Grease well and flour two 8 x 1 1/2-inch layer cake pans, or a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan.
Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper [,and nutmeg, and allspice].
In large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes - occasionally scraping side of bowl with rubber scraper.
At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with buttermilk (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Beat just until smooth - about 1 minute.
Pour batter into prepared pans; bake layers 30 to 35 minutes
Bake oblong 40 to 45 minutes; or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.
Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool thoroughly on wire racks. Fill and frost as desired.