Sugar-and-Spice Layer Cake

Photo: Tara Donne
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs

Tiers of moist spice cake, rich mascarpone frosting, and blackberry jam fill this dessert with everything nice.


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • Salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk

  • 1 ½ cups blackberry jam (from one 17.5-ounce jar)

  • Simple Mascarpone Frosting

  • Cinnamon sugar, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line with parchment, and spray parchment. Sift flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.

  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute more.

  3. Divide batter among cake pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks, and let cool for 20 minutes. Turn out cakes from pans, remove parchment, and flip right side up. Let cool completely.

  4. Trim tops of cakes to create a flat surface. Cut cakes in half horizontally. Spread 1/2 cup jam onto 1 layer, then spread 1 cup frosting over jam. Top with another cake layer. Repeat layering cakes with jam and frosting, leaving top layer (bottom side up) uncovered.Spread remaining frosting on top of cake, and garnish withcinnamon-sugar.

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