1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or spray two 8” or 9” round cake pans.
2In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for about half a minute, until it’s pale and creamy. Pour in the sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever it needs it. It may look separated - it's OK.
3Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir it in by hand or with the electric mixer on low speed, just until it’s combined. Add about half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour, mixing just until the batter is blended.
4Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cakes are golden and their tops are springy to the touch.
5 Cool completely before frosting.