This Spice Cake is so delicious and moist, and unintentionally gluten-free, too! I don’t eat gluten-free regularly, but recently I’ve gotten into baking with oat flour. It’s so easy to make oat flour yourself! Just throw some oats into a blender or food processor and pulse until they become flour. The oat flour really makes baked goods so tender and easily subs for all-purpose flour in things like this. I’ve also started using it in my banana bread, too.
Spice Cake can have a variety of flavors going on, and this one has its own party going on. Ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and a touch of pumpkin pie spice come together to give this spice cake its base flavor. There’s a slight nutty flavor from the browned butter. Maple and vanilla extracts add a warming taste and combine with the spices to create a spice cake that’s quite cozy feeling.
I didn’t want a heavy frosting on top, since this cake is so tender. Instead, I created a thick glaze with a cream cheese / butter combo and powdered sugar. I borrowed from the maple flavor in the cake and brought that into the glaze with maple syrup. To round out the sweetness, I added a couple splashes of brewed coffee.
Spice Cake often has nuts in it, but instead, I scattered pecans on top of the glaze. Walnuts would be great on this, too. If you’re not a fan of nuts, just leave them off entirely. The flavor won’t be effected, but the pecans do bring a nice texture to the cake.
A few things to note:
- If you DO eat gluten-free, make sure to use Certified Gluten-Free oats to make the oat flour. (You probably already know this if you eat gluten-free, but if you don’t and you’re making it for someone else, you may not have known to check this.)
- Allow the cake to cool completely before pouring on the glaze. If the cake is too warm, the glaze will melt and become runny, spilling wildly off the cake. Dramatic, I know. Just be patient and give the cake time to cool.
- Speaking of the glaze, it should be thinner than frosting, but not thin enough to drink with a straw. If it gets too thin, just add a little powdered sugar to thicken it a bit.
Spice Cake with Maple Glaze
- ½ cup browned butter
- 1½ cup apple sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups oat flour
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 tbsp brewed coffee cooled
- 1½-2 cups powdered sugar
- chopped pecans optional
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir and continue to heat until the butter turns golden brown.
In a large bowl, combine cooled brown butter with apple sauce, vanilla & maple extracts, and eggs.
Add the spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
To make the oat flour, just blend oats until it is fine like flour.
Add oat flour and brown sugar into the batter.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool before topping with maple glaze.
With a mixer, combine the butter, maple syrup, cream cheese, and coffee.
Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, working in ½ cup at a time, until the glaze is thick but still pourable. The consistency should be thinner than frosting, but not thin enough to run off the cake.
Top the cake with the maple glaze. Scatter chopped pecans on top, if desired.