Mix together in small bowl:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
In a medium bowl beat until fluffy:
1/4 c butter
1/4 c shortening
Add & beat until well combined:
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Add, beating well after each one:
Add dry mixture to the medium bowl, alternately with
1 1/4 c buttermilk (we used sour milk - 1 TB lemon juice combined with 1 c milk for 5 min)
Beat just until combined after each addition.
Pour into floured pans and bake at 350 - 20 min for cupcakes, 30 minutes for layers.
Meanwhile prepare the icing.
Browned Butter Icing
Melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan and keep over low heat until delicately brown. Remove from heat and pour into small bowl. Sift 4 cups (an entire box) of powdered sugar over the butter and add 2-3 TB milk, plus 1 tsp vanilla. Beat on low until smooth. Add milk as necessary to achieve consistency for spreading.