Save on Pinterest

Cherry Spice Cake

At least four generations of women in my family have been baking this Cherry Spice Cake. It's always my mom's pick for her birthday. I like to use cream cheese frosting, but when my mother was growing up, my grandma frosted the cake with butter cream.—Laurie Sanders, Manchester, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) pitted tart cherries, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
  • Additional chopped pecans, optional


  • Line two 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour the pans and paper; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in cherries and pecans.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and enough water to achieve spreading consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Garnish with additional pecans. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 387 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 192mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate (48g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Susan
    Feb 20, 2018

    Seems I'm frequently shaking my head at folks who down-rate and are disappointed in a recipe while admitting they made changes and didn't follow the directions. To the person who couldn't find tart cherries in the baking aisle, try looking in the aisle that has canned fruit and vegetables. That's where I usually find mine. For some reason it's often on the top shelf in every store.

  • parliamentarian
    Sep 12, 2017

    Love the flavors here, though I tweaked the icing by adding margarine and vanilla. Not having a tart cherry tree, I need to buy the cherries. The only pitted tart cherries I have found in stores so far is a can of cherry pie filling, which is mostly glaze. If you put the glaze in the batter, it makes a wet goo instead of a cake. Is there another product I can look for besides the pie filling I found in the baking goods aisle?

  • grandma karyn
    Jun 13, 2017

    I enjoyed it but HB didn't It seemed to get moister on day two. It is more bread like. But as I said I enjoyed it very much.

  • sunsugar
    Dec 22, 2016

    Everyone in my family loved this cake. I've been asked a couple times since to make it again. I loved it.

  • salisuz
    Dec 3, 2016

    I made this cake n2 a loaffer (bread) and needs some work done to it... the frosting was way too sweet and heavy - I will make this again - as bread or cupcakes and add a thin layer of glaze to the top(s)!

  • perkshar
    Apr 20, 2016

    My family moved to a farm in 1952 that had tart cherry trees along with many other fruit trees. My mother had no recipes for tart cherries at the time so a neighbor lady gave her a recipe for Cherry Cake. It is very similar to this recipe with just a few minor changes, for instance allspice instead of cloves, and plain milk instead of buttermilk. A few ingredients amounts differed somewhat also, but basically the same. I have made my mother's recipe for this cake on many special occasions over the years and my family and relatives have always loved it. I am going to make it using your recipe and see if there is any difference in the taste. But on the whole, it is a very delicious cake.

  • Joan1908
    Jan 12, 2016

    I've been making this for years, but with only 1/2 C. of sugar. I bake it in a 9 x 13 pan and use brown sugar frosting. It's my husbands favorite. His mother gave me the recipe 58 years ago.

  • cher65
    Dec 28, 2015

    I was not at all happy with this recipe. The cake was very dense and heavy and had no taste. I did not feel that the cherries added enough moistness. The frosting was too sweet .will not make again

  • kellibd
    Oct 24, 2015

    A perfect cake for special occasions and not fussy to make either. The cherries keep it nice and moist.

  • DDPLoeches
    Oct 4, 2013

    Everyone really enjoyed this cake. I was surprised that the cherries and spices went together so well.