I found this recipe back in the late '80s and knew it was a special cake. The caramel icing can be a little tricky because you have to work quickly, but it's so worth it! —Mariann James, Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1-1/3 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Caramel popcorn with peanuts, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two well-greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Remove from heat; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate; pour half of the warm icing over the cake. Top with remaining cake layer. Pour remaining icing over top of cake. If desired, top with caramel popcorn. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate Spice Cake with Caramel Icing in Taste of Home September/October 2013
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