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classic spice cake with cream cheese frosting topped with plums and pears

A Classic Spice Cake

  • Author: Lauren
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 inch two layer cake 1x


A rich, moist cake flavored with the perfect combination of warming spices and topped with a perfect buttercream frosting. I'm certain that this classic spice cake will become one of your favorite fall desserts!


Units Scale


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, spices, salt and set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar about 2 minutes on high until fluffy. Lower mixer speed and add eggs one at a time until fully combined. Add almond extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk - beginning and ending with the flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of buttermilk). Fully mixing after each addition.
  2. Bake: Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn onto wire rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting. For the best frosting application, place cooled cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  3. Make the cream cheese icing: Beat the butter and cream cheese in electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Lower speed and add confectioners' sugar and almond extract. Mix on high speed for about 2 minutes, until frosting is nice and fluffy.
  4. Assemble: Place a dot of frosting onto the center of your cake plate and place one cake layer on top of it. This helps keep the cake from sliding on your plate. Add a layer of frosting on the top of that cake layer (about 1 cup of frosting). Place second cake layer on top of the frosting, pressing down gently. Frost cake as desired. I frosted it mine as a "naked cake" with little icing on the sides, as shown in these photos.
  5. Serve: Serve on its own or garnished with pears, plums, figs, or nuts.


  • Pan size: I use two 6 inch cake pans to get a taller cake, but you can also use two 8-9 inch pans as well. The wider your pan the quicker your cake will bake so just check it earlier. Make ahead: This cake can be made ahead of time and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Make ahead: This cake can be made ahead of time and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • To store: Once fully cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: This cake freezes great. To freeze your cake, allow it to cool completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. It can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes

Keywords: spice cake