Holiday Spice Cake - Instructions
To prepare the cake:
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Butter and flour a
three-dimensional Christmas tree-shaped pan, tap out the excess flour. Sift together the flour,
cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. In a small bowl, combine the dried fruits and
orange liqueur and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until
creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until
lightened in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of
the bowl. Stream in the eggs slowly, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and
beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer
occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If using the dried fruit, fold it in to the batter
until thoroughly combined.