I mentioned in my last post that I’m 100% obsessed with cinnamon and all things spiced and warm and cozy lately. So naturally I had to make a spice cake with a literal blanket of cream cheese frosting. This cake is moist and flavorful and peak comforting winter vibes all in one slice! It makes me so happy. 😌
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m so happy 2020 is coming to a close. How did March last 6 months and everything else go by so dang fast!? Without getting too serious in this post full of cake and fairy lights, this was by far the hardest year of my life, and I know it was for so many others too. After being unemployed for the first time ever, and then unemployed a second time, my bank account has taken a major hit. I was having a life crisis about moving back in with my parents at 30, but then I realized it was the absolute perfect time to try for real reviving this blog and seeing if I can make a thing of doing it full time.
And I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about something all year. While things are still rough and still will be for most people for several months, I can honestly say I’m feeling hopeful about the future for the first time in a while.
All of that good energy has got me so pumped about Christmas, too! I’ll definitely miss our usual family gatherings, but I’m all for a chill holiday season at home if it means we’ll all be keeping others safe with their families as well. Christmas movies, warm fire places, maybe you get some snow where you live?? Sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, spice cake. I’m all about this right now!
about this cake
Sugars: This cake is made with a mixture of granulated sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. I love the addition of maple here, and it would be even better if you could get your hands on some maple extract to really give it a boost. I looked everywhere for some maple extract, even places where the McCormick website said it was in stock in my area, but it must have been snatched up quickly!
Spices: I used two teaspoons of apple pie spice in the cake batter, but you can use a combo of whatever you like! You could sub with pumpkin pie spice or go full on cinnamon. I considered it!
Butter + oil: This cake batter uses both butter and oil, and I really think it adds to the soft and fluffy texture. Air is incorporated when you cream the butter and sugar together, and the extra adds extra moisture for a super nice crumb.
Frosting: The cream cheese frosting here is definitely on the softer/thinner side, so not great for piping. But excellent for swooping around the outside of your cake layers! After spreading frosting between cake layers and stacking up my cake, I popped it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to help it firm up. This helped prevent the cake layers from shifting as I spread frosting around the outside.
Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season and happy baking!
Maple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Maple Spice Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp apple pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened and cut into slices
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk)
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray.
- Cream butter on medium speed with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until smooth. Add granulated and brown sugars; cream until fluffy and lighter in color. Add maple syrup and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs and mix until just combined.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and apple pie spice. Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture along with half of the milk and all of the oil. Mix until just combined. Add the second half of the flour mixture and milk. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake layers comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
- Once the cake layers are cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl with a hand-held mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. With mixer running, add butter a few slices at a time until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix well.
- Add two cups of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of heavy cream. Mix on low speed until powdered sugar is mostly incorporated, and then medium-high speed until well combined. Scrapes the sides of the bowl and repeat with two more cups of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Add the last two cups of powdered sugar and mix until incorporated and frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Spread a smear of frosting on the center of your cake plate to prevent cake from shifting while frosting. Place the first cake layer on top. Pipe or spread frosting over cake layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.
- Transfer the cake to the fridge for 20-30 minutes to let the frosting firm up a little. This will help keep the cake layers from shifting while frosting the rest of the cake!
- Once the frosting is a little more firm, spread frosting around the outside and over the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula or a spoon to create large swoops. If you have some frosting remaining, use an open piping tip to decorated around the edges.
- Store cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.