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Making Stack Cake

This modern take on a traditional Appalachian stack cake is best eaten within a few hours of being made. The original version (which I intend to make as soon as I can source a little sorghum) needs to “cure” for about a week, since the layers are cookie-like and need time to soften. Here the layers are lighter and fluffier. Combined with a seasonal fresh-fruit filling — in this case strawberries — the results is an exceptionally wicked but not too filling dessert, perfect for a warm weather cookout or afternoon picnic. So let’s get to it. Start by assembling your ingredients and preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. First step: sift the flour, spices and leavening together.

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Stack Cake Recipe

The jumping off point for this formula was a modern take on a stack cake that I found in Julie Richardson’s excellent Vintage Cakes. I made a few changes because, well, I can’t resist that. Among them, making the filling seasonal (the original called for plum, which must be fabulous, but it’s not plum season), changed the fat to all-butter from butter/oil, and amped up the ginger a bit since ginger, historically speaking, is the defining spice in this cake. Oh, and no icing, because icing has never been a feature of stack cakes. Here’s how my modern-ish variation goes:

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