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CARAMEL FILLED BUTTER PECAN CAKE 
1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 c. sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Caramel Filling
Buttercream frosting
1 c. chopped pecans

Cream shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Stir in flavoring.

Grease three 9 inch round cake pans and line with wax paper; grease wax paper. Pour batter into pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pans, let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Caramel Filling between layers and on top of cake. Spread Buttercream frosting on sides of cake. Press chopped pecans into frosting on sides of cake. Garnish with pecan halves.

CARAMEL FILLING:

3 c. sugar, divided
3/4 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter (cut up)

Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar in heavy saucepan; place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and syrup is golden brown.

Combine remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar, milk, egg and salt in a bowl, stirring well; stir in butter. Stir butter mixture in caramelized sugar. (The mixture will lump, becoming smooth with further cooking.) Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees (15-20 minutes). Cool 5 minutes. Beat with a wooden spoon to almost spreading consistency and spread between layers and on top of cake.

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

1/3 c. butter, softened
3 c. sifted powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. half & half
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter at medium speed of an electric mixer; gradually add sugar alternately with half & half, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
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