Spice Cake with Lemon Icing

This is a lighter style of spice cake, made with maple syrup and granulated sugar. This cake is great if you want something spicy but not too rich or heavy. The dried blueberries and tiny bits of crystallized ginger are a delicious match with the mild spices. The light lemon glaze adds a nice kick of acidity.

Let’s start with the recipe. Follow me on Instagram @Pastry_Tales so you can watch the videos of how I made this special cake.

Happy Fall! Let’s start with the recipe.

Yield one 8 x 8 baking pan


For the cake

1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

6 tablespoons white granulated sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 milk or buttermilk

1 cup dried blueberries (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) . You can use other dried fruit but I like how the blueberries work with my lemon icing.

1/4 crystallized ginger chips . I like to use the ones The Ginger People offers. This is the link so you can read more about this product. Click HERE.

For the icing

2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tablespoon water + 3/4 tablespoon lemon extract.

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar


For the cake

1.- Line the bottom and sides of your pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.- Heat your oven to 350 F.

3.- In a small bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Set aside.

4.- In another bowl and using an electric mixer beat your butter for 2 minutes. Then, add sugar and cream both ingredients for about 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and keep mixing in medium speed. Add in egg. Mix.

5.- With the mixer in low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix for 30 seconds and then add 1/2 of your milk/buttermilk, mix. Add another third of your dry ingredients, mix. Add the other half of your milk, mix. Finally, add the last part of your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

6.- Using a spatula fold in your dried blueberries and crystallized ginger chips.

7.- Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few dry crumbs. Remember that each oven works different so please check your cake after 25 minutes.

8.- Let the cake cool off in the pan for 30 minutes. Then take it out from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack.

For the icing

In a bowl mix sifted powdered sugar and lemon juice (or water + lemon extract). If you think your icing is thin just add a bit more of powdered sugar. Remember this is an icing NOT a frosting so it should be thin.

Pour this icing on the top of your cooled cake and let it drip on the sides. Let the icing hardens for about 30-45 minutes. Then, cut and serve.


Note: If you want your icing to stay hard don’t place your cake in an airtight container. What I do, I place my leftover cake in the same pan I bake it and cover it very lightly with a dry kitchen towel. I made this cake last night and today my icing is perfect!