Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spice Layer Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

When John's family was here, I forced Sarah to choose a dessert from a cookbook she'd given me for Christmas. Since we were in the middle of an April snowstorm, this cake seemed to fit the bill. It's a moist, rich cake, with a taste akin to carrot cake (sans carrots). The frosting is delectable and pairs perfectly with the cake's spices. It's a basic butter frosting, but before the butter is mixed in, it's browned in a saucepan over medium heat, which gives the frosting a delicious toffee flavor.


2 and 2/3 cups flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
5 large eggs
1 cup milk

Brown Butter Frosting (recipe follows) or desired frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.

3. In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter, granulated, sugar, and brown sugar until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat, frequently scraping bowl with spatula, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until blended, scraping bowl with spatula.

4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and spread evenly. Stagger pans on two oven racks, placing two on upper rack and one on lower rack so that pans are not directly above one another. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of each layer comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Run thin knife around edges to loosen layers from sides of pans. Invert onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare Brown Butter Frosting. (Recipe here.)

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