For the cake layers:
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups superfine granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the filling:
- 8 to 12 cups dried apples
- 4 cups superfine granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 cups water
- Confectioners’ sugar
To prepare cake layers:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center position.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar on medium speed.
- Add the molasses to the butter-sugar mixture.
- Reduce mixer speed to low.
- Add eggs one at a time, allowing each to combine completely.
- Alternately add the buttermilk and the flour mixture.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each disc onto a piece of parchment paper just slightly larger than a 9-inch cake pan.
- Place a cake pan over the dough, and trim away the excess paper around the edge.
- Lift the discs onto baking sheets.
- Bake the cake layers until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the cake layers to a flat surface to cool.
To prepare filling:
- In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the dried apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses and water.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Pulse mixture into a thick paste.
To assemble cake:
- Spread approximately 1 cup of filling onto each but the top cake layer being sure to center and level each progressive layer.
- Wrap the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar.