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Mini Spice Cake

A tender and buttery spice cake packed with the warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Easy to make and so much better than any boxed cake mix. This wonderful mini cake is perfect for serving one or two people.

A spice cake in a small square baking dish next to yellow flowers and cinnamon sticks all on a metal tray

Simple unadorned cakes are my favorite kinds of cakes to make. When cakes have big, bold flavors, there's no need for sugary frostings. This mini spice cake is to me, the perfect cake. It's tender and buttery and doesn't need anything else, except perhaps a light dusting of powdered sugar, which always adds a nice touch.

Ingredients In Spice Cake

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

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  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
  • vegetable oil
  • flour
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • milk

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Make A Spice Cake

  1. Beat the butter and brown sugar until they are well mixed.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, and oil and mix well.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Stir in the milk.
  5. Pour batter into a small lightly buttered baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.
A knife cutting a piece of spice cake dusted with powdered sugar from a small baking dish on a metal tray with yellow flowers and cinnamon sticks

What Size Baking Dish Should I Use?

The success of this spice cake recipe depends on the size of the baking dish you use. I use a 5-inch baking dish which measures 5-inches x 5-inches, is 1 3/4-inches deep, and has an area of 25 square inches.

Two small 8-ounce ramekins or two mini loaf pans would work well with this recipe too. You may even divide the batter between other small baking dishes, just fill them 3/4 of the way full.

Toppings

Although I don't think this spice cake needs a thing, a sprinkling of powdered sugar adds a very nice touch. If you'd like to make a spice cake frosting, you might like to try the cream cheese frosting we add to our pumpkin bars. It's ultra-creamy and that frosting recipe yields just the right amount for this spice cake.

Pro Tips For The Best Spice Cake

  • Be sure to use "softened" butter. The reason you want to use softened butter is because you want to beat or "cream" the butter with the sugar and you can't do that with cold butter. The best way to soften butter is to leave it out on a kitchen counter for a half hour before you have to use it.
  • What if I don't have brown sugar? This cake recipe is truly the best if brown sugar is used. You could use white granulated sugar but the cake will not be as moist due to the fact that brown sugar contains molasses. You could also make your own brown sugar. I usually make brown sugar by the cup because it's easier this way. Stir 1 tablespoon of molasses (treacle) into 1 cup of granulated sugar. Measure out 3/4 cup for this recipe and save the remainder to use later in cookie or cake recipes.
  • Measure your flour correctly. The best way to measure flour is to use a scale and the second best way is to fluff your flour with a spoon, add the flour by the spoonfuls to your measuring cup and use the flat edge of a knife to level it off.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this old fashioned spice cake recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes.

A square piece of spice cake dusted with powdered sugar on a small plate with a fork

How To Store Spice Cake

It’s best to store a homemade spice cake at room temperature with an airtight cover. It will remain fresh for 4-5 days.

Other Mini Cake Recipes

If you like this spice cake recipe, you might also like to try these small cake recipes:

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

a spice cake on a tray next to cinnamon sticks.

Mini Spice Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: cake
Servings: 4 square pieces
Calories: 347kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon more for greasing pan.
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350° F (177° C)
  • Grease a 5-inch baking dish with butter. Place baking dish on top of a baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until well mixed. 
  • Beat in egg, vanilla, and vegetable oil.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  • Stir in the milk.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Notes

The success of this recipe depends on the size of the baking dish you use. I use a 5-inch baking dish which measures 5-inches x 5-inches, is 1 3/4-inches deep, and has an area of 25 square inches. Two small 8-ounce ramekins or two mini loaf pans would work well with this recipe too. You may even divide the batter between other small baking dishes, just fill them 3/4 of the way full.

Nutrition

Serving: 1square | Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 453IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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11 thoughts on “Mini Spice Cake”

    1. Hi Sara,
      Yes, you can. You might need to decrease the baking time – I would recommend checking the cupcakes at the 20 minute mark to see if they are baked through. If not, check them every 5 minutes or so after that to make sure they are done.

  1. This recipe is so wonderful, I have made it twice now and both times turned out great!!!!! I use a gluten free flour, Bobs Red Mills Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking flour. It taste so good, just a great cake to have with tea or coffee, this one I will be baking a lot!!!!! Thanks so much, Karen

  2. Another way to use this recipe… Follow the directions for making the cake batter, and in a 8 inch square baking dish, pour this over a 29 oz can of peaches for an excellent peach cobbler.

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