Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

I’ve been in a baking kind of mood lately, much to the delight of my official taste-testers, my husband & Jennifer. On the agenda this week: spice cake. I mostly used a Taste of Home recipe, although I did not use the suggested Seven-Minute Frosting (which I hate). I also added a teaspoon of vanilla, because I think everything’s better with vanilla. Finally, I used a scant 1/2 teaspoon of cloves (might have even been only a 1/4 teaspoon) since I’m not a fan of too much cloves.

No pics of the assembly process, because I didn’t think about getting the camera out until the pans were already in the oven, but here are the cakes right after being pulled out of the oven:

cakes

The cakes sank a fair amount in the center, which doesn’t usually happen to me. I think it’s because the pans were a little over-full, and I thought for a bit that I was going to have an enormous mess in the oven. Fortunately everything stayed in place, but the centers were bulging quite a bit & then collapsed back after cooling. Next time I’d bake some of the batter into cupcakes. My 9-inch pans weren’t quite up to the task.

The next image shows the cake in the process of being frosted. I used a simple buttercream frosting – butter, confectioners’ (a.k.a. powdered, a.k.a. icing) sugar, vanilla extract, maple extract & enough milk to make it spreadable. It’s my standard frosting recipe & I love it! Super simple & super tasty. It’ll definitely give a sugar rush.

The bottom layer is on the plate, with frosting. Yes, there is a gouge missing from one side but it looks much bigger in the picture than it really was.

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Some difficulty getting the second layer to line up over the first evenly, but in the end it worked out reasonably well.

second layer

Finally, the finished cake. Yes, my frosting job is rough. I’m not very good at producing a cleanly frosted cake, let alone one with fancy decorations. I’m working on it!

frosted

The verdict? I thought the frosting was too much & too sweet (and I don’t say that often). I think next time I’d go for cupcakes or baking it in a 13 x 9 pan, then dusting it with confectioners’ sugar. The cake itself had a great flavor – just spiced enough and very tender.

Jennifer proclaimed “The cake was awesome! I loved the spices and the frosting (or is it icing?) was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Smooth, creamy…just overall dreamy.” She further expressed a need to use a “thesaurus from now on because, dang, I just can’t seem to find the right words for delicious, yummy, etc.”

And for anyone else who wonders, frosting/icing are the same thing – the term frosting is usually used more in the U.S. & icing elsewhere.

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