Tara Oram’s Favorite Spice Cake



• 3 cups cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 eggs
• 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
• Quick Butter Cream, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground cloves.

Combine the butter, sugar and salt and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately beginning and ending with the dry.

When the batter is well mixed and smooth, divide it amongst the 3 prepared cake pans and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely. Slice off the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife so they are flat and even.

Place the first layer, cut side down, on a cake pedestal or serving plate. Spoon about 3/4 cup of butter cream onto the center of the cake. Spread it almost to the very edges with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining 2 layers. Garnish the top of the cake with finely chopped nuts and cocoa powder

Quick Butter Cream:

• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1/4 cup shortening
• A pinch of salt
• 6 cups powdered sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup heavy cream

Beat the butter, shortening and salt together until creamy. Add half the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Combine the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar, alternating with the cream mixture until it is all incorporated and the frosting is very light and fluffy.