Once scarce and expensive, nuts have long been associated with special occasions. When North American settlers discovered an abundance of black walnuts, the nuts were often substituted for the English variety. In this spice cake recipe, use either one, toasted for best flavor.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, mace, and cloves. Stir in chopped apples, eggs, walnuts, buttermilk, and oil. Spread batter into prepared pans.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Place a cake layer on a serving platter. Spoon hot Apple Glaze over top of layer. Let stand about 20 minutes or until set.
Meanwhile, prepare Brandied Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting over glazed cake layer. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost cake top and side with frosting. Cover and store any remaining cake in the refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.
Brandied Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, softened; butter, softened; and apple brandy, apple juice, or apple cider with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in an additional 2 to 2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar to make a frosting of spreading consistency.
In a small saucepan, stir together granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, buttermilk, and light-colored corn syrup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat. Stir in apple brandy, apple juice, or apple cider.