Cinnamon Streusel Spice Cake

cinnamon streusel spice cake
cinnamon streusel spice cake

This cinnamon streusel spice cake tastes like quintessential fall. You will love the warm flavors of the spices, crunch of the streusel, and the creaminess of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Every year for my birthday I bake myself a birthday cake full of classic autumn flavors. I know…baking my own cake sounds a bit pathetic. However, as any baker knows, store bought cakes are always subpar. Besides, it’s like my gift to myself! A major perk of a November birthday is all of the seasonal flavors I have to choose from. When I mentioned spice cake and my husband said he had never had one, I knew this was the one. I’m happy to report this cake passed with flying colors for him and my entire family!

cinnamon streusel spice cake

The crunchy cinnamon streusel is what takes this cake over the top and converted my husband into a spice cake lover! The bit of crunch throughout the cake layers adds fantastic texture. I also decided to top the cake with it and use leftover streusel to decorate the bottom. This streusel is also delicious on other cakes with warm flavors, like coconut carrot cake.

My favorite part of this cake is the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The creaminess pairs perfectly with the spices! Most cream cheese frosting recipes call for a lot of cream cheese and very little butter. This tastes great, but doesn’t hold up well for decorating. I used equal parts fat and cream cheese here so that it would be easy to pipe!

Cinnamon Streusel Spice Cake Ingredient Line Up

This cake consists of typical ingredients you likely already have at home. Let’s go over a few things to make sure your baking goes smoothly….

  • Unbleached all purpose flour – It is crucial to spoon and level your flour when baking cakes. Otherwise you may end up with a dense, dry cake. Yuck!
  • Unsalted butter – You want softened, room temperature butter for this cake. Your butter should make an indention when you touch it with light pressure. I put my butter out on the counter about an hour before I start baking.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and ginger are what make this the ultimate comfort cake. I like mine heavily spiced. For a more mild cake, decrease the amounts.
  • Brown Sugar – I use dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor. However, any brown sugar is fine!
  • Large eggs – We want room temperature eggs to ensure they fully incorporate into our batter.
  • Buttermilk – Our buttermilk also needs to be room temperature. Do you see a theme here? Don’t keep buttermilk on hand? Me either! You can make your own by mixing one cup of milk with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice. Wait five to ten minutes and you have buttermilk!

Cinnamon Streusel Spice Cake

This spice cake tastes like quintessential fall. You will love the warm flavors of the spices, crunch of the streusel, and the creaminess of the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon cream cheese frosting, cinnamon streusel, spice cake
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted

Spice Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Cinnamon Streusel

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients into a bowl.
  • Spread onto parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Cool completely.

Spice Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8" cake pans. You could also use three 6" pans or two 9" pans.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar and butter together on medium high until fluffy and pale – about 2-3 minutes
  • Add eggs one at a time on medium speed, fully incorporating after each addition.
  • Add in vanilla extract.
  • Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cakes cool about 10 minutes in the pan. Then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together on high – about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the powdered sugar slowly.
  • Add the vanilla and cinnamon and beat until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

Assembly

  • Level your cake layers using a knife or cake leveler.
  • Place one layer of cake on a turntable or cake stand. Top it with a bit of frosting and your desired amount of streusel.
  • Repeat with the next layer(s) of cake.
  • Coat the outside of your cake with a light layer of frosting, also known as a crumb coat. Then put the cake in the fridge about 30 minutes.
  • Take the cake out and decorate with remaining frosting and streusel as desired.

Did you make this recipe? Let me know!

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