Rebekah Stuber of Bay Laurel Baking Company in Des Moines says her flavor-packed spice cakes always earn the most raves. Her secret to airy cream cheese frosting? Folding in whipped cream.

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Kelsey Hansen

Recipe Summary

40 mins
2 hrs




Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.

  • For cake: In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, nutmeg and pepper. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat eggs until slightly frothy. Add brown sugar and grated ginger; beat until combined. Add applesauce, oil, molasses and dissolved espresso mixture; beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture while stirring by hand with a rubber spatula. Stir in the undissolved espresso coffee powder.

  • Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 22 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto wire racks; peel off paper. Cool completely.

  • For frosting: In a small bowl, beat cream with a mixer on medium to high until soft peaks form. Chill until needed.

  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add powdered sugar in two batches, mixing on the lowest speed until just combined. (Mixture will be yellow and lumpy.)Gradually increase speed to high and beat until white and fluffy. (This can take several minutes.) Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.

  • With mixer on low, add molasses and espresso mixture. Beat on high until fluffy. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream.

  • To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Frost top generously. Repeat with remaining two layers.* Frost sides using the "naked" frosting technique, so parts of cakes peep through. If you like, decorate with cookies and rosemary.


Chill cake after stacking the layers. This lets the frosting between layers set up for stability when frosting the sides.

Nutrition Facts

764 calories; fat 42g; cholesterol 123mg; saturated fat 16g; carbohydrates 94g; mono fat 10g; poly fat 13g; trans fatty acid 1g; insoluble fiber 1g; sugars 70g; protein 6g; vitamin a 805.3IU; vitamin c 0.4mg; thiamin 0.2mg; riboflavin 0.3mg; niacin equivalents 2mg; vitamin b6 0.1mg; folate 58.9mcg; vitamin b12 0.2mcg; sodium 473mg; potassium 247mg; calcium 125mg; iron 2.3mg.