Fruit and Spice Layer Cake

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Makes: 16  servings Prep 40 mins Bake 25 mins


  • 3/4 cup  walnuts
  • 1/2 cup  pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup  dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup  dried figs
  • 2 1/3 cups  all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups  sugar
  • 1 cup  butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon  grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon  grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup  applesauce
  • 1/4 cup  brandy
  • 2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon  salt


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Pulse walnuts, prunes, the 1/2 cup cranberries, the figs and 1/3 cup of the flour in food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

3. Beat the 1-1/2 cups sugar and the 1 cup butter in large bowl at medium-high speed of electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla, grated orange and grated lemon peels.

4. Combine applesauce and brandy in small bowl. Stir together remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, the 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the 3/4 teaspoon ginger and the salt in medium bowl.

5. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and applesauce mixture alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in fruit mixture.

6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

7. To assemble cake, place 1 layer on cake plate. Spread top evenly with one third of the Spiced Buttercream Frosting. Top with second layer; spread with another one third of the frosting. Top with third layer; spread with remaining frosting. Sprinkle top of cake with the 2 tablespoons chopped cranberries. Makes 16 servings.

Make Ahead Tip

  • Prepare cake. Cover and refrigerate cake up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 16
  • cal.(kcal)545,
  • Fat, total(g)32,
  • chol.(mg)125,
  • sat. fat(g)17,
  • carb.(g)61,
  • pro.(g)6,
  • sodium(mg)451,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Spiced Buttercream Frosting


  • 3/4 cup  sugar
  • 1/3 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup  milk
  • 1 1/4 cups  cold butter, cut up


Make Spiced Buttercream Frosting::

1. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, flour, ginger and cinnamon in small saucepan. Whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and cool completely.

2. Place cooled mixture in large bowl. With electric mixer at high speed, add the 1-1/4 cups butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until butter is completely incorporated after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla; continue to beat until light and fluffy.

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