowl then add the remaining egg mixture and mix well.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add about 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Mix together then add about 1/2 cup buttermilk.  Continue mixing at low speed then add about 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture.  Mix for about 10 seconds, then add the remaining buttermilk.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the last bit of the flour mixture and mix well on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and zigzag a knife through the batter to get rid of trapped air bubbles, then lightly drop the pan on the counter a few times.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.  Allow the cake to cool fully before topping with icing and toasted pecans.

Maple Icing

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • about 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • about 2 tbsp cream (I use coffee cream, but even just milk would work)

Cream the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Gradually add in 2 cups icing sugar on low speed, once it's incorporated mix on high speed until smooth.  Turn down the speed and add in the maple extract, vanilla and maple syrup, and mix until incorporated.  Start gradually adding in icing sugar and cream until you get the desired consistency then mix on high speed for about 1 minute, to help it get nice and fluffy.