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Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Moist cake with sweet and buttery frosting... Tweak the ingredients to your liking. Try it with variations in the spices, extracts, and liquor: such as cayenne, ginger, almond extract, spiced dark rum, cointreau, irish cream... Also try glazing the pecans with carmelization, candying, or even a nice orange spice. For an easier variation, add some cayenne and brown sugar or some of the other spices mentioned earlier before toasting the pecans. Then sprinkle them atop after icing, to keep the flavors more independent of each other.
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 lb unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk (optional)
- 1 lb confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- 1⁄4 cup ground toasted pecans
- CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper; butter and dust with flour. In a bowl, mix the 3 cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt. In a cup, mix the milk with the vanilla.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture and scraping down the bowl.
- Scrape the batter into the pans. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until springy. Let cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack. Peel off the paper, turn the cakes upright and cool completely.
- FROSTING: In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the butter and egg yolk at medium-high speed until creamy. Beat in the sugar at low speed. Beat in the cream, vanilla and salt, then beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes longer. Beat the bourbon and toasted pecans into the frosting.
- Spread 1 cup of frosting over a cake layer and top with the second layer; frost the top and sides. Let stand 1 hour; serve.