This easy Spice Cake comes from my grandma and is my most treasured recipe. Start with a mixture of boiled spices and raisins – the smell is heavenly!

This Spice Cake recipe comes straight out of my childhood and family trips each summer up north. I was back at the old log cabin in June, so I thought I’d recreate this recipe for you as summer winds down.

Easy spice cake on a white plate with a slice being lifted out.

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When Grandma made her Spice Cake, it was always moist, delicious, and gone within the first two days. You might find the same thing happens to you, if you make it.

To make a Spice Cake from scratch, start with a boiled mixture of spices, raisins, butter, sugar, and water. The smell of that alone will make you swoon, but persevere!

A slice of easy spice cake on a white plate with a fork and the cake on a white plate with a piece missing in the background.

Transform the cooled spice mixture into a proper batter with eggs, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. You’ll want to mix the eggs into the spice mixture and add the dry ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition.

If you don’t whisk the dry ingredients thoroughly enough, the cake will be dotted with (what I charmingly refer to as) flour bombs: White splotches of unmixed dry ingredients. So, take your time and mix well! I used my standing mixer with the whisk attachment.

I love the way this cake looks when made with a bundt pan, but you can also bake it in a 9-inch x 13-inch pan. That’s what my grandma always did because it travels up north easily that way. The baking time should be about the same.

A glaze being poured onto an easy spice cake on a white plate.

The glaze is optional, too. You truly don’t need it; the cake is delicious without. Grandma never glazed her Spice Cake.

But in my house, everything is better with a glaze.

Easy spice cake on a white plate with a slice being lifted out.

Easy Spice Cake

This easy Spice Cake comes from my grandma and is my most treasured recipe. Start with a mixture of boiled spices and raisins - the smell is heavenly!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings 16 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 380

Ingredients 

For the Spice Cake:

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 eggs beaten

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • In medium sauce pan, combine raisins, sugar, water, butter, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely, at least one hour. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease 12-inch bundt pan (or 9x13 cake pan). In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Whisk eggs into cooled spice mixture until uniformly combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, whisking well after each addition.
  • Pour batter in to prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • To make the glaze, in a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, water, and vanilla. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 2gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 296IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Would I be able to bake this cake in a 9-inch Bundt cake pan? I would absolutely love to try this recipe out! Thanks5 stars

    1. Yes! They aren’t a leavening agent or anything like that and don’t change the recipe. I’ve made this without raisins. You’ll be fine. Thanks Holly!

  2. Hi, two questions before I make this cake.  Wanted to confirm that you grease but do not flour the pan.  Also, for non-raisin lovers, would dried cranberries be a suitable substitute?  Thank you!!

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for the questions. Just grease, don’t flour the pan (but grease it WELL). For non-raisin lovers, dried cranberries are an excellent substitute! I’ve made the cake with them before. I find that for some reason I tend to have dried cranberries on hand more often than raisins. If you need anything else, just let me know! Have a great weekend! -Meggan

  3. Just made this recipe and absolutely loved it!! So moist & flavorful…easy too!! I’ll definitely be saving it & making it again!5 stars

    1. Hi Neha, yes of course! 1/4 applesauce replaces one egg in most recipes, so I’d use 1/2 cup applesauce. I haven’t tested it, though, so I don’t know if the baking powder needs to be adjusted (sometimes people add 1/2 teaspoon or something like that). You could definitely try it, even the texture changes a little the flavors will be fantastic. I will definitely put this on my list to test I can tell you for sure! Thank you.

  4. This cake sounds yummy but I really dislike raisins. Can I just omit them or would something else need to be substituted? 2 cups is a lot.

    1. Hi Emma, just omit them! My husband is the same. LOVES this spice cake but hates raisins (it’s a texture thing). Leave them out and you don’t need to change anything. Thank you for the question!

  5. Holy Moly!! this is delicious and so easy to whip up. I halved the recipe and it came out perfect, I also slathered on some butter and had it for breakfast too Yum! God Bless your Grandma, I will be passing this one down to my grandchildren too.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Maureen! And yes to BUTTER!!! I even put butter on stuff like monkey bread. I’m so glad you liked the cake. It brings back so many memories for me! Have a lovely weekend and take care.

  6. I happened upon this recipe today while on the hunt for a dessert to make with dinner. I followed the recipe for the cake exactly (although I did add a bit of cardamom to the glaze). This was probably the LEAST fussy cake recipe I’ve made in a long time. The whole thing was delicious! I will absolutely be making it again.5 stars

    1. That’s so great to hear Megan! Thank you so much, and I love your tip about the cardamom in the glaze. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks again and take care.

  7. How I love family recipes!

    We used to have a ‘family recipe’ cake a bit like this when I was younger – I must try to get the recipe from my mum!

    I bet this is beautiful, Meggan – definitely the perfect cake to take on family vacation!5 stars