Mom's Spice Cake

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Sharing a real family favorite today! This spice cake my mom has made for my dad’s birthday since he was 17 years old. He turned 67 this month and my mom made the recipe once again. 50 years of birthday spice cake! It’s a recipe she doesn’t even know how it came about, but she has been making it since she was a teenager.

Growing up, I have memories of this cake every September. My brothers loved it to, so we would have it for their birthdays as well which were in September and October. So it was a lot of spice cake :) I always ate off the caramel icing more so than the cake. It was my favorite part. Now I love it all. It’s such a special recipe and story that I don’t know if its the flavor or the love, but this recipe is the BEST.

I also shared this recipe recently on St. Louis Magazine - read it HERE.


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Spice Cake

  • ¾ cup shortening

  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 cups cake flour (or 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

Caramel Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter or margarine (my mom uses margarine)

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • ¼ cup milk

  • 1 ¾–2 cups sifted powdered sugar


1. To make the cake, cream together until fluffy the shortening, brown sugar, and sugar. Beat in the eggs. 

2. Sift the flour together in a separate bowl with the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Stir together. 

3. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat to combine. 

4. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan or three 8-inch round pans, and add the batter to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 

5. Once cooled, frost with the caramel frosting. 

6. To make the caramel frosting, melt the margarine/butter in a sauce pan. Add the brown sugar, and cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the milk and continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. Add in the powdered sugar until it's a smooth frosting consistency. Spread on the cooled spiced cake.

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