Old Fashioned Spice Cake

(Don't ask me where I found this cute Father's Day jpg, 'cause I don't remember. If it belongs to any of you, I borrowed it.....mea culpa!)

My dad only liked two kinds of cakes. The first was a plain vanilla layer cake, but with softened raisins beaten into a 7 minute frosting slathered all over it. From the time I was a child, he referred to this as a Minnehaha Cake. Your guess is as good as mine where that name came from. Reading Hiawatha?

His second favorite was a spice cake with a brown sugar frosting. If you remember from my post last Father's Day, he loved penuche and that's basically what this frosting is. So I made this spice cake in his honor for Father's Day.  Unfortunately, I don't have my mother's recipe for spice cake, but this one was in my files and it turned out perfectly. 
I so wish my dad was still here to share a piece of his favorite cake!

                                                                             (Photo taken in Georgian Bay)

Dad's Favorite Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Recipe found on Dramatic Pancake Blog

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

For the brown sugar frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1¾ – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch cake pans. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Add in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk in two additions, beating well after each addition.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and tap pans on counter to make sure batter is evenly distributed in pans. 
Bake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. The cake will start to pull away from the pan when it’s done. 
Cool on a wire rack.

For the brown sugar frosting:

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, stirring continuously for 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm temperature, then gradually stir in confectioners’ sugar until frosting has reached your desired consistency. For a thicker frosting, add more sugar; to thin it out, you can always add a bit of milk. Fill and frost the cooled cake. 
I threw on some cinnamon chips just for presentation.


  1. That's fun Father's Day picture!
    The spice cake looks splendid with brown sugar frosting and cinnamon chips!

  2. A lovely picture of your father and beautiful cake!



  3. I bet it's delish..
    Love your dad's photo!

  4. That's a great pic of your dad, Barbara! I love both of those cakes too. Mom used to make both, but I haven't had a spice cake in years and will have to try your version, with the cardamom, don't think my recipe includes that spice. Here's to our great dads!

  5. Your cake looks terrific. And I wish my dad was still around so I could bake him a cake, too.

  6. What lovely picture and the cake look amazing:))

  7. Looks like your father really enjoyed the water, nice picture of you father. The cake looks delicious!

  8. maybe it's just me, but brown sugar frosting (penuche = heaven) sounds a whole heck of a lot better than frosting with raisins. i have definitely never seen that done, but i suppose i shouldn't judge it til i try it!

  9. I recall seeing that photo of your dad before. He was a handsome guy and what a boat he had! I love spice cake and this one looks delicious.

  10. I wish my father was still here as well…I know that if I made him your spice cake that he would enjoy it as much as your father did. :)



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