Moist, Tender Spice Cake Recipe -
Moist, Tender Spice Cake Recipe

Moist, Tender Spice Cake

Recipe by  

"This is a substantial yet tender spice cake that's flavorful enough to serve unadorned."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 servings Change Servings


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a metal or disposable foil 9-by-13-inch pan. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup.
  2. Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture in two stages; beat on medium speed until batter is just smooth. Add the sugar; beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into cake pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Picnic tip
  • Can be double-wrapped in plastic a day ahead. Return to pan to transport. Also, the batter can be divided and baked in two 8-inch square cake pans. Take one on the picnic; freeze one for later.

  • Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 08, 2008

A much easier way to combine the ingredients (especially great if you lack a hand mixer) is to cream the butter and sugar; stir in the milk, eggs, and vanilla; then stir in the dry ingredients, sifted together. Smells like Thanksgiving and goes GREAT with a dollop of COLD, whipped cream! I baked mine in a bundt pan: about 75 minutes at 350 degrees.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 11, 2011

First of all, I want to say that the flavor of the spices was wonderful -- absolutely the best combination and amounts I've ever tasted in a spice cake. I only gave this 3 stars though due to the method and the fact that I felt it lacked some things, such as raisins and nuts. I read through the entire recipe and was shocked at the instructions on how to put it together. I stuck with my "tried and true" method where I mixed the all dry ingredients together first, then I creamed the butter and sugar, added the eggs one at a time mixing well after each, added the vanilla and then added the dry ingredients varying with the milk -- dry/milk/dry/milk/dry. I also plumped 1/4 cup golden raisins and 1/4 cup regular raisins and toasted 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and stirred that in after mixing everything else. I served this as the Grooms' cake for my sons wedding today and it was a big hit. Very moist, but still held together. I recommend it to anyone looking for an excellent spice cake, but stick to the "normal" method of mixing the ingredients.

Sep 10, 2005

This was almost like the one my mother made in the 1950's. She simmered 1/2 c. raisens until they were plump, drained the liquid and added them to the recipe. I tried that trick and now I have Mothers recipe. Thanks. Sometimes she would frost with caramel icing, sometimes cream cheese icing or sometimes just lay a paper doiley on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Nov 17, 2010

This is without a doubt the best spice cake I've ever made. The spices used are perfect and no one spice overwhelms anything else. It is moist and absolutely delicious. I bake mine in a stoneware fluted pan just because it looks pretty so I have to adjust cooking times~ 50 minutes in the oven and it is done perfectly. I took another reviewer's suggestion and made the "Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting" from this site to top it with. That frosting complements this cake perfectly. I double the frosting because you do get quite a large cake and just because it tastes divine! Thank you. *EDIT* I forgot to add that I've seen quite a few complaints about mixing this recipe. What I do with ALL my cakes is keep the wet and dry ingredients separate. For this cake, I beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, added the rest of the wet ingredients one at a time while slowly beating to blend. In another bowl I sifted all the dry ingredients together then added them slowly to the wet bowl and mixed it together by hand with a wooden spoon. Never fails! I give it 4 stars because I did have to make these changes and I'm sure that new cooks don't know that keeping the wet and dry separate for a cake is crucial.

Dec 02, 2005

Extremely moist. Big hit with my family-we ate it while decorating our tree! Baked it in a bunt pan and sifted powdered sugar over the top and it turned out lovely. Very old-fashion-Christmas looking. It is important to follow the directions exactly or else you won't get the moist, fluffy texture.

Mar 06, 2008

I made a rich caramel sauce to spoon over this and the final product is absolutely wonderful!!! The only thing missings is a really good quality french vanilla ice cream and a rich cup of freshly brewed coffee. I added a cup of raisins that I had soaked in hot water and I also followed a more traditional cake technique of creaming the sugar with the butter (or margarine... which I used), and then adding the eggs and vanilla. I added the combined dry ingredients to the sugar/margarine, and then stirred in my milk and raisins. Absolutely perfect!! A definite keeper of a recipe and one well worth serving to guests.

Feb 05, 2008

I made this but trying to get away from white flour i used all wheat.My bad it made it to dry and very dense. The flavor was there and good but i should have used white wheat flour not just whole wheat will try again with diff flour.

Jan 25, 2008

Although this was the first cake I'd ever tried to make, I found the instructions very easy to follow and had no problems during baking. I've served it on two seperate occasions and it's always been devoured very, very quickly. I definitrly recommend it to first-time bakers, or anyone with a love of spice cake in general. Try adding 1/2 cup of applesauce to make it more moist.


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  • Calories
  • 275 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36.1 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 67 mg
  • 22%
  • Fat
  • 13 g
  • 20%
  • Fiber
  • 0.7 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.9 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 222 mg
  • 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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