Cake is often the dessert of choice for meals at ceremonial occasions, particularly weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. There are countless cake recipes; some are bread-like, some rich and elaborate, and many are centuries old. Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure; while at one time considerable labor went into cake making (particularly the whisking of egg foams), baking equipment and directions have been simplified so that even the most amateur cook may bake a cake.


2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar (1 pound)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup brandy
3 cups pecans, chopped (about 12 ounces)
3 cups raisins (1 pound)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a nonstick Bundt pan (12-cup capacity), tapping out excess flour; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg, and baking powder; set aside.

In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add brandy; beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in pecans and raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake has pulled away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in top comes out clean, 1 1/2 hours. Immediately invert onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Set rack with cake over a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar and orange juice until smooth. Drizzle cake with glaze.

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