Mama’s Spice Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Nov. 02, 2023
Whenever I get a craving for a tasty old-fashioned treat, I make this cake. Great cooks in my family have been baking it for generations, and their families have been enjoying the wonderful spice flavor and rich frosting. —Nancy Duty, Jacksonville, Florida
Mama's Spice Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Optional: Additional chopped pecans, cinnamon sticks, fresh bay leaves, fresh rosemary sprigs and confectioners' sugar


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients; cook and stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks; gradually stir in spice mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to spice mixture until blended. Stir in pecans. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into the batter.
  3. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. To decorate, spread frosting between layers and over top and side of cake, leaving cake slightly exposed on the side. If desired, top with pecans, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and confectioners' sugar. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 482 calories, 22g fat (11g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 353mg sodium, 69g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.