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Layered Spice Cake with Fudgy Frosting

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Servings 8 -10


  • 1 cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cups pecan halves


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour two 9” round pans and set aside.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix cinnamon, allspice and cloves, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle, cream shortening and sugar on medium-high until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • On low speed alternately add dry ingredients and wet in 3 batches. Increase to hi and beat until smooth, about 15 seconds.
  • Pour half the batter into one pan. Add spice mixture to remaining batter and beat until combined. Pour into second pan. Smooth tops. Tap both on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 30-34 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.
  • Make icing (see below). Using a serrated knife, half each cake horizontally to produce four layers. Start with spice layer on the bottom and cover with ½ cup of frosting. Place white layer on top and cover with ½ cup frosting. Repeat with next two layers. Cover outside of cake with remaining frosting. While still moist, press pecan halves into side of cake to decorate.


½ cup butter, room temperature
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup milk
Melt chocolate in the microwave or in double boiler. In a bowl, combine icing sugar, vanilla and ½ cup of milk. Blend in the melted chocolate. Add remaining milk a little at a time to reach desired consistency.