Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Goodies: Spice Cake

    Pies are a mainstay of Thanksgiving -- pumpkin, pecan and everything in between. But among your guests, there will always be a cake person: someone who loves a tender, moist slice of chocolate, carrot or Whatever.
    This cake echoes the traditional spices of autumn -- ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg -- yet keeps everything light. You can fancy-lace the frosting, like the version shown below, or just serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Either way, it's delicious.
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(16 servings, cut thin -- or 8, cut thick)

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a metal or disposable foil 9-by-13-inch pan. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup.
    2. Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture in two stages; beat on medium speed until batter is just smooth. Add the sugar; beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into cake pan.
    3. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool. Frost as desired -- a good basic frosting recipe is here -- or not. This cake goes especially well with coffee or hot tea.

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