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  • 1/2 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk / Sour Milk
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Allspice
  • Handful Raisins
  • Handful Shredded Coconut
  • Handful Chopped Nuts

Aunt Hazel’s Spice Cake

A flavorful cake that can be used in a lot of ways!


Serves: 8-12


Made "as-is" this is a tasty, versatile sheet cake but could be adapted for a range of fun uses.

This spice cake recipe is a treat and one that’s perfect for fall. It’ll also get your kitchen smelling pretty good, too. It’s a really versatile cake as well, in that it could easily be adapted to being used as a layer cake or any other way to make it into something different. This recipe shows baking it as a sheet cake and it’s pretty darn good as that. Grandma’s recipe didn’t have any indication on time or temperature to bake it at, but luckily I found a second version of the recipe in her recipe tin (not written by her) that said to bake it at 350º – 375º for 30 to 45 minutes. I choose to go on the lower end of both of those and that seemed about right. I would definitely start checking the cake though the last ten minutes or so of baking as you don’t want it to over cook and dry out.

Grandma’s recipe also didn’t call for any sort of topping or frosting and here is where you can definitely get creative. My mom suggested doing her Mocha Butter Frosting (which I’ll hopefully get included on this site soon cause it sound amazing!). I wanted to keep the fall theme going a bit more and have been starting to play around with sugar more and more so I wanted to try a salted caramel sauce. I found this recipe: and used it as the topping and it turn out really good as well! It was quick and easy and I highly recommend it.

If you try this spice cake, let me know how it turns out and what kind of frosting you put on top!



  • Do Ahead: Make Sour Milk 

    If you don't have Buttermilk on hand or just want to use your own sour milk, you can easily do so. Start by taking a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and adding enough milk to make a cup. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  • Preheat Oven to 350º 
  • Cream the shortening and sugar 

    Combine the shortening and sugar in your stand mixer or by using a hand mixer until its nicely creamed together.

  • Add Eggs 

    Add each egg one at a time to the shortening and sugar mixture. Drop in the first egg, mix until combined and then follow with the second egg. Again, mix until combined.

  • Add Buttermilk or Sour Milk 

    Once the eggs have been combined AND your sour milk has set for 10 minutes (if making it yourself). It is time to gently pour it into the mixture with the mixer on low. Mix until combined.

  • Combine the Dry Ingredients 

    In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (Flour, Baking Soda, Cocoa, Cinnamon, Allspice). Stir together until evenly mixed.

  • Add the Dry to the Wet 

    Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by about a third of a cup at a time. After each addition of the dry mixture, mix on medium until just combined (do not over mix) before adding the next. Continue until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and just combined.

  • Add Fruit and Nuts 

    Now add the raisins, coconut and nuts to the batter and stir by hand until just mixed in.

  • Pour & Bake 

    Pour the batter into a 9x13 tin and bake at 350º for about 25-30 minutes. Keep a good eye on it and don't over bake. You'll know it's ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the sides of the cake just begin to pull away from the sides of the tin. It should have a nice caramel brown top to it.



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