Jill Sauceman's grandmother used a less spicy filling during the Depression because spices were hard to come by. We combined her cake recipe with a spicier version. Don't be tempted to eat the cake until it has stood for two days. This seasoning allows the moisture from the filling to soften the cake layers. This cake also freezes well.
Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add egg, beating until yellow disappears.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Stir together buttermilk and molasses in a large measuring cup. Gradually add flour mixture to shortening mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat until blended.
Divide dough into 5 equal portions; place each portion in a 9-inch greased and floured cake pan or cast-iron skillet, and firmly press with floured fingers into pan. Prick dough several times with a fork. Sprinkle each layer evenly with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until golden brown. (Only bake layers on one rack at a time.) Repeat procedure as needed to bake in pans. Remove layers from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Spread 1 1/2 cups Dried Apple Filling between each layer to within 1/2 inch of edge, beginning and ending with a cake layer. (Save your prettiest cake layer for the top.) Loosely cover cake, and let stand 2 days at room temperature.
This does take some time but if you're looking for a truly old-fashioned flavor, this is it. And just since I love it so much, I did remove 1/2 cup of water in the filling and replaced it with bourbon. Really delicious. The hardest part was letting it sit for a few days before eating it.
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