Lightly grease and flour three 8×1-1/2-inch or 9×1-1/2-inch round pans; set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with half-and-half cream mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition until combined.
Beat in clean beaters. In another large bowl, beat egg whites on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (curl the tips). Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand upright). Gently fold in egg whites, about 1/4 at a time, into creamy mixture. (If necessary, transfer mixture to a larger bowl).
Divide mixture into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F about 30 minutes for 8-inch rounds and about 25 minutes for 9-inch rounds or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean*.
Cool layers in pans on metal racks for 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans and cool completely on metal racks.
Gel with unforgettable white chocolate icing. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 16 servings.
If necessary, refrigerate a filled cake pan while baking the other two cake layers.
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