Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting #TheCakeSliceBakers

Springtime is here in Southern New Mexico, and that means it's windy.

Very, very windy.

Don't-smile-while-you're-outside-sand-in-your-teeth windy. Or in your sand-in-your-eyes, since everybody has to wear masks now.

Honestly, it's the worst time of year in this part of the country--and that's in comparison to summer when it gets well into the triple digits.

But I still really love springtime. Something about the world coming alive after the winter is just magical.

And Easter.

I love Easter.

I wanted to make an Easter-y, springtime cake for this Cake Slice Bakers bake. Check out what the other lovely bakers chose at the end of this post!

Okay, let's all say our favorite Easter cake flavor on the count of three:

1...2...3...Spice Cake!

Just kidding. Spice Cake is literally no one's favorite springtime flavor.  As I was baking, my husband came in the kitchen and said, "It smells like Christmas in here."

Not what I was going for.

The author of the cookbook describes this cake as "screaming Fall."

Also not what I was going for.

I'll bet that when I asked for your favorite spring-y flavor, you said carrot cake. Or coconut cake. Or some kind of fruit pie.

But really, what is Spice Cake but a carrot-less Carrot Cake? Alllllll that to say that I think it fits the bill.

Finally, a carrot cake that carrot-haters can enjoy too!

I dressed up this Spice Cake for Easter by adding the tiniest dab of blue gel food color to the naturally beige brown sugar buttercream. I was going for a shade of robin's egg blue. Speaking of buttercream, this recipe calls for brown sugar. The author describes it as adding "a tiny crunch." I love the extra dimension that brown sugar gives the frosting, but I gotta say...I'm a smooth buttercream girl. Inclusions like chocolate chips or sprinkles are fine, but I want the buttercream itself to be smooth. Not that this was bad--it reminded me of the old-fashioned style frosting we make to put on our Christmas cookies. Again with the wrong season.

Next time I might play around with a brown sugar Italian meringue buttercream. That would be heavenly.

I put about 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder in a bowl, and poured in some clear alcohol to make a liquid. I used some vodka that I use for cake decorating because it dries much quicker than water and doesn't have time to run or get sticky. I suppose you could use vanilla extract, but I'm too much of a cheapskate.  That stuff is too dang expensive to waste. I flicked it on to the cake with a food-safe paintbrush for a speckled effect.

I asked my daughter if she liked it. She said, "Yes! It tastes like chicken! That means you don't know what flavor it is."

I decided to top it with some wafer paper daisies that I made with a craft punch (the same basic idea as this cake) and some gum paste greenery leftover from another cake I made. I dusted the fondant centers of the daisies with a little dab of turmeric--I didn't figure people would probably eat the daisies, and it is a spice cake, after all! And for funsies I put a wafer paper butterfly that I painted with gel color.

Ahh, springtime.

So give this Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting a try

You just might add it to your list of favorite springtime cake flavors ;)

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

from Little Everyday Cakes by Candace Floyd

1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c softened butter
1 c packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2/3 c buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c butter, softened
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T whole milk (you might need more)

1. Heat oven to degrees. Grease two 6" round pans, line with parchment, grease and flour.
2. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy--5 minutes or so. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour and buttermilk a little at a time--beginning and ending with the flour mix. Add in the vanilla, and mix for 30 seconds. Give the batter a final scrape with a spatula, and divide into the prepared pans.
4. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan, then place on a wire rack and cool completely.

5. For the frosting, beat the butter and brown sugar together with a mixer until smooth (about 3 minutes). Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla and milk and beat until smooth. Add a little milk more if needed to achieve a spreadable consistency.

6. Place one layer of your cake on a plate or cake stand and top it with 1/3 of the buttercream. Top with the second layer and frost the top and sides. Decorate as desired.

Enjoy :)

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Little Everyday Cakes by Candace Floyd. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Little Everyday Cakes - and our choices for March 2021 were ~ 

Crumb Cake

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

Jam Cake


    1. What a beautiful and creative presentation! I love your little girl's comment, lol.

      1. Thanks, Karen! Yeah, she's a hoot! She says the funniest things.

    2. You went all out for this cake and it is gorgeous! As much as I have disliked working with wafer paper in the past, you've renewed my interest in it.

      1. Thanks, Sandra! I still prefer gum paste, but I’m having fun experimenting with wafer paper. There are some fabulous YouTube tutorials!

    3. Your cake is absolutely stunning!! I totally agree about spice cakes screaming "fall" to me, but it is just a carrot*less carrot cake which I usually make for Easter... brains do funny things with information in how we categorize and organize information!

      1. Thanks so much, Rebekah! It is funny, huh!?

    4. You're so clever! It looks like a big speckled Easter egg. Love it!

    5. That is a gorgeous cake Amanda and it does look very much like Easter...however it should taste like ham not chicken......hahahahaha.

    6. You cake is truly beautiful, but I'm sorry you didn't think that this cake was an appropriate option for this time of the year.

      1. Thanks, Felice! I actually think it’s a perfect option for this time of year! I hadn’t associated spice cake with spring before—but was so surprised to realize it is essentially just like the ultimate springtime cake: carrot cake (only without the carrots). Like I said at the end of the post, it might be a new favorite springtime flavor :)


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