Tags Posts tagged with "White Cake"

White Cake

Devil's Food Cake

By Barbara Beltrami

My birthday is this month and also of so many people I know, that I thought this would be a nice occasion to talk about birthday cakes. We all have our favorites, those special cakes that we request for our celebration or that those who fete us know are de rigueur.  

When I was a little girl, I insisted that only my Aunt Ethel could make the white cake with penuche frosting that I so adored. My husband always claims that all he ever wants for his birthday is a strawberry shortcake — exactly the way his mother made it. And that cake has also become requisite for my grandson. 

One friend, a devout chocoholic, thinks anything other than a devils food cake with chocolate fudge frosting is blasphemous. No matter what  kind it is, a homemade birthday cake is one of the nicest presents anyone can bake, give or receive.

White Cake

YIELD: Makes 8 to 12 servings


 6 egg whites

2 cups sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk


Grease and flour three 8 or 9” layer cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat egg whites till stiff; gradually beat in one cup of the sugar. In another large bowl cream butter until light and fluffy, then beat in second cup of sugar and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then add to butter mixture alternately with milk. Fold in beaten egg whites, pour into prepared cake pans and bake 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on racks, then run knife around circumference of each layer to loosen. Frost as desired and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Aunt Ethel’s Penuche Frosting

YIELD: Makes enough for a 2-layer cake


1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup milk

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1 cup pecan or walnut halves


In a medium saucepan melt butter, add brown sugar, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and, stirring constantly, boil for two minutes; add milk, and stirring constantly, bring to a boil again. Remove from heat, let mixture cool to just lukewarm, and gradually add confectioners sugar until the frosting reaches the desired spreading consistency. If too stiff add just a little hot water. Frost cake and arrange nut halves on top.  

Devil’s Food Cake

YIELD: Makes  8 to 12 servings


1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sifted cake flour

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9” layer cake pans. Put butter in a large bowl; sift  over it the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar. Add milk and beat for two minutes at medium speed; add melted chocolate, vanilla and eggs and beat for one minute. Pour batter evenly into pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around circumference of cake, turn them onto wire racks, then immediately turn them right side up to cool. Frost as desired. Serve with chocolate ice cream.

Chocolate Frosting

YIELD: Makes about 3 1/2 cups


1 1/3 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up

8 ounces + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch salt


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat bring the cream and sugar to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and stirring occasionally, cook until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour mixture into a medium bowl, add chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt; let stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and butter are melted. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water; with a hand held mixer on medium speed and occasionally scraping sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat frosting until glossy, about 5 minutes. Spread on cake immediately.