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Spice Cake with Citrus Filling

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Total time 2 hrs, 40 mins
Yield Makes 12 servings
This cake is bound to become a family favorite. For added beauty, use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the edges of the frosting, if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Citrus Filling
  • White Icing

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  3. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

  4. Divide batter into 2 equal portions (about 3 1/2 cups each); stir cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and pecans into 1 portion. Pour plain batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans (about 1 3/4 cups batter per pan). Pour spiced batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans (about 2 cups batter per pan).

  5. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

  6. Place 1 plain cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand; spread top with 2/3 cup Filling, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edges. Top with a spice cake layer, and spread top with Filling as directed above. Repeat procedure with remaining plain cake layer and Filling. Top with remaining spice cake layer. Prepare White Icing; spread icing over top and sides of cake.