Spiced Fig Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms and sides of two 9x1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; grease the paper. Lightly flour pans. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, and ginger; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in cooking oil. Add sugar; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in fig preserves. Pour into prepared pans, spreading evenly.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; remove parchment paper. Cool completely on wire racks.
- To assemble, place one of the cake layers on a platter. Spread top with some of the Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with second cake layer and spread top with remaining frosting. Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Before serving, if desired, garnish cake with Spun Sugar and chopped figs.
From the Test Kitchen
To make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a 1-cup measure. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using.
Prepare cake as directed through Step 3. Freeze cooled layers individually in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before frosting.
- Line a baking sheet with foil; grease the foil. Set aside. To caramelize sugar, in a heavy, 8-inch skillet, cook sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly (do not stir). Once the sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes more or until all of the sugar is melted and golden, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Immediately drizzle caramelized sugar onto prepared baking sheet. Let stand until cool. Break into pieces.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.