My all-time favorite cake. I usually turn my nose up at dessert, but I can never resist this. This is probably the best recipe I have ever found, and it’s been tweaked and adapted so much that I’m not even sure of the original source, though it was somewhere on All Recipes many moons ago. You can make this cake lighter and fluffier if you use light brown sugar, or more dense and moist with dark brown sugar. My preference is the latter.
- 2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened until easily spreadable
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-13-inch pan, or two 8 inch pans.
Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup.
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. 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.