Winter White Cake

With the holidays ending and cold weather setting in, I thought it was time to give cranberries their last hoorah until Thanksgiving comes around again. Personally, I love cranberries. I love that they are not overwhelming sweet, their tartness, and their versatility; they work well in both sweet and savory dishes.

This is the layer cake featured in Episode 1 - Winter Cranberry Cake. It's a very light, not super sweet cake that is reminiscent of a sugar cookie in flavor. This makes it a tasty pairing for a heavier bold filling, such as the cranberry filling.

Recipe yields enough batter for 2 6-inch round layer pans.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 stick salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cup milk
  • 1  tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Shortening (or extra butter) and flour for pans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (if using dark metal pans, only preheat to 325°F).  Grease and flour pans, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar.  Beat with an electric mixer (stand or handheld) until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine egg whites, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add a third of the dry mixture to the butter mixture, then add half the milk mixture.  Continue to alternate, beginning and ending with the dry mixture.  Make sure you scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl often.
  4. Evenly divide the batter into the greased pans.  Make sure the batter is distributed evenly within the pan and tap a few time on the counter or other hard surface to release any air pockets.
  5. Place cakes on the center rack of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling wire rack.  Let cool completely before icing.

Recipe adapted from Nick Malgieri's Classic White Cake. Recipes for the cranberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting are posted separately.