Cream shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat well. Add eggs, mixing well; set aside.
Dissolve soda in buttermilk; set aside. Dissolve cocoa in boiling water, stirring until well blended; set aside.
Combine flour and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and cocoa mixtures, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in apple.
Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely.
Spread filling between layers; spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Garnish top of cake with Marzipan fruit.
Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes