The holiday season has finally arrived and food is on everyone’s mind.

Personally, I start dreaming about buttery mashed potatoes, juicy turkey, candied yams, but after that Thanksgiving feast, I can never forget about dessert. For the past 10 years, my dad and I have been making spice cake for the holidays. The Spice Cake is a holiday tradition originating in England and is popular in both the U.K. and America. It tastes like a gingerbread cookie but with extra spices and without molasses. The cake commonly contains fruits and nuts, but tastes just as delicious without them.

PREP: 20 minutes  ||  BAKE: 35 minutes  ||  COOL: 1 hour  ||  STAND: 1 hour


¼ cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ cup shortening
1-½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1-¼ cups buttermilk


  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 8×1-1/2- inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan(s) aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla to the butter mixture; beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour into prepared pan(s).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for the round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for the 13x9x2-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
  5. Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Or, place 13 x 9 x 2-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with desired frosting.

Makes 12 servings.