This is the BEST spice cake recipe. It’s incredibly moist, perfectly spiced, and coated in a silky brown butter cream cheese frosting. It’s an absolute show stopper and never fails to impress. Take it a step further and add candied nuts on top…both for decoration and for snacking!
WHAT YOU NEED all purpose flour baking powder baking soda salt cinnamon cardamom ginger nutmeg cloves light brown sugar vegetable or canola oil unsweetened apple sauce eggs vanilla extract sour cream unsalted butter cream cheese powdered sugar vanilla extract cinnamon sticks candied nuts
1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix together the sugar, oil, and apple sauce until the sugar is evenly moistened. 2. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. 3. Once smooth, mix in half of the dry ingredients until combined. Then mix in the sour cream, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
4. The batter should be fairly thin. Pour it into the two cake pans, filling each about 2/3 full. 5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. While the cake bakes, make the brown butter.
6. Add the butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Melt it down and continue to stir until it bubbles, foams, and turns a rich amber color (for more details on how to brown butter, click here). Pour the brown butter into a shallow glass dish and chill while the cakes bake.
7. Add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Mix until smooth, either using a hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment. 8. Mix in 1 cup of powered sugar at a time, followed by the vanilla. If it’s still too thin, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time to thicken. Or, if your home is a bit warm, transfer the frosting to the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes to thicken.
9. Add a thin layer of frosting between each layer. Once all layers have been stacked, cover the cake in a thin coating of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. 10. Once chilled, cover the cake with the remaining frosting. Add any decorations you like, such as cinnamon sticks, crumbled cake scraps, or homemade candied nuts.