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Special-Occasion White Cake

"My grandma used to be known for her delicious wedding cakes, and this is the recipe she used," relates field editor Sue Gronholz from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin."I learned cake decorating on my own and use her recipe to create birthday, anniversary and shower cakes."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour 50 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    14-16 servings


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Lilac paste food coloring
  • Edible pansies


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with water. Beat just until combined. In another bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  • Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat shortening, confectioners' sugar, extracts and salt until light and fluffy. Add enough milk to achieve frosting consistency.
  • Place one cake on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Tint 2 cups frosting with lilac food coloring; spread over top and sides of cake.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #10 tip and fill with remaining white frosting. Pipe a border of "pearls" around bottom and top of cake. With #3 tip, pipe smaller "pearls" on sides of cake. Garnish with pansies.
Editor’s Note: Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs. Verify that flowers are edible and have not been treated with chemicals.
Editor's Note
Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 636 calories, 33g fat (8g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate (61g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • cooking93
    Mar 30, 2013

    I followed the directions for this cake exactly like it said, and it turned out flat as a pancake. Though it did have a nice flavor, I would not recommend this recipe.

  • Mary26778788
    Feb 25, 2013

    I would recommend this recipe to adults and teenagers who are interested in decorating and making. It could be something to do with there future. They learn from there Parents. :)

  • aspear
    Aug 6, 2012

    This is the cake recipe that my 11-yr-old daughter made for her cake decorating class. It filled out a 10 in round pan and consistently made a white dense, moist cake that held up well to the rigors of her decorating attempts. It was made with both the almond extract and substituting vanilla for the almond extract. The adults preferred the almond. The kids liked the all vanilla. Either way, a good, reliable cake that was a PERFECT platform for decorating.

  • kathyguerra
    Jun 5, 2012

    I have made this several times, and every time, it has been delicious. My family loves it.

  • sanunethu
    Aug 11, 2011

    can i use unsolted butter for shortening

  • peakfreans
    Jul 11, 2011

    I found the cake to be very, very dry. I was very disappointed. I would not make this recipe again

  • adrianecole
    Jun 15, 2011

    Wonderful! Light and airy like angel food cake with the decadant flavor of a heavier wedding cake. Very good. Would definetly make again. May however play around with the frosting recipe. Overall, delicious!

  • strabue
    May 10, 2010

    This was a good white cake recipe, my only complaint was that it was a little to light, almost like angle food cake.

  • kmcv
    May 9, 2010

    I have made this cake several times and each time it came out perfectly. I'm not a huge chocolate cake lover so this recipe is perfect for me and my family.

  • rharkless
    Mar 21, 2010

    The cake was very good, although I think I would decrease the almond extract to 3/4 tsp next time. I did decrease the almond extract in the icing, though - to 1/4 tsp and I'm glad I did. The icing tasted awesome and made it easy to pipe decorations on the cake. The only other substitution I made was to use hi-ratio shortening instead of regular. I definitely will make this again!