Buttermilk Spice Cake With Brown Sugar Frosting

Buttermilk spice cake with brown sugar recipe

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
261 Calories
8g Fat
46g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 245mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 3g
Calcium 82mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This buttermilk spice cake is a delicious two-layer cake filled with a fabulous brown sugar frosting. The acidity of the buttermilk is balanced with baking soda, which adds to the luscious texture of this cake.

This cake will please everyone at your next family celebration, dinner party, or to take to a potluck and wow the crowd.

If you prefer a cream cheese frosting, feel free to use your favorite or this cream cheese frosting recipe.


  • For the Buttermilk Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (sifted, about 10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • For the Frosting
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1/3 cup water (cold)
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cake ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

    Grease pan
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.

    Sift together flour, baking soda
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

    Beat the butter creamy
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl frequently while you are mixing.

    Add brown sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, mixing at lowest speed just until smooth.

    Add dry ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.

    Pour batter into pan
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

    Bake in preheated oven
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  9. Cool the cake in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes.

    Cool the cakes
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  10. Then turn the layers out onto the racks to cool completely.

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Make the Frosting and Assemble

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Combine the egg whites, brown sugar, the cold water, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla extract in the top pan of a double boiler. Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients for 1 minute at high speed.

    Combine egg whites
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Heat about an inch of water in the bottom section of the double boiler to a rapid boil.

    Heat an inch of water
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Place the frosting pan on the double boiler over the rapidly boiling water and heat while beating constantly, for 7 minutes or until peaks form.

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Remove the frosting from the heat and continue beating until spreading consistency is reached.

    Remove frosting from heat
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  6. Frost the tops and sides of the cooled spice cake.

    Frost the tops
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  7. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

    Slice and serve
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel


  • You'll need a double boiler to make the brown sugar frosting, or fashion one with a stainless steel pan that will fit over a saucepan. Just make sure the top pan or bowl does not come in contact with the boiling water.

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