Tropisk aroma is my favorite spice cake! It has a tender, moist crumb with a lovely blend of spices, and a comforting chocolate buttercream with a hint of coffee. This is a cake that is perfect alongside a cup of coffee or tea.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This spice cake with chocolate buttercream is a symphony of flavors that will captivate your taste buds. Imagine a moist and tender cake infused with a medley of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, enveloping your senses in warmth and nostalgia.
Paired with the luscious sweetness of the chocolate buttercream, this cake is a celebration of contrasts and a delightful treat for any occasion. Whether you're hosting a family gathering, a cozy afternoon tea, or simply indulging in a slice for dessert, this cake is sure to make you smile and crave more.
Oh - and it's so easy!
So what do we need for a Tropisk Aroma cake?
- All-purpose flour: Provides the structure and base for the cake, ensuring a tender crumb and smooth texture.
- Granulated sugar: Adds sweetness to the cake and complements the warm spices.
- Unsalted butter: Creates a rich and moist cake, allowing the flavors to shine through.
- Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and add structure to the cake.
- Buttermilk and milk: Keeps the cake tender and moist, enhancing the richness of the flavors.
- Baking powder: Leavening agent that help the cake rise and become fluffy.
- Ground cinnamon and nutmeg: The star spices that infuse the cake with a warm, aromatic flavor.
- Salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall taste of the cake.
Preheat the oven to 355℉ (180℃). Then line an 8 inch (22 centimeters) round cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg.
In a large mixing bowl and with a mixer, mix softened butter and sugar until it gets pale and fluffy (1). Roughly 3-4 minutes. Whisk the eggs together and slowly pour them into the softened butter-mix (2). Combine well after each little pour. This will help avoid getting a curdled batter.
Sift the dry ingredients into the butter and egg mixture (3-4). Stir with a spatula until just combined (over-mixing can make a tough cake) (5). Combine the buttermilk and milk and slowly pour into the batter (6). The batter should be fairly smooth and thick.
Pour into the prepared cake pan (7) and bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 50-60 minutes (55 is perfect in my oven) (8). Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, there should be only a few moist crumbs or nothing at all - then it's done.
Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Then slice into three layers. I use a serrated knife for this (9).
Meanwhile, you can make the chocolate coffee buttercream. Combine all the ingredients together until a smooth buttercream (11). If you want it thicker, use more powdered sugar, if you want it creamier, add more coffee (or milk).
Don't use hot coffee, or else the butter will melt!
With a spoon, carefully spoon coffee over the layers (10) before spreading ⅓ of the buttercream on a layer (12). Do it again on the second layer (sometimes I also dunk the top layer with coffee). Then spread the remaining ⅓ of the buttercream on top and on the sides if you wish.
I like to keep the decor clean on this one, I just used some edible gold leaves and rose pink sprinkle - but I'm also thinking toasted coconut would be a tasty decor!
To ensure your spice cake stays fresh and delicious, follow these storage tips:
- Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- For longer storage, refrigerate the cake for up to 5-6 days. Before serving, allow it to come to room temperature for the best taste and texture.
- If you need to store the cake longer, you can freeze it, tightly wrapped (aluminum foil or plastic wrap), for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying it.
What is a Tropisk Aroma?
Tropisk Aroma (or Tropical Aroma) is a Norwegian spice cake with chocolate buttercream. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most prominent spices used.
It is often one layer of chocolate cake and the rest as a spice cake, but frankly, I prefer this version which is a cleaner spice cake.
If you want to add chocolate to the middle layer, you'll have to reduce the amount of flour with the increased amount of unsweetened cocoa powder in ⅓ of the batter and bake them in two separate 8-inch cake pans.
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?
While you can use whole wheat flour, keep in mind that it may result in a denser texture. For a lighter crumb, you can use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour.
Can I substitute the buttermilk with regular milk?
Yes, you can use regular milk as a substitute for buttermilk. Simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle before using.
Can I make the chocolate buttercream ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the chocolate buttercream in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a good week. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature and give it a good whisk before using.
This spice cake is perfect with so many other buttercreams! I would of course try my spiced brown butter buttercream for an ultimate chai cake. Or salted caramel sauce can be a quick and very delicious way to eat it.
And then again, the chocolate coffee buttercream is also incredibly versatile and can be used in for example:
- These chocolate coffee cupcakes
- The chocolate birthday sheet pan cake
- On gingerbread cupcakes
- Coconut vanilla cupcakes
- Or the chocolate raspberry cake
Flavors that work well with chocolate and coffee and it will pair beautifully with this buttercream, I think.
- To avoid a curdled batter, it is important to keep the ingredients the same temperature (i.e. room temperature). The next tip is to add the liquid to the creamed butter slowly.
- To avoid a tough cake, you need to add the dry ingredients carefully to the wet ingredients. What I mean by this is that you should just stir the flour into the wet ingredients, and just when the flour is incorporated - stop. This is so that the gluten in the flour will not get stronger than necessary.
- To get a consistent result - use a kitchen scale. A kitchen scale offers much better accuracy than using cups! When it comes to baking, I always use a kitchen scale.
Scroll down to find a printable recipe card. Enjoy!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more cakes I think you'd love:
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