I had Elise Logan over at my house the other day, and we baked! I thought it only fitting that when baking with a spicy author we should make something spicy. As it happens she had a spice cake recipe that was “to die for”. I was a little skeptical. I mean, a spice cake’s a spice cake, right? Nope. Apparently not. This one really is amazing. I’m not even sure why really. It’s just the perfect combination of spices and it’s moist and well… fabulous.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
As always, make sure your ingredients are all room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 and line two 8 inch round pans with parchment. (Or you can just butter them if you prefer.) In a mixing bowl, place your flour, soda, powder, and spices. Not only do they look really cool, but already your kitchen will smell spicy and delicious.
Whisk those together until everything is evenly distributed.
Add the sugar and whisk that in as well.
Add the buttermilk
And vanilla, then mix until everything is combined.
Scrape down the sides and beat on high-ish speed for 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down or off and add your eggs. I know it looks like mine is going at turbo speed, but I promise it was on low.
Mix until the eggs are completely incorporated.
I know this is a bit of an unusual technique for making a cake, but amazingly enough, it actually works. Pour your batter into the pans.
Get them as even as possible, then drop them on the countertop a few times to flatten them out on the top.
Into a 350° oven for about 35 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they pull away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the cakes to cool completely. If you have time, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to even refrigerate them for a bit. It’s always easier to frost a cold cake. Speaking of frosting… Although this cake could stand on its own without any, (yes, it’s that good) why pass up the chance for cream cheese frosting? Place two 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl along with ½ cup of softened butter.
Beat those until they’re nice and fluffy, scraping everything down at least once in the process.
Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and mix until it’s completely incorporated.
Sift your powdered sugar as you add it one cup at a time. Mix after each cup until you’ve added a total of 3 cups. Taste it at this point. Ours needed a little pinch of salt. Pile a good heap of it onto the top of your bottom cake. It looks like a lot, but some of it will end up being squeezed out the edges. Besides, I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as too much cream cheese icing.
Spread it out to the edge, keeping it level on top.
Place your second cake upside down on top of that. If you run a knife around the top and cut off that ridge, it’ll make the next bit much easier. I was lazy and didn't do that, and had to fight with it while icing.
Next comes the crumb coat. It is exactly what the name implies… a thin layer of icing that traps the crumbs. Just spread a thin layer over the whole cake. Don’t worry about it being pretty or anything.
Now, into the fridge (not you… the cake. I know it’s hot and you’ve had the oven on, but if your fridge is anything like mine, you’re not going to fit anyway.) Pull it out after 30 minutes or so. Plop the rest of the icing on top of the cake. Yes, I said the rest. You have a lot of cake to cover.
Spread it out to the edges pushing some of it over onto the sides where you can spread it around the outside of the cake.
Hey, that’s not half bad. The only thing is that it’s just a little bit boring. Nutmeg to the rescue! Grab your nutmeg grater. If you don’t have one… you really must get one.
Then grate a very light dusting of nutmeg over the top of the cake. How pretty is that? Just a hint of what’s to be found inside.
Slice yourself a big wedge. You deserve it after all that. See, I told you it wasn’t too much frosting in the middle. It’s perfect!
Now, before you sit down with your glass of milk and moist, fragrant, spicy cake, you need some spicy reading to go with it. I did mention that Elise Logan is a spicy writer, didn’t I? you can check out all of her fabulous works here, including the newly re-released Trusting Destiny!
Whew! Look at that cover! I told you it was spicy! Enjoy!
What’s your favorite spicy sweet food?