This easy spice cake is perfectly moist and bursting with flavor! Perfect for holidays and special occasions, and so easy to make from simple ingredients you might already have on hand.
When it comes to desserts, chocolate is usually my favorite flavor. That changes when the weather cools down and the holidays start to approach. These days I’m all about warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. This spice cake is perfect for when those cravings kick in!
Easy Dessert Recipe
Another thing I love about this cake, besides the flavor, is how easy it is to make. This one isn’t fancy or as visually stunning as a layer cake, but that’s okay. The flavor will knock your socks off!
The batter gets mixed up by hand. No electric mixer needed! This is a big plus for me, as having to dig the mixer out of the cabinet always makes me think twice about a recipe.
The entire cake is baked in one large rectangular pan, and, if you choose, slathered with frosting. I served mine with my homemade vegan vanilla buttercream frosting.
How to Make Spice Cake
Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a large bowl. You’ll need flour, brown sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Your wet ingredients get mixed up in a separate container — a large liquid measuring cup works great, but you can use a bowl if you don’t have one. You’ll need applesauce, oil, non-dairy milk, molasses, and vanilla extract.
Use a spoon to form a little well in your dry ingredients, then pour in the liquid mixture. Mix everything up just until the batter is fully combined and has no lumps.
Spread the batter into a lightly oiled baking pan and smooth out the top with a spoon. Bake your cake until it’s done. This will take about 30 minutes.
Serve your spice cake plain, or top it with your favorite frosting, cinnamon, and some nuts, like I did.
Vegan Spice Cake Tips & FAQ
- I like a lot of spice in my spice cake! I didn’t find the spice level in this cake to be too intense, but if you’re not into strong spicy flavors, consider cutting down on the spices by a third to a half.
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Perhaps! I’ve had luck with Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour in other cake recipes, but I haven’t tested it with this one, so no promises!
- Can this recipe be made oil free? I’m really not sure. You might be able to replace the oil with extra applesauce, which sometimes works as an oil substitute, but I haven’t tested it with this recipe.
- Can this be made as a layer cake? The recipe should work just fine baked in two 9-inch round layer pans, but the cooking time will likely be different. My recommendation is to keep a close eye on the cakes and test them frequently after about 20 minutes in the oven.
- Can this recipe be made as cupcakes? Again, probably, but the cook time will vary. Keep an eye on your cupcakes while baking. Test them for doneness by pressing gently on the top of one with a finger. It should spring back when it’s done.
- Why does the sugar need to be organic? Most sugar in the U.S. is processed using animal bones, so it’s not considered vegan. Organic sugar is processed differently.
- My cake didn’t rise. Why not? Usually this is due to your baking powder and/or soda being dated. Test baking soda by sprinkling it in a glass of vinegar, and test baking powder by sprinkling it in water. The soda and powder should both start fizzing. If either one doesn’t, it’s time to toss and replace it.
This easy spice cake is perfectly moist and bursting with flavor! Perfect for holidays and special occasions, and so easy to make from ingredients simple ingredients you might already have on hand.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups organic brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup canola oil, or baking oil of choice
- 1/2 cup unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Vegan vanilla buttercream frosting or organic powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the applesauce, milk, oil, molasses, and vanilla.
Use a spoon to form a well in the flour mixture, then pour in the applesauce mixture.
Stir the ingredients together just until fully combined and there are no lumps.
Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth out the top with a spoon.
Place the baking pan into the oven and bake the cake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven, transfer it to a cooling rack, and allow the cake to cool completely.
Optionally, top with frosting or powdered sugar. Serve.