Monday was Chris’ birthday and I decided to make him a birthday cake. While I should have selected a cake that he would have loved, my food cravings are minimal these days and so when I saw a spice cake recipe, and it actually sounded good, I decided to make it.
I have to say though – the frosting is what makes this cake. The cake itself was a little dry. Some cake recipes get “moister” with age. This one does not.
I have a different cake base recipe that is moist (I know, I hate that word too) and would make a stellar cake if I make the cake with that recipe and used the below frosting recipe. I might just have to try doing that in a few weeks.
If you look at the photo, my 4-H days would tell you that I over stirred (or in this case, used of my mixer) as you can see there are quite a few holes or what 4-H judges might call craters in the slice. A big no-no for making cakes.
Birthday Spice Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg and/or allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk (we used almond milk)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or spray two 8” or 9” round cake pans.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
In a larger bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for about half a minute, until it’s pale and creamy. Pour in the sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir it in by hand or with the electric mixer on low speed, just until it’s combined. Add about half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour, mixing just until the batter is blended.
Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes are golden and their tops are springy to the touch. Cool completely before frosting.
Browned Butter Brown Sugar Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup half & half
2 cups powdered sugar, plus more if you need it
In a small saucepan, melt half of the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns brown and smells nutty. Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the butter.
Put the brown sugar into the same saucepan along with the half & half, put it over the heat and stir until it starts to bubble and the sugar has melted. Scrape it into the bowl with the butter, add half the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth; add a little extra sugar or half & half if it needs it to achieve a spreadable consistency. Oooh this frosting is good!