Cherry Spice Cake
This elegant three layer cake is moist and spicy and frosted with a wonderful cream cheese frosting. This cake was my Dad's favorite!

Yield: 20 servings

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1 1/2 cups cherry pie filling

• 16 ounces (two 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 8 cups sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For cake, cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

In another large bowl, sift together flour, soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. In a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade,process pie filling until cherries are coarsely chopped.* Add dry ingredients and pie filling alternately to creamed mixture, mixing until smooth. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Frost between layers, on sides, and on top of cake.

* The first time I made this cake I used a food processor to chop the cherries. After that, I have always just used my mixer beaters to chop the cherries up. They are soft enough that the blades of the beaters do it quite nicely. This is a much faster method too.

At Christmas, I usually cut some red and green candied cherries in half and decorate the top in a wreath pattern.