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one slice of frosted cake being lifted from remaining cake

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

You haven't lived till you've tried this delicious spice cake with brown sugar frosting. One bite of this cinnamony, sweet, moist, cozy cake will give you all the fall feels.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 465kcal
Author Tiffany


  • 1 cup flour + 3 tablespoons
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • cup apple sauce
  • 1 apple peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Brown Sugar Frosting

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-6 tablespoons milk as needed
  • cinnamon-sugar optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch round or square cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
  • In a second, larger bowl combine brown sugar, oil, apple sauce, grated apple, eggs, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  • Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool at least 20 minutes before gently turning out onto a plate to cool completely. Once completely cooled, frost, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if desired. Cut, and serve or cover and store at room temperature up to three days or in the fridge in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Make the Frosting

  • To prepare the frosting, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and continue to stir for 1 minute.
  • Stir in heavy cream and stir 2 minutes longer until sauce mixture is smooth like caramel. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into a heat-safe bowl and mix in powdered sugar.
  • Stir in milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition until light, fluffy, and easily spreadable. Spread over cooled cake.


  • Feeding a crowd: this cake can easily be doubled to fit in a 9x13 pan to feed a crowd. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
  • Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before turning it onto a pan to cool the rest of the way and frost. This helps the cake to contract and pull away from the edges so you can better turn it out without breaking into pieces.
  • In that same vein, wait till the cake is totally cooled off before icing or your brown sugar frosting will melt and slide off the cake.


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg