White Butter Cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place
your oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour two - 8 inch (20 cm) round
cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
your eggs while they are still
cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another
bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to
room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl
sift the flour
with the baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of your electric
mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until soft. Add 3/4 cup (150
grams) of the sugar
and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg yolks and vanilla
extract and beat until well combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl
With the mixer on low
speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and the milk (in
two additions), beginning
and ending with the flour.
In a clean bowl of your
electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and continue to beat
(on high speed) until stiff and shiny peaks form. With
a rubber spatula gently fold a
little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then
fold in the remaining
whites (in two additions) until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.
Divide the batter
evenly between the
two prepared pans
(about 340 grams of batter in each pan) and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake
in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until a
toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (the cakes will
spring back if lightly touched in their centers and you will notice that the cakes
are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan).
cakes in their pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of
each cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan and gently peeling off the
parchment paper. Re-invert each cake onto a greased wire rack. Once the cakes have completely
cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator or freezer
for about 30 minutes. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)
Frosting: In your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until nice and smooth
with no lumps. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
as needed. Add the
zest (if using) and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and
Assemble: Place one of the cake layers onto your serving
platter. Spread the cake layer with your favorite jam. Next,
spread about 3/4 cup of the frosting on top of the jam. Place the next cake layer, top of the cake facing
up, onto the filling. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
If you like you can pipe a border around the outside of the cake. (I used a
small star tip, Wilton #96.) Cover
and refrigerate until serving time. If desired, garnish the top of
the cake with fresh berries.
Serves about 10 people.