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This easy Spice Cake Recipe is an old family recipe and makes your house smell amazing! A moist and chocolatey spiced sheet cake made with holiday spices that is easy to make from scratch and tastes even better on the next day.

Close-up of a white plate with a square of chocolate topped spice cake with a fork.

This moist Gingerbread Cake comes together in minutes and tastes heavenly! It’s one of those cakes that tastes even better on the second (or third day) but is always gone on the first day because it tastes so good. The reason why this cake tastes better on the next day is that the flavors of the spices need a little bit to develop and blend together.

Spice Cake is one of my husband’s favorite cakes of all time! Perhaps because it’s not overly sweet, with just the right amount of spices, and a few tablespoons of cocoa powder which give this cake a chocolatey, rich flavor.

In Germany, this cake is called Gewürzkuchen (Gewürz means spice) and is often baked around Christmas time. The sprinkles on top of the chocolate glaze add a festive touch to this simple but so delicious spiced cake. Cut into smaller pieces it also makes a great addition to a cookie plate but my family loves it all year round. 

A baking pan with chocolate topped spice cake.

Tips & Tricks for Making this easy spice cake from scratch

  • Make sure the butter is soft and the eggs are not cold!
  • Use quality ingredients for the best taste and measure your ingredients correctly. Don’t scoop the flour, spoon and level it instead.
  • Always test with a skewer for doneness! Every oven is different and your baking pan also affects how quickly the cake bakes.
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the chocolate and melt it together. It’s easier to spread and gives a nice shine to the chocolate glaze.
  • After spreading the chocolate over the cooled cake I always put the pan in the fridge. This makes the chocolate set quicker!

A baking pan with chocolate topped spice cake with a piece cut off on a marble surface.

Looking for more easy Sheet Cake Recipes?

Close-up of a piece of chocolate topped spice cake with a fork on a white plate.

Tools used for Making this Recipe

9 x 13 inch Pan with Lid: I love this baking pan! It comes with a lid so it’s easy to transport baked goods or casseroles and it’s super easy to clean, everything slides right off. I use this pan for all my 9×13-inch cakes, bars, and casseroles.
Cinnamon: This is my favorite cinnamon! It is not too spicy and really versatile. Perfect for baking but also great on top of rice pudding.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: This cocoa powder gives an amazing, dark, rich chocolate flavor.
Sprinkles: This shop sells the cutes sprinkles!

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4.87 from 15 votes

Easy Spice Cake Recipe (German Gewürzkuchen)

This easy Spice Cake Recipe is an old family recipe and makes your house smell amazing! A moist and chocolatey spiced sheet cake made with holiday spices that is easy to make from scratch and tastes even better on the next day.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp orange zest, (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 oz dark or milk chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C) and grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat for 4 minutes at medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the sugar-butter mixture. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition.
  • Add orange zest and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer running on low add flour mixture and milk alternating. Mix for 1 minute until combined.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Melt chocolate and spread over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with chocolate and let chocolate set before serving.
  • Store covered in a cool place. This cake keeps fresh for up to 5 days and tastes best on the 2nd day.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

A white plate with a square of chocolate topped spice cake with a fork.

About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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14 Comments

  1. Oh wow! This was such a delicious spice cake and really easy to make! Definitely a keeper recipe!
    Love it! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    The best cake ever! I’m German and glad I found this delicious recipe to remind me of home. Second batch going in the oven now.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello, I need some advice.

    I made this cake yesterday, and it turned out really delicious, but the chocolate glaze turned out way to thick, I don’t know why. I used 100 gr of dark chocolate and 70 gr of milk chocolate with a tsp of coconut oil.

    Did I overcook it? I am a beginner in baking, so please don’t mind my questions..

    Best regards,
    Florentina

    1. Did you use a 9×13 pan? How thick is it? It should be about 2mm thick. You can also use less glaze if you prefer a thinner glaze. Overcooking (the chocolate?) can’t be the reason why it might be too thick.

  4. 3 stars
    As I’m cooking this and cleaning up a bit I realized you never say where to use the cocoa powder. Do I mix that with the 6oz of chocolate that I melt? Or was it supposed to go in the cake and part of instruction number 3?

  5. 5 stars
    What a perfect and phenomenal recipe!! Thank you so much!! I made it yesterday and it turned out absolutely PERFECT and absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I used icing sugar instead of chocolate for the top and it looks like a cute winter wonderland spice cake! Yum! I will be making this over and over and over again. Probably my favourite cake recipe to date. Thank you!!

  6. I need some advice. When I made it there was a layer of uncooked dough on the bottom.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Sounds to me like it needs to bake a bit longer. You could also try baking it in a lower position.

  7. 5 stars
    I made these into muffins, baking them at 375 for about 25 minutes. Rather than frosting them, I let them cool a bit, then made a mixture of pumpkin pureé and maple syrup and injected about 15mL into each. The muffins absorbed the liquid well and had a nice gooey surprise in the middle. They were absolutely delicious. I plan on making them again for an upcoming bake sale. I think they’ll be a big hit!

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this cake for my family last night and they loved it and so did I! I used Earth Balance soy butter and it came out great. Instinct told me not to used quite as much milk (I used almond mild) as I watch the consistency develop in the mixer, so I only used about 1 cup instead of 1 1/4c, Although I am sure it would be stunning with chocolate frosting (made from cocoa powder/soy butter/confectioner’s sugar/almond milk) I served it with a dusting of powdered sugar which gave it just a touch of sweet and a nice presention. Thanks for the great, quick recipe to add to my repertoire.!