Molasses Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Christy Rost

This moist and tender, sugar-and-spice cake, iced with a thick layer of fluffy cream cheese frosting, bakes beautifully in both my Texas and Colorado kitchens. It's from my newest book Celebrating Home, and is easy to make for everyday family meals, birthday celebrations, a homemade treat to share with friends and neighbors, or to celebrate a gorgeous autumn day.

(high altitude note) This recipe needs very little adjustment for high altitude baking. Simply increase the vanilla to two teaspoons, adjust the oven rack to the center position, and bake 40 to 45 minutes for beautiful results.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed

5 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/4 cups flour

1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in molasses and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Gradually beat the flour mixture, alternately with the buttermilk and milk, into the creamed mixture to create a thick batter.

Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Spoon the batter evenly into the pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When they are completely cool, remove the layers from the pans and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Yield: 1 2-layer 9-inch cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened

5 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Dash of salt

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla


In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until they are well blended. Add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, alternately with the milk, until the frosting is thick and creamy. Stir in the vanilla.

Yield: Frosting for 1 9-inch 2-layer cake