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+ servings
Chocolate and vanilla naked cake with figs on top.

Chocolate Spice Cake

Chocolate Spice Cake is a rich moist chocolate cake full of fall spice flavors. This chocolate layer cake is covered in salted caramel buttercream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Jenn


Chocolate Spice Cake Layers

  • 2 ¼ Cups (282 grams) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter browned
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ¾ cup (64 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ cup (125 ml) dark roast brewed coffee warm
  • 1 ½ cups (330 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream room temperature

Caramel Buttercream

  • 8 Tbsp Salted Caramel Sauce *visit link in notes
  • 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter softened
  • 3 Tbsp Whole Milk
  • 4-5 Cups (480-600 grams) Powdered Sugar


Chocolate Spice Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C) and prepare two 8 inch round cake pans with a light coating of non-stick baking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and wrap the outside of the pans with 'even-bake' strips if applicable.
  • In a large bowl, hand whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and espresso powder. Set aside.
  • Stir together the sifted cocoa powder, coffee, cooled brown butter, and oil with a spatula until smooth.
  • Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and on low speed add the dark brown sugar and mix until incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until batter is smooth and shiny.
  • Next, spoon in ⅓ of the flour mixture, alternating with ⅓ of the sour cream continuing on low speed until smooth. Scrape bottom and sides of mixing bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  • Transfer cake batter evenly into the prepared pans. Weigh the filled pans to be exact.
  • Place pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-33 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Set the pans on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Carefully invert the pans to remove layers, peel away parchment paper and set aside for assembly. Option to wrap layers in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes to help with spreading frosting.

Caramel Buttercream

  • Make Salted Caramel Sauce the day before or 3-4 hrs prior.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer or large bowl using hand mixer beat unsalted butter until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  • Add 1 Cup of the powdered sugar, caramel, and whole milk. Mix until smooth.
  • Then add one cup of powdered sugar, mixing until desired thickness is reached.

Assemble Cake

  • Remove cake layers from freezer unwrap and peel away parchment paper.
  • Level cake tops with knife if needed.
  • Place a dollop of buttercream onto cake stand.Place bottom cake layer onto dollup, right side up.
  • Cover top of cake layer evenly with buttercream, using an offset spatula to smooth.
  • Flip second layer upside down and place onto buttercream. (This gives you a smooth surface for the top of the cake!)
  • Cover top of cake and lightly spread buttercream across the sides. Use a bench scraper to smooth top and sides. (You can do a semi-naked cake or cover the sides completely with buttercream.)
  • Top cake with desired fruit, I chose sliced figs. Slice and enjoy!!