This spice cake yields incredibly soft and tender crumbs with gently spiced flavor. Silky caramel Frosting tops up this fall dessert.

Spic Cake with Caramel Icing

I have a fear.

A fear, a hesitation, and a near trauma…, I am afraid of making CARAMEL FROSTING.

I have tried numerous times perfecting this evil frosting but I don’t think I had ever got it right. I always ended up with a bowl full of crumbly golden glob mess that didn’t even stick to the cake. So frustrating…

It was my husband’s birthday this past Sunday and guess what his favorite cake to eat for his special B-day was? Yup, a spice cake with caramel frosting!

So my original intention was to serve the cake on a puddle of caramel sauce instead to satisfy his serious sugar tooth. Then I discovered this recipe, Spice Cake with Caramel Icing and decided to give a try. I liked the glaze-like icing on top of the cake that I saw on the photo. I can do glaze.

However, the icing on the cake of my picture looks quite different than the original recipe that I got it from. Mine looks like mud slowly sliding down on the cliff of tropical island. Where is the gorgeous shiny glaze-like icing?

Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

The cake itself is amazingly soft and moist with featherweight texture and fine crumbs; thanks to the double sifting of flour mixture. The spices are well balanced with sweetness of cake. The icing? Well…, see my tutorial and tell me what I did wrong. But I tell ya, it tastes pretty good and I don’t find the gritty like texture that some other frosting/icing do.

If you have a tube pan, it would be the best equipment for this recipe, but a bundt pan creates equally gorgeous tall cake; you just don’t see the pretty bundt curves on top since it is covered by the icing.

Here is a story, the accidental caramel frosting, that I have dreamed of, over a spice cake.

Spices used in this recipe

Spice Cake

Spice, spice, I spy spice! You will need these 5 spices. Don’t skip the mace.

How to make spice cake

spice cake

Sift the dry ingredients TWICE!!! That will create very light and fine textured cake.

spice cake

Beat butter, shortening (yes, shortening!), and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in 5 eggs (wow!), one at a time.

Slowly stir in flour spice mixture and milk alternately. Add vanilla extract.

See the smooth cake batter.

Turn the batter into a greased and floured tube pan or bundt pan. Bake at 325F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Here is the beautiful cake, so evenly baked! Cool your cake completely. 100% satisfied so far.

How to make Caramel Frosting

Ready to tackle the icing. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add cream and brown sugar, mix until smooth.

caramel frosting

Bring the mixture to a full boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat source and let it cool slightly. Maybe I must had it cool too long? It got thickened a bit when I was about to add the powdered sugar.

caramel frosting

Add the 2 cups of powdered sugar. Yes, sugar plus another sugar. I bet the caramel frosting/icing will be the sweetest frosting of all. I feel my teeth aching…

Anyway, I added powdered sugar. And this is what I got. This was NOT what I was visioning. I wanted smooth glaze-like icing just like on the picture. What have I done wrong?  Either caramel hates me or we just are not meant to be together.

caramel frosting

I didn’t want to discard it so I transferred this big clumpy glob to a mixing bowl, added 2 tbsp more cream, and started beating like crazy. And voila! instead of glaze, I ended up with the silky smooth frosting. The frosting I always wanted to get but never got it right before. How bizarre is that?

My husband loved the cake. In fact he loved it so much that he hid it from our dinner guests (we had a few friends over to have dinner with us) after each guest had their thin(?) slices of cake. He took the rest of the cake back to kitchen without offering anyone a second. I quietly chuckled. My poor husband knows that I hardly make his favorite cake, so he wanted to take his portion to a maximum by hiding it from his friends. LOL!

Everyone loved and raved the flavor of the cake and the frosting, or more accurately “a failed glaze”.
Anyhow my ever-wanted caramel frosting was born in a total accidental way and I couldn’t be any happier.

To caramel and beyond!


Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

This spice cake yields incredibly soft and tender crumbs with gently spiced flavor. Silky caramel Frosting tops up this fall dessert.
Recipe adapted from FOOD52
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  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace, don’t leave this out
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the caramel icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  • In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream together butter, shortening, sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat.
  • In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredient, twice. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the milk and mix well in a low speed each time. Add vanilla and stir well.
  • Turn the cake batter in a greased floured tube pan or bundt pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when tested.
  • Cool cake in a pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and completely cool on a wire rack.
  • To make caramel icing: melt butter in a saucepan over med-low heat, stir in brown sugar, and he cream. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  • Return to heat and bring to boil for 1 minute.
  • Let the mixture cool. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add more cream if needed.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.