Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe

There's something magical about the blend of spices in a classic spice cake. Its rich, deep flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are wonderfully comforting and create a cake that's not only moist but also incredibly flavorful. This super moist spice cake is an easy-to-make recipe, promising a cake that's tender and loaded with delicious warm spices. It's topped with a cream cheese frosting, that perfectly complements the spice flavors and adds a luscious finishing touch.

Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe
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Most of the ingredients in this moist spice cake recipe are staples you'd likely have in your pantry. However, molasses and unsweetened applesauce may not be as common. Molasses, a dark, thick syrup, gives the cake a rich, caramel-like flavor and moist texture. Unsweetened applesauce is used as a healthier substitute for butter or oil, keeping the cake moist while adding a subtle sweetness.

Ingredients for Super Moist Spice Cake

Flour: Forms the base of the cake, providing structure.

Baking powder and baking soda: Leavening agents that help the cake rise.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves combine to give the cake its distinctive flavor.

Vegetable oil: Adds moisture to the cake and helps tenderize the gluten in the flour.

Dark brown sugar: Sweetens the cake and adds moisture and a depth of flavor.

Unsweetened applesauce: Adds moisture and a subtle sweetness.

Eggs: Provide structure and stability to the batter, help in leavening.

Vanilla extract: Adds a depth of flavor.

Apple: Adds natural sweetness and moisture, enhancing the overall flavor of the cake.

Molasses: Gives the cake a rich, caramel-like flavor and moist texture.

Cream cheese: Provides a tangy balance to the sweetness of the cake, it's the base of the frosting.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness to the frosting.

Confectioners’ sugar: Sweetens the frosting and gives it a smooth consistency.

One reader, Doretta Wallace says:

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This super moist spice cake recipe is a game-changer! The blend of spices creates a rich, warm flavor, and the texture is incredibly moist. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch. It's a hit every time I make it, and my friends and family can't get enough!

Doretta Wallace

Techniques Required for Making a Super Moist Spice Cake

How to prepare the cake batter: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix them together until well combined. Fold in the shredded apple before spreading the batter into the prepared pan.

How to check for doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil.

How to make cream cheese frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Then, add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat until well combined.

How to store the cake: Tightly cover any leftover cake and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How To Make Super Moist Spice Cake

Rich, moist, and delectable, this spice cake is the perfect fall treat, packed with flavors from nutmeg, cinnamon, and topped with a cream cheese frosting!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 50 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • cupsall-purpose flour,spoon and leveled
  • 2tspbaking powder
  • 1tspbaking soda
  • ½tspsalt
  • tspground cinnamon
  • 1tspground ginger
  • ½tspground nutmeg
  • ½tspground cloves
  • 1cupvegetable oil
  • cupdark brown sugar,packed
  • 1cupunsweetened applesauce
  • 4large eggs
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • 1cupapple,or carrot, or zucchini, shredded
  • 1tbspmolasses,optional

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8ozblock cream cheese,full-fat, softened to room temperature
  • ½cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 3cupsconfectioners’ sugar,plus an extra ¼ cup if needed
  • 1tsppure vanilla extract
  • tspsalt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.

  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and other spices together in a large bowl. Set aside.

  3. Whisk the oil, brown sugar, applesauce, eggs, vanilla extract, and molasses together in a medium bowl.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

  5. Fold in the shredded apple until combined.

  6. Spread batter into the prepared pan.

  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary.

  8. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  9. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

  10. Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack. 

  11. Allow to cool completely.

  12. To speed things up, place the cake in the refrigerator after about 45 minutes.

Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.

  2. Add the 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt.

  3. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.

  4. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to help set the frosting and make cutting easier.

  5. Cover the leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Recipe Notes

  • For a thicker frosting, add the extra ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar.
  • Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions: Prepare the cake just through until before frosting. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, make the frosting, frost, and serve. Frosted cake freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature, or serve cold.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 636.94kcal
  • Fat: 34.74g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.32g
  • Trans Fat: 0.46g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 17.70g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.19g
  • Carbohydrates: 77.09g
  • Fiber: 1.39g
  • Sugar: 54.92g
  • Protein: 6.11g
  • Cholesterol: 103.13mg
  • Sodium: 388.82mg
  • Calcium: 117.64mg
  • Potassium: 164.61mg
  • Iron: 2.04mg
  • Vitamin A: 161.07µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.74mg

Key Technique Tip for a Perfectly Moist Spice Cake

When preparing the cream cheese frosting, ensure that both the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before you begin. This will make them easier to blend together, resulting in a smoother, creamier frosting. If the ingredients are too cold, they may not blend well and could result in a lumpy frosting. Also, when adding the confectioners’ sugar, do so gradually to avoid a cloud of sugar dust and to ensure a smooth consistency.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Spice Cake Recipe

Prepare the ingredients: Gather and measure all the ingredients before starting to save time and prevent any last-minute trips to the store.

Use a food processor: Utilize a food processor to quickly shred the apple and mix the wet ingredients, saving time and effort.

Bake in advance: Bake the cake a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator, allowing the flavors to develop and saving time on the day of serving.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you work to avoid wasting time searching for utensils or ingredients.

Multi-task: While the cake is baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Chill the cake: Place the cake in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process before frosting, saving time and preventing the frosting from melting.

Substitute Ingredients For Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with cake flour: Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, resulting in a lighter and more tender texture in the cake.

  • baking powder - Substitute with baking soda: Baking soda can be used as a substitute for baking powder by adding an acid such as buttermilk or yogurt to activate it.

  • baking soda - Substitute with baking powder: Baking powder can be used as a substitute for baking soda by increasing the quantity and adding an acid to the recipe.

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with applesauce: Applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil to reduce the fat content and add moisture to the cake.

  • dark brown sugar - Substitute with granulated sugar and molasses: Mixing granulated sugar and molasses can replicate the flavor and moisture of dark brown sugar.

  • unsweetened applesauce - Substitute with mashed bananas: Mashed bananas can provide moisture and natural sweetness similar to applesauce.

  • large eggs - Substitute with flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water per egg) or mashed banana: Flax eggs or mashed banana can act as binding agents and add moisture to the cake.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can provide a tangy flavor and creamy texture similar to cream cheese.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free substitute for butter and adds a hint of coconut flavor to the cake.

  • confectioners’ sugar - Substitute with granulated sugar: Granulated sugar can be blended to a fine powder to substitute for confectioners' sugar in the frosting.

  • apple - Substitute with pear: Pears can provide a similar texture and sweetness to apples in the cake.

  • molasses - Substitute with honey or maple syrup: Honey or maple syrup can add a similar depth of flavor and sweetness to the cake.

  • ground cinnamon - Substitute with pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon and other warm spices, providing a similar flavor profile to cinnamon.

  • ground ginger - Substitute with allspice: Allspice can provide a combination of flavors similar to ginger, including warmth and a hint of pepper.

  • ground nutmeg - Substitute with cinnamon or allspice: Cinnamon or allspice can provide a warm and slightly sweet flavor similar to nutmeg.

  • ground cloves - Substitute with allspice or cinnamon: Allspice or cinnamon can provide a warm and slightly sweet flavor similar to cloves.

Best Way to Present This Moist Spice Cake

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the super moist spice cake, consider using a white or neutral-colored plate to allow the cake's rich colors to stand out. The cake can be placed in the center of the plate, with the cream cheese frosting elegantly spread on top.

  2. Garnish with fresh apple slices: Thinly slice fresh apples and fan them out on one side of the cake. This adds a pop of color and a fresh, natural element to the presentation.

  3. Dust with powdered sugar: Lightly dust the plate with a sprinkle of powdered sugar before placing the cake. This adds a touch of elegance and complements the sweetness of the cake.

  4. Add a drizzle of caramel sauce: Create a beautiful drizzle of caramel sauce on the plate, using a small squeeze bottle or spoon. This not only adds a decadent touch but also enhances the flavor profile of the dish.

  5. Incorporate edible flowers: Consider adding a small cluster of edible flowers, such as pansies or violets, to the plate for a visually stunning and sophisticated presentation. Ensure the flowers are thoroughly cleaned and safe for consumption.

  6. Use gold leaf accents: For an extra touch of luxury, delicately place a few edible gold leaf accents on the plate. This adds a touch of opulence and elevates the overall presentation.

  7. Serve with a side of vanilla bean ice cream: Accompany the cake with a small quenelle of vanilla bean ice cream on the side. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also provides a delightful contrast in temperature and flavor.

Essential Tools for Making a Super Moist Spice Cake

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining ingredients and mixing the batter for the spice cake.
  • Whisk: A whisk is used to blend the dry ingredients and to mix the wet ingredients together.
  • 9x13-inch pan: This pan is used to bake the spice cake in the oven.
  • Handheld or stand mixer: A handheld or stand mixer is used to beat the cream cheese and butter together for the frosting.
  • Wire rack: A wire rack is used to cool the cake after baking.
  • Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil is used to cover the cake if it is browning too quickly in the oven.

Storing and Freezing Super Moist Spice Cake

  • Cover the spice cake tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you want to keep the cake fresh for a longer period, store it in the refrigerator. Place the covered cake in the fridge for up to 5 days. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the spice cake. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, then cover it with a layer of aluminum foil. Label the cake with the date and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • If you have frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting, it's best to freeze the cake unwrapped until the frosting is firm. Then, wrap the frozen cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before returning it to the freezer.
  • To thaw a frozen spice cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, remove the wrapping and allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.
  • If you have leftover slices of cake, wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

How To Reheat Spice Cake Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover super moist spice cake, first let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before reheating. This will help the cake reheat more evenly and prevent it from drying out.

  • For individual slices, place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. If the cake isn't warm enough, heat it for an additional 5-10 seconds until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it can quickly dry out in the microwave.

  • If you want to reheat a larger portion of the cake, preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the cake on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. This will help prevent the top of the cake from drying out or burning. Heat the cake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until it's warmed through.

  • Another option is to reheat the cake in a steamer. Place the cake in a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the basket. Cover the steamer and let the cake warm up for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the piece.

  • If your leftover spice cake has cream cheese frosting, be extra careful when reheating. The frosting can melt and become runny if overheated. It's best to remove the frosting before reheating and then reapply it once the cake is warm.

  • For a quick and easy way to enjoy leftover spice cake, try warming a slice in a skillet with a pat of butter. This will create a slightly crispy exterior and a warm, gooey interior. Heat the skillet over medium heat, add the butter, and then place the cake slice in the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until the cake is heated through and the exterior is lightly crispy.

Random Fact About Super Moist Spice Cake

The super moist spice cake recipe is a great way to incorporate fruits and spices into a delicious dessert. The combination of applesauce, shredded apple, and a blend of spices creates a flavorful and moist cake. The addition of molasses adds a rich depth of flavor to the cake. This recipe is perfect for those who enjoy a moist and flavorful cake with a hint of spice.

Is Making Spice Cake at Home Economical?

This super moist spice cake recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are commonly found in most kitchens, and the recipe yields a large cake that can serve a family for several days. The use of applesauce and molasses adds moisture and flavor without requiring expensive ingredients. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-15, making it a budget-friendly dessert option. Overall, I would rate this recipe a solid 9 for its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is This Spice Cake Healthy or Unhealthy?

This spice cake recipe, while undeniably delicious, leans more towards the unhealthy side due to several factors:

  • The cake contains a significant amount of vegetable oil and dark brown sugar, which are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain and other health issues if consumed in excess.
  • The cream cheese frosting is also high in fat and sugar, further increasing the overall calorie count of the dessert.
  • The recipe uses all-purpose flour, which is refined and lacks the beneficial nutrients and fiber found in whole grain alternatives.

However, the recipe does include some healthier ingredients, such as unsweetened applesauce and shredded apple, which provide moisture and natural sweetness while reducing the need for additional oil or sugar.

To make this spice cake healthier without compromising on taste and texture, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour or almond flour to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the amount of vegetable oil by 1/4 cup and replace it with an additional 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • Cut back on the dark brown sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • For the cream cheese frosting, use low-fat cream cheese and reduce the amount of butter and confectioners' sugar
  • Incorporate more shredded apple or even grated zucchini to boost the moisture and nutritional value of the cake

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and health-conscious version of this classic spice cake that still satisfies your sweet tooth and delivers on flavor.

Editor's Thoughts on This Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe

The spice cake recipe is a delightful blend of warm spices and moist texture, creating a comforting treat. The combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves adds depth to the flavor profile, while the use of applesauce and shredded apple ensures a moist and tender crumb. The cream cheese frosting provides a luscious and tangy contrast, elevating the overall experience. The recipe's clear instructions make it accessible for both novice and experienced bakers. It's a versatile dessert suitable for various occasions, from casual gatherings to formal events. Overall, it's a well-crafted recipe that promises a delectable and satisfying outcome.

Enhance Your Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Vegetables: Try serving the super moist spice cake with a side of roasted vegetables. The savory flavors of the vegetables will complement the sweetness of the cake perfectly.
Grilled Chicken: Pair the super moist spice cake with some juicy grilled chicken for a satisfying and balanced meal. The combination of the moist cake and the savory chicken will be a hit with your taste buds.
Fruit Salad: For a refreshing and light side dish, consider serving a colorful fruit salad alongside the super moist spice cake. The combination of the sweet cake and the fresh fruit will be a delightful treat for your palate.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Super Moist Spice Cake

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy chicken alfredo recipe is a classic Italian dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and creamy sauce. It's the perfect comfort food for any occasion.
Grilled Vegetable Salad: This grilled vegetable salad is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy your favorite veggies. The smoky flavor from the grill adds a unique touch to this refreshing salad.
Berry Chia Seed Pudding: This berry chia seed pudding is a nutritious and satisfying dessert that's perfect for breakfast or as a sweet treat. The combination of fresh berries and chia seeds creates a delightful texture and flavor.

Appetizers and Main Courses to Complement Spice Cake

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then baked to perfection. These Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizer for any gathering.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: A creamy and cheesy dip loaded with spinach and artichokes, served warm and bubbly. This Spinach and Artichoke Dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips or toasted bread slices.
Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: Create a mouthwatering grilled salmon dish by marinating the fish in a zesty lemon and herb mixture. Serve it with a side of roasted vegetables for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Impress your guests with delicious stuffed bell peppers filled with a savory mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices. Top them off with melted cheese for a satisfying and comforting dinner option.

Why trust this Super Moist Spice Cake Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delectable spice cake that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves creates a symphony of flavors. The use of applesauce and shredded apple ensures a moist and luscious texture. The cream cheese frosting, made with cream cheese, butter, and confectioners' sugar, adds a rich and creamy finish. With a perfect balance of sweet and spice, this recipe is a testament to its trustworthiness and will undoubtedly impress your guests.

Want to share your experience baking this Super Moist Spice Cake or have any tips to make it even better? Join the discussion in the Baking and Desserts forum section!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of sugar in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute dark brown sugar with light brown sugar or granulated sugar. Keep in mind that using different types of sugar may slightly alter the flavor and texture of the cake.
Can I omit the molasses from the recipe?
If you don't have molasses on hand, you can omit it from the recipe. The cake will still turn out delicious, but the molasses adds a rich, deep flavor to the spice cake.
Can I make this cake in advance and freeze it?
Absolutely! This spice cake freezes beautifully. Once it has completely cooled, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
Can I use a different type of frosting for this cake?
Of course! While the cream cheese frosting complements the spice cake beautifully, you can also use a classic vanilla buttercream or a simple dusting of powdered sugar. Get creative and use your favorite frosting to suit your taste.
Can I add nuts or raisins to the cake batter?
Yes, you can add chopped nuts or raisins to the cake batter for added texture and flavor. Simply fold them in along with the shredded apple before spreading the batter into the pan.

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