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Winter Spice Cake
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Note: Preare the filling at east 8 hours ahead of time.

Preheat the oven to 350º.

With the shortening, grease and flour four 8 ½-inch round baking pans. Beat
the butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until creamy.
Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs,
one at a time. Continue beating only until blended after each addition.

Whisk together until well blended, the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,
baking soda, ginger and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture alternately
with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until
blended after each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour batter
evenly into the four cake pans.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes
out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool
completely on wire racks for approximately 1 hour.

Cranberry Filling:

2 cups fresh whole cranberries plus ½ cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons butter

In a small saucepan stir together the whole cranberries, granulated sugar and
the orange juice. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and cold water
until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into cranberry mixture and cook over
medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often or until cranberries begin
to pop and mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly for and additional
minute or until thickened and translucent. Stir in the chopped cranberries and
Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until butter is melted.

Remove from heat, and cool completely for approximately 30 minutes. Cover and
chill for at least 8 hours.


1 cup apple cider
1 cup butter, softened
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 32-ounce package powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons whole milk, divided

In a small saucepan cook the cider over medium heat, stirring often for 10 to 15
minutes or until reduced to ¼ cup. Cool completely for 20 minutes. Beat the
butter and &frac; teaspoon salt at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered
sugar alternately with the apple cider, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 4 tablespoons milk,
beating well after each addition. If needed, add an additional 1 tablespoon milk,
1 teaspoon at a time, and beat until desired consistency is reached.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Spoon 1 cup frosting into a pastry decorating
bag. Pipe a ring of frosting around cake layer just inside the top edge. Spread
cake layer with about ⅔ cup chilled Cranberry Filling, spreading to the
edge of the piped frosting. Repeat with 2 more layers. Top with 4th cake layer.
Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of entire cake.


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