Cake layers can be wrapped and stored for one day; frosting can be covered with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for several hours. Once assembled, the cake should be covered and refrigerated. Under its coat of frosting, it will remain fresh for up to three days.
Do not use regular cooking sprays such as Pam for baking. Instead use baking sprays such as Pam for Baking No-Stick Cooking Spray and Baker's Joy.
Classic White Cake-Serves 12
Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 sticks tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1. Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
4. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides. Mix at medium speed 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
6. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
4 cups confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
Pinch table salt
Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed until sugar is moistened. Increase speed to medium-high; beat, stopping twice to scrape down bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Avoid overbeating.
Raspberry-Almond Filling (Optional)
1/2cup blanched slivered almonds (2 1/2 ounces), toasted and chopped coarse
1/3 cup raspberry jam (seedless)
Before assembling cake, set aside 3/4 cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread small dab of frosting in center of cake plate to anchor cake, and set down one cake layer. Combine 1/2 cup of remaining frosting with almonds in small bowl and spread over first layer. Carefully spread jam on top, then cover with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Pipe reserved frosting around perimeter of cake at the base and the top. Cut the cake into slices and serve.