31 Spice Cake Recipes Every Southerner Should Make This Holiday Season

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Photo: Greg Dupree

There's nothing like a homemade spice cake to get in the fall and holiday spirit. Made with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, spice cake recipes have just the right amount of zing when paired with sweet ingredients. From the classics like pumpkin spice cakes and apple spice cakes to pretty creations like Pumpkin Spice Battenberg and jam cakes, we have plenty of options to get you from fall to the new year.

Whether you want to curl up with a cozy apple slice and a cup of coffee or you need to serve a stunning layer cake for an elegant dinner party, these recipes are just divine. From the start of fall to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, this round-up is festive, comforting, and oh-so-delicious. With timeless ideas like these, your family might have a new holiday tradition in store. These recipes will comfort you through the entire fall and winter seasons.

01 of 31

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake on a green cake stand
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Hummingbird Cake

The Hummingbird Cake is our most popular recipe of all time, and you'll see why once you try a slice. This Southern classic cake is made with pineapples and bananas, and is fashioned into three delicious moist layers topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans. This recipe was first submitted to Southern Living by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina in 1978.

02 of 31

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Recipe: Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

New Orleans-based cookbook author and food blogger Joy Wilson shared this beautiful recipe with us, and the best part about it is the cake layers, which can be made up to three days before your event. The gorgeous and tasty caramel and cream cheese frosting looks the best when applied with a small offset spatula to give it that swirly effect on the cake.

03 of 31

Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice-Heath Cake

Sheet cake recipes are the easiest way to feed dessert to a crowd, meaning this recipe is perfect for the holidays. Topped with cream cheese frosting, toffee, and almond candy bits, this scrumptious pumpkin spice cake will be a winner at your next fall party.

04 of 31

Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Apple Spice Cake

This no-fuss cake doesn't require any layers or frosting, but delivers plenty of fall flavor in every bite. Top this one-layer cake with some spiced whipped cream when serving. Feel free to sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top if you desire.

05 of 31

Apple Stack Cake

Apple Stack Cake
Photo: Victor Protasi; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Apple Stack Cake

Ronni Lundy's Apple Stack Cake is a labor of love that's so worth it. This cake is best when "cured" for two or three days. After making the cake, simply wrap it in cheesecloth and and plastic wrap, then store it in a cool, dark place (that's not your fridge) for two to three days.

06 of 31

Vintage Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake
Hannah Zimmerman/Southern Living

Recipe: Fresh Apple Cake

This apple cake, filled with fresh Granny Smith apples and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting, was made to feed a crowd. Don't be concerned if your batter seems super thick, that's exactly how it should be—nearly the consistency of cookie dough. Garnish the cake by sprinkling on the remaining pecans.

07 of 31

Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Pumpkin-Spice Bundt with Brown Sugar Icing and Candied Pecans

This Bundt cake is a total stunner for fall parties. Be sure the icing is still warm when you spoon it over the cake for the prettiest results.

08 of 31

Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce

Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Erika Kwee's Spiced Carrot Cake with Candied Pecans and Caramel Sauce

If you'd like to make preparation a little easier the day you'll be serving up slices of this cake, you can prepare the candied pecans and caramel a few days in advance.

09 of 31

Hummingbird Bundt Cake

Hummingbird Bundt Cake
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Hummingbird Bundt Cake

A less time-consuming version of our ever-popular Hummingbird Cake we mentioned earlier in this round up, this beautiful Bundt is drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. Pur glaze immediately after cooling cake and top with pecans!

10 of 31

Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream

Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream

This boozy, four-layer cake has dressy holiday dinner party written all over it. Pipe zigzags by starting at the base of the cake and pipe a 1 ½-inch-wide zigzag of frosting up the side of the cake. Start the next piping at the base touching the first zig zag, and repeat the process until the sides are completed. Grate nutmeg on the top.

11 of 31

Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes

Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes
Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes

Choose from a streusel topping or two glazes for these mini pound cakes that make perfect hostess gifts. You get your choose of three different toppings for these cakes: Streusel Topping, Bourbon Glaze. or Lemon-Sugar Glaze. If you are up to it, why not make all three?

12 of 31

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cake

This impressive dessert, inspired by a Mexican recipe called "impossible flan," will truly stand out among all other holiday desserts. Use a light-colored bundt pan, as a darker-colored pan may overbake the cake. Sprinkle with pecans, and serve with additional cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) on the side.

13 of 31

Amanda Mack's Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Amanda Mack’s Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
Gabriela Herman

Recipe: Amanda Mack's Apple-Almond Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

You'll find all of fall's favorite spices on the ingredient list for this over-the-top loaf cake including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom. Top the cake with apple chips and toasted sliced almonds.

14 of 31

Pumpkin Spice Battenberg

Pumpkin Spice Battenberg
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Battenberg

This checkerboard-patterned cake ups the ante on the fall cake presentation. Make sure to spray your pan well with cooking spray to keep the parchment paper divider in place for the pumpkin and vanilla layers.

15 of 31

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake
Brian Woodcock

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pudding Cake

If you like your sweets with a dash of heat, this gooey pudding cake is the dessert for you. Serve with ice cream for the best taste. Your guests are sure to ask for seconds!

16 of 31

Tennessee Jam Bundt Cake

Tennessee Jam Bundt Cake
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Tennessee Jam Bundt

This classic Southern cake deserves a comeback. Tangy blackberry jam and rich caramel frosting pair perfectly with warm spices on the cake. Immediately pour frosting over the cooled cake.

17 of 31

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

Ultimate Carrot Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: The Ultimate Carrot Cake

There's never a bad time for carrot cake. If you're really into the presentation, make our Candied Carrot Curls to top this all-time favorite cake. Frost with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting in between layers and down the sides of the cake.

18 of 31

Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze

Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Pecan Spice Cake with Caramel-Rum Glaze

This comfy cake has all the flavors you love for fall. The best part? It only takes 30 minutes of hands-on time. The more powdered sugar you put in the glaze, the thicker it will be.

19 of 31

Blackberry Jam Cake

Blackberry Jam Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Blackberry Jam Cake

Food Network star, chef, and cookbook author Damaris Phillips shared this timeless layer cake recipe, which was inspired by her Aunt Julie. Pipe on the caramel cream cheese frosting and top the cake with nuts and blackberries.

20 of 31

Acadian Syrup Cake with Roasted Pears and Caramel Sauce

Roasted Pears
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Acadian Syrup Cake with Roasted Pears and Caramel Sauce

This Cajun staple is filled with warm spices that are sweetened up by classic cane syrup. Use honey if you can't find pure cane syrup. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake, and serve with roasted pears, caramel sauce, and spiced whip cream. Make sure it's warm or at room temperature, don't refrigerate.

21 of 31

Spice Cake with Cranberry Filling

Spice Cake with Cranberry Filling
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Spice Cake with Cranberry Filling

Between the spice cake layers, cranberry filing, and apple cider frosting, we don't know what our favorite part of this recipe is. We're lucky we don't have to choose just one.

22 of 31

Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

Butterscotch-Spice Trifle
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

This gorgeous holiday trifle recipe is spicy and sweet (and so easy to put together). It can be made a day in advance to help you with last-minute prep. Refrigerate it for at least four hours before serving.

23 of 31

Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake

Everything you love about fresh apple cake and carrot cake in one dreamy recipe that's topped with fluffy Mascarpone Frosting. Drizzle the cake with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce over the frosting, and garnish with pecans.

24 of 31

Holiday Spice Cake

Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Holiday Spice Cake

This festive cake recipe looks beautiful in our Cherry Spice Cake Trifle (pictured), but you can enjoy it as a layer cake, too. Delicious and makes for a beautiful centerpiece?

25 of 31

Japanese Fruitcake with Lemon-Coconut Frosting

Japanese Fruitcake Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Japanese Fruitcake with Lemon-Coconut Frosting Recipe

This traditional recipe has been a reader favorite for decades, and it's a holiday tradition worth starting. The lemon-coconut frosting is enough to make you want to come back for seconds.

26 of 31

Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake

Silky Ganache
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake

Go all out on holiday cheer with this festive recipe that's a true show-stopper. Spread ginger whipped cream on the tops and sides of the cake just before serving.

27 of 31

Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt

Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt
Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe: Cranberry-Apple Pumpkin Bundt

This Bundt cake recipe packs all of our favorite fall and holiday flavors into one. It can't be beaten with its creamy maple glaze drizzle and crunchy pecan and pepita garnish. Pour the glaze immediately onto the cooled cake.

28 of 31

Spice Cake with Citrus Filling

Spice Cake with Citrus Filling
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Recipe: Spice Cake with Citrus Filling

We can't resist a white cake for Christmastime, and this dazzling recipe is filled with holiday flavor. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the frosting, if desired.

29 of 31

Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake

Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Marbled Pumpkin-Praline Cake

This layer cake has so many flavor dimensions that it's guaranteed to impress even the most skeptical guest. This white cake has everything from sugared pecans, and kumquats, to bay leaves.

30 of 31

Sugar-and-Spice Cake

Vanilla Buttercream
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Recipe: Sugar-and-Spice Cake

Guests will never know that this gorgeous cake started with a box of white cake mix. The vanilla buttercream icing is so good, that you'll want to just eat it straight out of the mixer.

31 of 31

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Greg Dupree

Recipe: Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

There isn't a recipe that feels more fall than this beautiful Bundt. The sweet cream cheese filling and homemade praline frosting are just the icings on the cake (is that too on the nose?) Garnish the frosting with toasted pecans.

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