The secret to delicious spice cake is a well-balanced blend of flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This recipe, brought to us by Martha's mother, is sweetened with a twist of an orange glaze and a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, nutmeg, mace, and cloves three times.

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  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate, remove pan, and invert cake again onto the rack, so it's top side up.

  • Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Brush top and sides of cake with glaze while the cake is still warm; let cool.

  • Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar, place on a serving platter, and serve.

Reviews (15)

60 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 27
  • 2 star values: 13
  • 1 star values: 7
Rating: Unrated
05/20/2014
I have made this recipe many times and have not had an issue. I do use cake flour, rather than all-purpose, and I do sift it, but not 4 times - usually 2, but sometimes 3 (I get lazy). The cake has not been dense, so I'm guessing the sifting helps, as 4 cups is a lot of flour - most other recipes I've used call for 2 1/4 - 3 cups of cake flour. I agree with other reviewers that it will make more than 1 - 8 inch pan. This recipe makes 30 cupcakes, a 9 inch layer cake or a 1/4 sheet cake.
Rating: Unrated
05/07/2014
I baked this last night. I followed the recipe. I used Swans Down cake flour. It was dry and spongy. The only thing I did differently was I used cupcake pans instead and baked them for 20 minutes. I did not like it at all.
Rating: Unrated
12/01/2013
This recipe has to be off! The result was far too dense and rose to double the height of the recommended pan. A guest described it as "spice bread". It also cracked on the top like bread. Smelled great and the spice combination was good, but I wanted cake, not bread.
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Rating: 4 stars
10/22/2013
This cake was simple to make and great because the ingredients are readily on hand. The cake made the house smell so good. I paired my cake with a caramel topping, spread on the layers and then a layer of whipped cream cheese filling then the whole cake to be covered with a butter cream frosting. I will then cover the whole thing in fondant for the class I am teaching.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2013
I have been baking for a few years and I like to compare box cake mix from homemade (scratch). I made this cake/ cupcakes it was yummy, but it came out dense. All my ingredients were at room temp and I followed everything exact, plus I have a gas oven. Please help???
Rating: Unrated
10/12/2010
I made this, trying to replicate my wedding cake. It was very, very close. Excellent. You can see my results here: http://marthaandme.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/martha-didnt-come-to-my-anniversary-party/
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Rating: Unrated
05/05/2010
If you used regular four that is why. It calls for cake flour and not regular self rising flour. They are different.
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
I made this cake and as it was rising in the oven it spilled all over the oven, evidently there is an error with the size of pan. What a mess I had. I phoned the offices of Martha Stewart and advised them of the problem, and they said that was the recipe. I think 4 c of flour
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
4 teasp. baking powder?
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
having difficulty with comment -- 4 cups of flour
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
4 cups of flour
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
I made this cake and as it was rising in the oven it spilled all over the oven, evidently there is an error with the size of pan. What a mess I had. I phoned the offices of Martha Stewart and advised them of the problem, and they said that was the recipe. I think 4 c of flour
Rating: Unrated
01/26/2009
My cake turned out beautiful but there's no way this much batter can fit in an 8*8 baking pan. I made a 9-inch and a 8-inch round cake without changing the ingredients at all. This is however a very good thing because the cake is delicious.
Rating: Unrated
03/15/2008
Clicking on the Orange Glaze Recipe is giving me an error message.
Rating: Unrated
12/18/2007
I have a brother who loves spicecake and I think I will try this one for him because it sounds great. Of course, I love all recipes from Mrs. Kostyra.