Source: FamilyTime Favorites

Holiday Spice Cake
We love the gentle combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. The cake is as delicious unfrosted as frosted -- your choice!
Serves: One 8- or 9-inch layer cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Tap out the excess flour. Line the cake pans with rounds of wax paper cut to fit into the bottom of the pans. Butter and flour the paper; tap out the excess flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar for 3 or 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the milk and molasses and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and orange zest, if using. Add the dry ingredients to the batter, a third at a time. Mix with the electric mixer or by hand after each addition.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Smooth the surface of the cakes.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Test for doneness after 30 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of a layer; if it comes out clean the cake is done. When done, the cake layers will pull away from the sides of the pan and will spring back when pressed gently in the middle with a fingertip.

Remove the cakes from the oven and set on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, peel off the wax paper, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Serve unfrosted or frosted. This cake is delicious with ice cream, warm applesauce, or maple sauce.

Note: You can bake the cake as a single 8- or 9-inch square cake. Increase the baking time to 40 to 45 minutes. Serve as a snack cake.