1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease three 8" round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment, for easiest release.

  2. To make the cake: Whisk together the first eight ingredients (flour through allspice); set aside.

  3. Combine the egg yolks and oil. Mixing at low speed, add the sugar.

  4. Add the water and boiled cider. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl a couple of times.

  5. Fold in the dry ingredients.

  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Carefully fold the whites into the batter.

  7. Divide the batter among the three pans.

  8. Bake the cakes for 18 to 23 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

  9. Remove the cakes from the oven, and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

  10. To assemble the cake: Spread an even layer of frosting onto the top of one layer. Top with a second layer, and frost. Top with the final layer, and frost and decorate as desired; we suggest small sprigs of rosemary, fresh or dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, etc. for a festive look.