- 1 cup dried currants
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter , softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 jar (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
- Sifted confectioners' sugar , for garnish
- Whipped cream , optional
In a small saucepan over low flame, heat currants and brandy until currants are plumped, about 3 minutes, then cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar with an electric mixer until well-combined. Add in eggs and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and applesauce in 3 batches. Fold in currants with brandy.
Divide batter between cake pans and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on a rack 15 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Top with confectioners' sugar and serve with softly whipped cream, if desired. (Cakes keep, covered, at cool room temperature 4 days.)