Icelandic Celebration Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time. Mix until incorporated.
In another large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a small bowl, add all of the wet ingredients. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Blend on low-speed for a minute.
Add all of the wet ingredients to the butter mixture. Blend until mostly incorporated.
Add the remaining dry ingredients. Blend until well incorporated.
Divide the dough into 7 equal parts.
Roll out the dough on a large cutting board covered with a 12" X 12" piece of parchment paper. Flour the top of the dough so it won't stick to the rolling pin. The dough should be 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Use a 9" round pan as a guide to cut the dough into a circle. Remove the extra dough. Transfer the parchment paper with the disc of dough on top of it to a large cookie sheet. The parchment paper makes it really easy to transfer the dough. Repeat this process one more time and then place the cookie sheet with the two discs of dough into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges of the discs start to turn a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool while you prepare and bake the remaining 5 layers.
Once all of the layers are baked, you can start making the filling.
Add the prunes and the water to a large non-stick pan. Cook on low heat until the prunes have softened and most of the water has been absorbed by the prunes. Stir occasionally. This should take about 30 minutes.
Then add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir.
In a small bowl, add the 1/2 cup of sugar and the spices. Stir to combine. Then add the sugar and spice blend to the prune mixture. Stir until well incorporated. Allow the filling to cool. When it has cooled, transfer it to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Alternatively, for a more rustic look, you can just mash up the prunes with a wooden spoon. That's what I did.
When both the cake layers and the filling have cooled completely, you can assemble the cake.
Put the first layer of cake on a serving plate. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread a thin layer of prune filling on top. Repeat the process. Do not put anything on the top layer other than a light dusting of icing sugar.
It's best to make the Vinarterta a couple of days before you plan to serve it. This allows the filling to soften the cake layers. I served it the very next day and it tasted delicious, but this is a great make-ahead dessert. Just be sure to cover it well with plastic wrap, so that it remains moist. It keeps well for up to two weeks!