Christmas Spice Cake
2 1/2 cups Cake Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1-1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup White Wine, such as Riesling, or Substitute Apple Juice
1/2 cup Solid Shortening, such as Crisco
1 Tbsp. Molasses
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup Milk
1 Cream Cheese Icing, Store-Bought, or from the Recipe
1/2 cup Toasted Walnuts or Pecans, Chopped (Optional)
Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
When ready to cook, start the Z Grill grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the sugar.
Put the wine in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add enough shortening to bring the liquid up to the 1-1/4 cup mark.
Add to the dry ingredients along with the molasses and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the milk and the eggs and beat 2 minutes more.
Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cakes from the pans, transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely.
Assemble the cake: Put one cake rounded side down on a plate. Ice the flat side, then stack the second cake on top of it, flat side down. Ice the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the nuts, if desired.
For the cream cheese icing: Beat together 1/2 cup of room temperature butter and one 8-ounce package of cream cheese. Gradually beat in 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency, 1 to 2 tablespoons, or as needed.