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Walnut-raisin spice cake

Serve this cake plain, dusted with confectioners' sugar, or frosted with a mixture of cream cheese and butter. The recipe is adapted from local resident Linda Epstein. Makes 1 large 10-inch cake.

FOR THE CAKE

Butter (for the pan)

Flour (for the pan)

¾ cup golden raisins

¾ cup dried cranberries

1½ cups boiling water

2¼ cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter

1½ cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1½ teaspoons lemon juice

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups walnuts, toasted

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan or a one-piece tube pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a bowl, soak the raisins and cranberries in the water for 15 minutes or until the water cools to lukewarm.

3. On a sheet of waxed paper, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.

4. In an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft and light. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one by one, followed by the yolks. Blend the lemon juice and extract into the batter.

5. Set a strainer over a bowl; drain the raisin mixture into the strainer, reserving the liquid in the bowl.

6. With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour to the batter alternately with the raisin liquid, beginning and ending with flour.

7. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a rubber spatula, fold in the fruits and walnuts.

8. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

10. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve with whipped cream or frost the cake.

Garnish with sliced oranges.

FOR THE FROSTING

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5¾ cups (1½ pounds) confectioners' sugar

1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

2. Beat in the sugar until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

3. Place the cooled cake on a cake stand. Using a small metal palette knife, frost the cake all over. Set the cake in a cool place for 1 hour before slicing.

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