Friday was my grandmother's 86th birthday. I can not tell you how amazing it is that she has made it this far. She was diagnosed with cancer some time ago and lost my grandfather to cancer last year. It has been a very difficult couple of years for her and she deserves a little celebration. We are having a birthday party at our house for her tonight. I called her last week to ask what she wanted for a menu and dessert. Her request was a white cake with pink frosting. I know I can't make things change or get better for her, but at least I can put a smile on her face and help her celebrate!
White Cake with Pink Frosting
adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook and saltyspoon.com
2 ¼ cups All Purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 ¼ cups milk
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large egg whites
Grease and lightly flour the bottom and sides of two 8″ round pans.
Beat all ingredients except the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Beat on high speed for two minutes, pausing twice to scrape.
Add the egg whites and beat slowly at first to incorporate, then on high speed for two more minutes. Pause once to scrape.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Before transferring the pans to the oven, hold each pan two to three inches above the counter and drop to distribute the batter and eliminate any bubbles that may have formed.
Bake on the middle rack for 28 -30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It may or may not turn golden. If the top looks wet, it’s not done.
Cool the cakes in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from their pans and continue to cool for at least one hour before frosting.
3 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, stir the butter, vanilla, a ½ cup of powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of milk. It should look shiny and slightly thick when everything has blended together.
Continue adding powdered sugar and beating with gusto until it is well-blended and the desired consistency (see notes). Add additional milk as needed to soften the frosting should it get too stiff from excessive sugaring. Add a few drops of your chosen food coloring and stir until fully incorporated and the color is even.