sugar + spice layer cake
It’s turned into a dessert week here, guys and gals! And if you’ve guessed that my holiday diet so far has consisted of 50 percent dessert, you’d be right.
But there is a more important reason that this cake exists (besides my insatiable cravings for sweets lately), and that reason is Audra, a.k.a. The Baker Chick, and her soon-to-arrive baby boy.
I first met sweet Audra when she and I were roomies (along with our pal Joanne) at the Big Summer Potluck this past summer. Her bump was but wee back then, and I remember we had a conversation about babies and how I was ready for one. She assured me that I would have one when the time was right and to just be patient… and a month later, I found out I was to have a little bump of my own. That Audra, she knows what’s up — in both baked goods and babies.
That’s why I felt it fitting to make a cake for her virtual shower. Any time I visit her site, I’m guaranteed to drool over something sweet and delicious (though she posts equally tasty savory posts from time to time!). This festive sugar and spice cake, with mascarpone-like frosting and a blackberry jam filling in the center, is just perfect for a celebration. I just wish I could share it with everyone because LAWDY, eating cake for breakfast, lunch dessert, snack and after-dinner dessert is just exhausting.
Also yes, lunch dessert is a thing right now.
Happy baby shower, Audra! You’re going to be a fantastic mama, I just know it. Can’t wait to see the little man!
P.S. Check out the other yumminess my blogging friends made for the party:
Lauren at Keep It Sweet Desserts: Espresso Salted Caramel Buttercream Brownie Bites
Tracey at Tracey’s Culinary Adventures: Coconut-Cream Meringue Cupcakes
Erin at The Spiffy Cookie: Sausage and Cheese Wonton Cups
Joanne at Eats Well With Others: Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Sea Salt
Jennifer at Bake or Break: Chocolate Mousse Mini Cupcakes
Jacqueline at The Dusty Baker: Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread
Kelli at The Corner Kitchen: Mini Eggnog Bundt Cakes with Salted Caramel Icing
Liz at The Lemon Bowl: Honey and Tangerine Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini
Katrina at Warm Vanilla Sugar: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter
Rachel at Baked By Rachel: Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream
Brandy at Nutmeg Nanny: Grapefruit Rosemary and Sage Spritzer
Gina at Running to the Kitchen: Cinnamon Nut Stuffed Persimmons
Julie at Table for Two: Mini Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Meriem at Culinary Couture: Bananas Foster Cupcakes
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
- Cinnamon-sugar, for topping (optional)
For the frosting:
- 3 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; spray paper with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar 3 minutes at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat 1 more minute to fully incorporate ingredients.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to cooling racks for 20 minutes; then, carefully invert cakes, remove parchment paper, and flip right side up. Place on cooling racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat together 1 block cream cheese with sour cream and heavy cream until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together remaining 2 blocks cream cheese with butter 3 minutes at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Stir in 8 oz (about 1 cup) of the cream cheese-sour cream mixture.
- Trim the tops of the cakes so they are flat. Place one cake on a serving plate. Spread blackberry jam evenly on top. Spread 1 cup frosting on top of jam. Place second cake upside-down on top of frosted cake. Top second cake with another 1 1/2 cups frosting.
- Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar (equal parts ground cinnamon and granulated sugar mixed together), if desired, on top of cake.