Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Spice Cake

on October 21, 2016

Here we go again – more leaves, more spices, and more deliciousness from the tiny book found at my sister’s house. There are a lot of great, delicious recipes in that little book! This photo of a leaf covered in dewdrops was one I took on a day trip to a Minnesota state park a few years ago. I love fall and I love leaves, so I’m usually overdoing it on the leaf photos. This particular one wasn’t all that colorful, but I love the dewdrops on it.


I knew I wanted to try this Spice Cake at some point this fall, and one day when I was out walking, I found some leaves that had already fallen off the tree and had a sudden revelation. Why couldn’t I use them as a stencil for the top of the cake? What could I sprinkle on top to make the leaf shape stand out? Cocoa? Nope – I don’t think that would show up very well and I’m not sure how chocolate would go with the spicy cake. I know – powdered sugar! It showed up very well on the cake and I think it turned out pretty cute.


This is a very delicious cake!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spice Cake

Mix in order given:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour milk (1-2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of milk)

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in the sour milk (careful – this makes it foam up a bit)

1 cup of dates, chopped

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves


1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (of course there is not time or temp again here).


Before and after baking – it puffs up a bit but drops back down after a few minutes.


I pressed the leaves flat before using them on the cake. It helps make for a nice, crisp leaf design. No – I didn’t wash them or anything. They barely touch the top of the cake and you take them right off of it after you’re done using the powdered sugar. I invoked the 5 second rule for this one!


I just think this turned out so cute – it’s a shame to cut it! Maybe I should have incorporated the crack in the top of the cake into the design – maybe a stem or something? Naw. It’s perfect just the way it is!


This is another very quick and easy cake that’s great for afternoon coffee or after coming in from an afternoon of leaf raking or leaf peeping. Go ahead and make this delicious and beautiful cake – you’ve probably earned it! If you haven’t earned it, just do it because it’s Saturday.




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