Christmas Spice Cake

Christmas Spice Cake

Wine makes this spice cake wonderfully tender. Garnish the plate with holly leaves.

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  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon 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 tablespoon molasses
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Cream cheese icing, store-bought, or from the recipe below
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)


Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F 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 measure. 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.