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Craving a warm, flavorful dessert that’s incredibly easy? This Mini Spice Cake recipe is the perfect indulgence! It’s bursting with rich spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, all baked into a tender, buttery cake. Plus, the small portion makes it fuss-free and perfect for one or two servings – ideal for a cozy night in or a special treat to finish any meal.

If you’ve enjoyed our aromatic Mini Spice Cake, you’ll be happy to find that we offer a large selection of mini cake recipes such as our velvety Red Velvet Cake, a tropical Hummingbird Cake, and a tender Apple Cake. These cakes are easy to bake and are the perfect size for one or two, brimming with delightful flavors.

Unfussy cakes with robust flavors are truly the best, eliminating the need for heavy, sugary toppings. This Mini Spice Cake perfectly embodies this philosophy. Its tender, buttery texture paired with aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg makes it delightful on its own. Though if you’re in the mood for an extra touch of sweetness, a sprinkle of powdered sugar can enhance its charm.

Why You’ll Love This Spice Cake Recipe

  • Effortless: This homemade spice cake comes together in a snap, perfect for when you need a quick yet decadent dessert.
  • Minimal Ingredients: No need for a grocery trip; the ingredients are simple and likely already in your pantry.
  • Just Right for One or Two: No waste here! This mini cake recipe is designed for one or two servings, making it ideal for a little indulgence without leftovers.
  • Rich in Flavor: With a medley of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, each bite offers a burst of warm, aromatic spices.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

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

What Is Spice Cake?

A spice cake is a delightful dessert that captures the essence of warm, aromatic spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. It’s rich, tender, and oozes comforting flavors, making it a perfect treat for any occasion. If you’ve ever wondered how it compares to carrot cake, well, they’re close relatives. Essentially, a spice cake is like a carrot cake but without the carrots.

This Mini Spice Cake takes all those inviting elements and scales them down to create a perfectly sized treat for one or two people. So, if you’re craving a cake that’s big on flavor but modest in size, this is the recipe you’ve been searching for.

Ingredients

spice cake ingredients on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this spice cake from scratch, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Butter: Use room-temperature, slightly softened salted butter for this recipe. The butter contributes to the cake’s tender texture and enhances its flavor.
  • Brown sugar: This recipe exclusively uses brown sugar, and both light and dark varieties work well. If you’re out of brown sugar, check out our small batch brown sugar substitute recipe.
  • Egg: One large egg is essential for giving the cake structure and added moisture.
  • Vanilla extract & salt: These two ingredients are key for boosting the overall flavor of the cake.
  • Oil: Stick with vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil to ensure your cake has a moist, delicate crumb.
  • Flour: All-purpose is your go-to here. For a gluten-free version, swap it out for a gluten-free flour like King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure For Measure Flour.
  • Fall spices: The signature spices in this cake—ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg—create that classic warm, autumnal flavor. These are the spices we use in our fabulous mini gingerbread recipe!
  • Baking powder: A crucial ingredient for helping your cake rise to perfection.
  • Milk: Milk moistens the cake batter, making it easy to mix. Feel free to use any percentage of cow’s milk or even almond milk as a substitute.

Recipe Variations

This small spice cake is wonderful as-is, but you can easily tailor it to your tastes. Here are some inspired variations to switch things up a bit.

  • Add Fruit: Enhance the natural sweetness by folding in a small amount of diced apples or pears into the spice cake batter before baking.
  • Go Nutty: For an extra crunch, add a handful of toasted walnuts or pecans into the mix. The nuts will complement the cake’s soft crumb.
  • Boost the Spices: Love a more pronounced spice flavor? Increase the amounts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to taste.
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How To Make A Mini Spice Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make an old fashioned spice cake. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Heat oven to 350° F (177° C). Lightly grease a small baking dish with butter.

Pro Tip: I use a 4×6-inch baking dish that has a base area of 24 square inches. You can also use a 5×5-inch baking dish with a base area of 25 square inches or a 6×6-inch dish which will yield a spice cake that may bake faster.

  1. Make the spice cake mix: In a small bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until well mixed. 
  2. Beat in egg, vanilla, and vegetable oil.
softened butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
  1. In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
flour, baking powder, and spices in a small mixing bowl.
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture and mix to combine.
spice cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Stir in the milk.
milk added to spice cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Pour the batter into the baking dish and place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
spice cake batter in a small baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  1. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and place the baking dish on a rack to cool completely.
a baked mini spice cake on a baking sheet.

Serving Suggestions

A slice of this homemade spice cake is already a treat on its own, but why not take your dessert experience up a notch? Here are some detailed serving suggestions that pair exceptionally well with the rich, spiced flavors of this cake.

  • Pair with Ice Cream: Elevate your dessert game by serving a slice of this spice cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or butter pecan ice cream. The cold and creamy texture is a delightful contrast to the warm spices.
  • With a Dollop of Whipped Cream: If you’re looking for something lighter, a dollop of homemade whipped cream can add a cloud-like softness to your slice, enhancing its rich flavors.
  • In a Breakfast Spread: Who says cake can’t be for breakfast? Slice it up and serve alongside a steaming cup of tea or your favorite coffee blend for an indulgent start to your day.
  • Alongside a Beverage: Savor each bite with a glass of spiced apple cider or fall sangria to fully immerse yourself in the flavors of the season.

Expert Tips

  • Before You Start Cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your spice cake turns out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Use Softened Butter: Softened butter is crucial for creaming together with sugar, which is a step you can’t skip for this recipe. To get the perfect texture, leave your butter out on the counter for about 30 minutes before you start baking.
  • Use Brown Sugar: While you could technically use white sugar, brown sugar is ideal for maintaining the cake’s moisture due to its molasses content. If you find yourself without brown sugar, consider using our small batch homemade brown sugar recipe.
  • Accurate Flour Measurement is Key: Although using a digital scale is the most precise way to measure flour, it’s not a widespread method in the U.S. If you don’t own a scale, here’s a tip: First, stir the flour in its container to aerate it and break up any clumps. Then, use a spoon to fill a dry measuring cup with the aerated flour. This ensures you don’t end up with more flour than needed, which can affect the cake’s texture.
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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish should I use to make a mini spice cake?

The right baking dish can make a difference in how your mini spice cake turns out. We suggest the following options, along with their respective baking times:

5×5-inch dish: 40-45 minutes
4×6-inch dish: 40-45 minutes
6-inch round dish: 40-45 minutes
6×6-inch dish: 33-37 minutes (this yields a faster-baking cake due to its larger base area)
Two 10-ounce ramekins: 35-40 minutes

Using a dish with dimensions other than those recommended can alter the baking time and potentially impact the end result. For more information on the baking dishes we typically use for our small batch recipes, consult our FAQ page.

Can I add frosting to a spice cake?

Yes, a cream cheese frosting pairs wonderfully.

What’s the best way to store spice cake?

For optimal freshness, keep your homemade spice cake at room temperature, sealed in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for about 4-5 days.

Can I freeze spice cake?

Absolutely! Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.

Explore More Mini Cake Recipes

Once you’ve fallen in love with this mini spice cake, you’ll be thrilled to know there are plenty more small batch cake recipes to explore. Perfect for serving one or two, these recipes are easy to make and full of flavor. Take your pick and discover your next go-to dessert!

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small spice cake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch 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.

If you’ve tried this spice cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


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Mini Spice Cake

4.86 from 41 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
A tender and buttery spice cake packed with the warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. This mini cake is easy to make and perfect for serving one or two people.

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup salted butter softened, plus 1 tablespoon more for greasing pan.
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350° F (177° C). Lightly grease a small baking dish with butter
    Pro Tip: I use a 4×6-inch baking dish that has a base area of 24 square inches. You can also use a 5×5-inch baking dish with a base area of 25 square inches or a 6×6-inch dish which will yield a spice cake that may bake faster.
  • In a small bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until well mixed. 
  • Beat in egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture and mix to combine.
  • Stir in the milk.
  • Pour the batter into the baking dish and place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and place the baking dish on a rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Before You Start Cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your spice cake turns out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Use Softened Butter: Softened butter is crucial for creaming together with sugar, which is a step you can’t skip for this recipe. To get the perfect texture, leave your butter out on the counter for about 30 minutes before you start baking.
  • Opt for Brown Sugar: While you could technically use white sugar, brown sugar is ideal for maintaining the cake’s moisture due to its molasses content. If you find yourself without brown sugar, consider using our small batch homemade brown sugar recipe.
  • Accurate Flour Measurement is Key: Although using a digital scale is the most precise way to measure flour, it’s not a widespread method in the U.S. If you don’t own a scale, here’s a tip: First, stir the flour in its container to aerate it and break up any clumps. Then, use a spoon to fill a dry measuring cup with the aerated flour. This ensures you don’t end up with more flour than needed, which can affect the cake’s texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 370kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 213mg, Potassium: 126mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 453IU, Calcium: 76mg, 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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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

4.86 from 41 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




67 Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Very good spice cake, with just the right amount of spicyness! I iced my cake with just a butter cream frosting. Yummy!!!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      It sounds wonderful, Kathy. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  2. Jan Jandora says:

    Why is my cake forming a dome while baking?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Jan, the cake rises when baked, as all cakes do, and will form a dome that flattens after the cake has fully baked and has cooled.

  3. J.Hegyi says:

    If you substitute 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon for all the spices combined, you will have a TERRIFIC cinnamon cake.

  4. Maria D says:

    Very tasty and moist. I also made a cinnamon glaze and pour on top whilst hot. Will be doubling and making this for Xmas! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Teresa Peeples says:

      recipe for cinnamon glaze please??

  5. Lowell says:

    Very nice flavor, moistness, and size. I would prefer a bit fluffier and less sweet. mistress, again with 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar and double the baking powder.

  6. Frances Madden says:

    Joanie would this batter, using GF flour, work for your Upside Down Banana Cake recipe? My family loves that cake 😊 and I’d like to share it with someone with gluten issues. Thanks! Frances

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Frances, I’ve only tested this recipe with King Arthur brand GF Measure For Measure Flour and it works beautifully. I have not tested the recipe with any other types of GF flour.

  7. Laura Graves says:

    Delicious and the perfect amount for two.

  8. J. Hegyi says:

    Terrific recipe.

  9. Erin K. says:

    I followed ingredients and recipe but used a mini loaf pan and baked for 40 mins. Dimensions of loaf pan were 5.72in x 3.31in x 1.75in.
    Turned out great, though I do think I needed to start checking the cake at 37-39 mins.

  10. MarieB says:

    Do you pack the brown sugar?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes.