Vintage Spice Cake

Simple and delicious spice cake seasoned with cinnamon and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.

This vintage spice cake recipe is the perfect blend of warm, cozy fall spices. Baked in a 13×9 inch pan, it’s so simple and easy to make and frost. Try it this autumn and it will soon become one of your favorite fall cake recipes.

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decadent fall spiced dessert

I stumbled on this recipe after a major cake fail and I needed a quick recovery recipe.

While making a sweet potato layer cake from a classic Southern Living cookbook, the cakes decided to stick to the well greased pans.

So, with limited time, I needed a quick fall spiced cake. Thank goodness I had to look no further than the recipe above to find this easy spice cake.

This turned into another exhibit of making lemonade from lemons or the fall spice version of that.

This spiced cake with cream cheese frosting is a delicious, cozy, warm fall dessert recipe.

It has a wonderful, but not overwhelming, blend of comforting autumn spices. Plus, it’s a quick cake to make and is simple to frost, with just a knife, in a 13×9 inch pan.

warm fall dessert

Where Does Spice Cake Come From?

According to this post from Vondelmolen the Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and Romans each had their own versions of spice cake.

The first known source of spice cake was in Ancient Egypt. Their cake was made of cereals, spices and honey.

The Greeks had a honey version that they sacrificed to please their gods.

When the Romans acquired it they added some pepper and dried fruits.

After the Romans spice cake disappeared from Europe. It came back in the 11th and 12th centuries in medieval monasteries and has been in Europe since then.

fall spice cake recipe

Ingredients in Vintage Cinnamon Spice Cake

  • Shortening
  • Brown Sugar – use brown sugar as it helps to flavor this cake
  • Eggs – for best results use room temperature
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Soda
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla Extract

Ingredients In Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream Cheese – for best results use full fat cream cheese at room temperature.
  • Butter – for bust results use real butter at room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk – if icing is to thick
fall spice cake recipe

How To Make Cinnamon Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Spice Cake

  • Cream shortening and sugar well and add eggs.
  • Sift dry ingredients
  • Add baking soda to buttermilk
  • Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to batter.
  • Add vanilla
  • Pour batter into a greased 13×9 pan
  • Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes
  • Let cool and ice

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream cream cheese and butter
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well.
  • Ice the cooled cake
Fall Spice Cake

How Can I Make Cake More Flavorful?

As I mentioned above, this cake has a wonderful blend of fall spices, but it is not overwhelming.

However, there are some, like me, that like to be overwhelmed with the spices of autumn and want a little more fall flavor.

To make this spice cake or any cake more flavorful, try the following:

  • Add 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of ginger
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Add another 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Add 1 teaspoon or more of vanilla
  • Add rum, almond or orange extract
nice warm fall spice cake

How To Store Cake

Because this cake has dairy in the cream cheese frosting, it will need to be stored in the refrigerator covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It will keep around 4 days.

How Do You Freeze Leftover Cake?

For this cake you can use one of the three methods listed below.

Freeze Cake In Its Pan

Cover the pan entirely in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and place in the freezer.

Freeze A Cake In A Container

  • Remove the leftover cake from the pan.
  • Place the cake in the freezer until the icing hardens.
  • Remove cake from freezer and wrap the leftover cake in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.
  • Place in freezer safe container.
  • Place in freezer.
  • Cake will stay fresh up to 3 months.

Freeze Cake In Plastic Wrap And Aluminum Foil

  • Remove leftover cake from pan
  • Wrap cake twice in plastic wrap.
  • Then wrap cake in aluminum foil.
  • Cake will stay fresh up to 3 months.


I feel like my fall cake fail, turned into a fall cake blessing. I hope you’ll experience the same blessing when you make this cinnamon spice cake with cream cheese frosting.

More Fall Themed Cakes

Cinnamon Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

warm fall dessert
Print Jump to Recipe Pin Recipe

Cinnamon Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious vintage spice cake recipe, seasoned with cinnamon and clove and topped with cream cheese frosting.
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Vintage spice cake, where does spice cake come from, cream cheese icing, how to store cake, how do you freeze leftover cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20 Slices
Calories 310kcal
Cost $4.50


  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • 13×9 inch pan


Ingredients for Spice Cake

  • ¾ cup Shortening
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs beaten
  • 2⅓ cups All Purpose Flour sifted
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 3 Tbs Butter room temperature
  • cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ Tbs Milk If icing is to thick


Instructions for Spice Cake

  • Grease 13×9 inch pan
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Combine shortening and sugar until creamy.
  • Add eggs and beat until fluffy
  • Sift dry ingredients together
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1¼ cups of buttermilk.
  • Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla
  • Pour into greased 13×9 pan
  • Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes
  • Cool and frost.

Instructions for Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • If icing is to thick to effectively spread add ½ Tbs to 1 Tbs milk and mix well.
  • Spread icing on cooled cake.


Calories: 310kcal


  1. This is a wonderful fall spice cake recipe. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. 5 stars
    Great post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well.. Shauna Mortimer Killie

    1. Thanks for your kind words. If you made this vintage spice cake, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know.

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