Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spice Cake

This is my favorite spice cake recipe. Perfect for this time of year.

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cake flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 T. shortening
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c buttermilk, whisked well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 inch baking pan.

Sift first ten ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Cream together butter and shortening. Add dark brown sugar and beat for about a minute; add granulated sugar and beat for a minute longer. Blend in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add dry ingredients with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure even mixing.

Smooth batter into pan with a rubber spatula.

Bake 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

7 T. butter, softened
4 1/4 c. unsifted confectioner's sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/4 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. plus 2 T. half-and-half

Mix ingredients on low speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat on high for one minute, or until creamy.

Notes: This cake works in layer form as well, just decrease baking time and double the frosting recipe. I haven't tried it in cupcake form yet, but I'm sure it would work.

You can use either plain yogurt or sour milk (milk with vinegar added) in place of buttermilk if you are out.

The frosting recipe is a bit fussy. I usually just start with a stick of butter and go from there. If the frosting seems too runny, add more sugar. Too thick, more cream...or milk or whatever you can find.

Original recipe from Baking by Flavor. Every recipe I've tried in this book has been fantastic!

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