1/2 c butter, soft
1-1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla
1 c buttermilk
Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Cut 2 (9-inch) parchment paper rounds and line the pan bottoms. Grease and flour the parchment rounds.
To make 3 (9-inch) layers as in the photograph, use 3/4 c butter, 2-1/4 c brown sugar, 3/4 c vegetable oil, 7 extra large eggs, 3 c flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, 3/4 tsp cardamom and nutmeg, a heaping 1/4 tsp cloves and allspice, a pinch of salt, 1-1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1-1/2 c buttermilk.
Cream the brown sugar and butter until well blended. With the mixer running, add the oil in a steady stream, beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into another bowl. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with flour. Add the vanilla with the final addition of buttermilk.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until the center springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely. After the cakes have cooled, split each cake layer in half horizontally and set aside.
Assemble and fill the cake layers with cream cheese or milk chocolate frosting; then frost top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. The cake in the photograph was frosted with a double recipe of cream cheese frosting, to which some freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg were added. Yum!
For extra spiciness: Increase the cinnamon to 1 T, and add 1 T grated fresh ginger to the batter with 1-2 T molasses.
I found this buttermilk spice cake (Broken link, active December 25, 2009) at Emeril’s website (link now broken), and so glad I saved it here when I did! 🙂
01/01/10 update: I made this cake today for the first time and the flavor is so wonderful! Light, golden, and spicy, not dark and molassesy, just what I was hoping for! And the cake turned out to be moist and very tender!
Sugar restriction: On 01/01/10, I made this cake with 1-1/2 c brown sugar instead of the 2 c called for in Emeril’s recipe, and the family could not tell that I had adjusted the cake at all. The cake was light, tender, and delicious.