red, orange, yellow candy leaves for decorating a cake

Candy melts make a great decoration tool for this cake

Harvest Spice Cake

Harvest Spice Cake decorated with orange, red, and yellow leaves
A great Fall cake

October brings the great colors of Fall we start seeing, especially on the trees and at festivals. Just love the crisp air, slight chill, and lots of apples to pick and bake up. Spices also reminds me of Fall and of course, pumpkin spiced lattes and cakes come to mind as well. Putting all these thoughts and ideas together to create a colorful Harvest Spice Cake for my Mom’s Fall Birthday.

Harvest Inspiration

This cake and the season inspired me to make something special for my mom’s birthday this year. She loves Fall so much. In particular, the vibrant colors the season offers. This cake was all things autumn and Fall with a focus of the vibrant colos of red, yellow, orange, and brown.

Some of my other Fall favorites:

The Cake

Spiced cake is the centerpiece of the creation here. Mildly, but deliciously spiced with the right flavors that marry so perfectly for the season. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves give this cake its traditional spice appeal. What makes this cake so super moist, and light is using cake flour and buttermilk. Yum, two of my favorite baking ingredients. No doubt, cake flour makes some pretty incredible cakes.

Inside harvest cake sliced
Spiced perfectly for fall

This recipe is hailed from a cookbook a dear friend gave to me many years ago when I was well into my amateur baking journey. Cake recipes are phenomenal in this book. If you love to bake cakes, definitely check out: The Whimsical Bakehouse.

Super moist and light as whipped eggs whites are whipped into the batter at the end to give its super light texture and also adding in the leavening process when it bakes. Absolutely delicious and one I use time again. Tried and true 100%.

Harvest Filling

I decided to use an apple filling that goes so well with spice cake. Taking apples from an orchard I visited makes a farm to table filling straight from the groves. Super easy to whip up on the stove and anyone can make this simplistic filling. Recipe, here.

Icing

Almond buttercream rounds out the final piece to this great and tasty Harvest Spice Cake. Decided to go with almond to bring in a different flavor that a standard buttercream, using almond extract or flavoring you can get anywhere in stores. Additionally, this is a shortening-based icing and does really well in warm temperatures.

Knowing I’d be traveling with this cake on a warm and sunny Indian Summer Day to celebrate, makes for a good stable icing, not to melt, even in a warm car.

However, a cream cheese icing would also make an excellent choice for this cake to bring in the creamy and richness that compliments this cake and its spices so well.

Spice Cake Decor

red, orange, yellow candy leaves for decorating a cake
Candy melts make a great decoration tool for this cake

Going with the theme of harvest colors, this is where I wanted to make the focus of this cake. I wanted my mom to be wowed when she first sees the cake and bring her love of these amazing colors front and center.

Candy Melts

Candy melts make up the individual leaves for the perimeter of the cake that totally give it that wow factor I’m looking for.

Here is how they are made:

  • Candy melts are melted and placed in piping bags and small dots are piped out onto parchment paper. (you can add candy melts to a piping bag, secure the top and microwave in the bag at 20 second intervals till fully melted, then snip off the end to pipe)
  • Immediately after, I drag my small offset spatula through each dot to give them some length.
  • I place the sheet pan in the freezer and let them fully freeze before adding them quickly to the cake.

They make a super simple and easy leaf, don’t they?

I have seen this technique used alot lately and thought it would make the perfect decorating finish for this special Harvest Spice Cake for mom.

Brown

Brown is a must to finish off the Fall leaf theme. Scrolls are piped onto the side of the cake to really give it that pop against the white buttercream.

All in all, I was super excited how it turned out and my mom absolutely loved it. She even asked me where I bought the cake!!! 🙂 I love that…. as I smiled 🙂

Harvest and Cake

My family and I spent the perfect day celebrating with my mom as she celebrated her 76th, it was a special day in many regards. Additionally, my brother was also there to celebrate as 9 short months ago as he battled CV, nearly losing his life in ICU; made the day even more special.

Life is a precious GIFT and we should celebrate these special occasions as much as we can with the ones we love. My mom felt so spoiled and loved, and a day to remember for the books!

But mostly, this Harvest Spice Cake made the day even more perfect!

Print

Spice Cake

red, orange, yellow candy leaves for decorating a cake

Lightly spiced cake that is perfect for fall or anytime that is super simple to make and moist and delicious.  

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Creaming
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

2 sticks butter + 2 TBS unsalted butter- softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs (separated)

3 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp cloves

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup sugar (added to 4 egg whites)

Instructions

Grease 3- 8″ or 9″ round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment circle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar till light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.

Add in the egg yolks and cream on medium speed till blended.

Add all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix well to combine everything.

Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed till combined.

Add in the buttermilk and blend till combined.

Add in the remaining flour mixture and blend till everything is incorporated at medium speed.

In a separate bowl, beat with whisk attachment the egg whites till foamy, leaving the mixer on slowly add in the sugar and once combined, turn the mixer up to high speed and whip till stiff peaks are formed.

Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 installments with a rubber spatula till all egg white are combined.

Divide the dough into the three pans evenly and smooth the top of each pan with small offset spatula.

Bake 20-25 minutes till cake tester is inserted and comes out clean.  

Place on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes.

Turn out the pans back onto the cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost and fill as desired.

Notes

This recipe is from “Whimsical Bakehouse” Cookbook

After the cakes are cooled completely, wrap in saran wrap and keep in fridge a day before assembling. Or place wrapped cakes in freezer bags to store in freezer for up to a month.

This cake would go perfectly with a cream cheese icing.

I like to refrigerate my cakes a couple of hours before I level and decorate them.

Keywords: Harvest, Spice, Cake, Fall

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