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Benny's Favorite Spice Cake

There's something about spice cake that seems old-fashioned and out-of-date, yet make one and peoples' eyes light up. As a metaphor for the relationship between Benny and Eleanor, I think spice cake is just about the perfect food.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9-inch cake pan with oil, butter or cooking spray.
2-1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons fresh or bottled minced ginger
1 cup vanilla yogurt

In a large bowl, mix together the first eight dry ingredients (flour through pepper) and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and mix well, then stir in ginger. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time, mixing until smooth. Fold in yogurt by hand or using the mixer's lowest speed so that the yogurt doesn't "break," or lose its consistency. When well blended, pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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