When I was a child the smell of a spice cake baking in the kitchen always screamed out fall, thanksgiving, turkey.  It meant that we would be lighting logs in the fireplace and having hearty stews and soups.  Christmas was just around the corner and soon we would be buying the tree and decorating and wrapping presents and baking and eating and eating and eating.  I always loved those few short weeks that surrounded the holidays.  There was so much activity and so many things to do and see and people would come and go and somehow you managed to forget that you had to take exams and do homework before that glorious time that was Christmas vacation would come.  It felt safe and warm and a comforting.  This cake took me right back to those happy times of my youth.  As soon as I saw this recipe in my list for free choices I knew this had to be the one to make.  It was just perfect.

This cake is ultra moist.  Even after it cooled on the racks and as I was frosting and composing ayers I could just tell that it was as moist a cake as you could ever want.  The smell of it baking was making me insane.  I was instantly transported back to my parents house and it was 1965 and I was anticipating the holiday season while waiting for my mom’s spice cake to come out of the oven.  Oh, what times those were.  Snapping back to reality, let’s bake…

This cake is totally simple.  Mix the dry ingredients, add the wet and bake.  Way to simple for the totally orgasmic results that it produces.  The only changes I made here was that I doubled the recipe.  It just seemed too good not to double it.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, 3 tablespoons of buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix lightly to combine.  Add the butter and the rest of the buttermilk and mix on low to moisten the dry ingredients. 

Adding the butter and buttermilk to dry ingredients

 Raise the speed to medium and beat for a minute and a half.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds between each addition. 

Adding the egg mixture

 Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cakes test down. 

The finished batter

Ready to bake

Cool on racks in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold the cakes and cool completely.

The baked cakes

To make the peanut buttercream, in the work bowl of a food processor add the peanut butter, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  Process until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the workbowl and process until smooth.

Frosting ingredients in the work bowl

The finished buttercream

Add about 1 cup of the buttercream to the first layer.  Top with the second layer, press down to even the layers. 

Filling the layers

Frost the top and sides of the cake and decorate as desired.  Since this cake reminded me so much of my childhood and my mom’s spice cake, I felt that it needed to be frosted just as my mother had done.  Nothing fancy, just big dollops of the frosting, swirled with the back of a spoon and left plain.  This was total heaven for me and a fitting tribute to my mom.  Enjoy!


Next Up:  Chocolate Genoise with Peanut Butter Whipped Ganache