Adapted from Southern Living December 2012
This is the cake I decided to make for Christmas 2014. It’s luscious, delicate and absolutely delicious. I think it’s the best white cake I’ve ever had and it makes the perfect dessert for winter. Everybody loved it and even the frosting was perfect. It looks very impressive with the layers and looks great with the fondant or marzipan decorations.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 5 egg whites
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans.
- 2. Stir together the milk and vanilla.
- 3. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended after each addition.
- 4. Beat the egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter.
- 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- 6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- 7. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely (about 40 minutes).
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 1 (32-oz) package of confectioner’s sugar
- 6 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1. Beat the butter and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy.
- 2. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar alternately with the milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
- 3. Stir in vanilla.
Assembling the Cake
- White cake (recipe above)
- Vanilla buttercream frosting (recipe above)
- 1. Place one of the prepared cakes on a serving platter. Use a frosting knife or spatula to spread some frosting over this layer. Start in the middle of the cake and work your way out, leaving about 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) border.
- 2. Top the frosted cake with another cake. Repeat the frosting process described above.
- 3. Finally, place the final cake on top and frost the top and sides of the entire cake.
- 4. Add any other desired decorations (suggestions below).
Making the cake itself is really quite simple. Possibly the trickiest part is making sure you put about the same amount of batter in each pan. I suggest you make the entire recipe for the frosting. It sounded like a lot so I started out with half of the recipe but it was too little; I ended up making more. The recipe suggests decorating the cake with fondant snowflakes. However, I did not find any fondant and ended up using marzipan, which works well too. I rolled out the marzipan on a surface dusted with some confectioner’s sugar. Then I used star cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I dusted the stars with more confectioner’s sugar and let them dry for several hours. I later brushed some milk over the shapes and sprinkled them with golden and silver sugar crystals and more confectioner’s sugar. Once they were dry, I arranged them around and on top of the cake.