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Spice Cake with Maple Espresso Buttercream
Total 1 hour and 45 minutes (includes cooling time)
Active 45 mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Cake:
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground clove
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground espresso
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
    • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Buttercream:
    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
    • 2 teaspoon maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon ground espresso
    • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
    1. Make the cake: Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by buttering the inside, lightly dusting with flour, and lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
    2. Place a sifter into a large bowl. Then, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, espresso, and salt. After the dry ingredients have been sifted, carefully pour them onto a large piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    4. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the granulated and brown sugars, orange zest, and butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy in texture, about 2 minutes—the air should smell distinctly of citrus. Scrape down the sides, as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined, then add in vanilla. Follow by adding in half of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium until incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Next, mix in half of the milk. Then mix in the remaining half of dry ingredients and finish by incorporating the remaining half of the milk. Mix until cohesive.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 to 28 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
    6. While cake cools, make the buttercream: Sift the confectioners’ sugar to remove any lumps. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter, salt, orange zest, maple syrup, and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar on medium until a firm pale paste is formed. Then, add in the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and beat to combine. Lastly, pour in the espresso and whipping cream and, as this just begins to incorporate, increase the mixer speed to high and whip for 3 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to smooth and fold the buttercream until a velvety texture is reached.
    7. Once room temperature to touch, place the cooling rack atop the exposed part of the cake pan. Then, lightly press your palm atop the cake and carefully flip the cake out. The cake should slide out easily. Frost your cake and enjoy!