After all of my recent ice cream experiments, I have accumulated an awful lot of egg whites. (Tip: they can be frozen and stored for later use.) While I managed to pawn some off on my husband for egg white omelettes, I still found myself with a surplus in my freezer taking up precious space that could otherwise be used for ice cream! So, in an effort to make use of them, I decided to do a series of mad-baker experiments.
The first of these experiments was to pilot a recipe for white cake, which uses just egg whites instead of whole eggs, producing a lovely light and fluffy snow white cake.
The second was to finally use the lavender extract I picked up in Portland, Oregon last year to make a pretty floral-flavored decorative frosting to compliment a basic vanilla buttercream frosting.
Finally, I would put my new toolkit of cake decorating tools I got for Christmas to the test and practice my decorating skills. I’m pretty rusty these days, but, with the help of some pretty great YouTube videos, I got brave enough to work on my flowers.
A few tips in making this cake:
- When beating your egg whites, do so in a clean bowl and beat until the whites double up in size and start to form firm, stiff peaks. You’ll know you’re done when you can remove the beater and the peaks stay put and don’t collapse. Stop as soon as this happens; you don’t want to over-beat.
- When you go to fold the egg whites into the cake batter, do so carefully by hand. Do not use a mixer.
- When pouring the batter into your cupcake tins or cake pans, don’t be tempted as I was to overfill. This cake really fluffs up as it bakes and will bubble over and make a complete mess. I would advise filling tins only half full, and placing a sheet pan or foil underneath your pans to catch any spillover, just in case.
- Finally, try to resist the temptation to open the oven door too much while cooking or risk the cakes collapsing. Rotate the pan once to ensure even baking on all sides, but try not to interrupt them more than that.
The final result will be a light and fluffy cake that practically melts in your mouth. It’s a basic enough base for any type of frosting. My Vanilla Buttercream with Lavender Frosting rosebuds was a lovely springtime-like treat. I look forward to trying this cake again, next time with chocolate. Enjoy!
- 6 Tbls unsalted butter, softened room temperature
- 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbls clear vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cup + 2 Tbls all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbls baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk, preferably room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If making a cake, prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with a round of parchment paper and generously greasing and flouring the sides. Be sure to shake out excess flour. If making cupcakes, line each with a cupcake wrapper, lightly grease and flour.
- In a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
- Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in the vanilla extract.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Measure out the milk.
- With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
- In separate bowl, combine the egg whites and beat using a hand-mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Be sure to combine well but take care not to over-mix.
- Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans or tins, filling half full.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cakes are a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of comes out clean. For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.
- As your cakes or cupcakes cool, whip up your vanilla buttercream frosting and lavender frosting. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
Yields: 24 cupcakes, two 8″ or 9″ layer cakes, or one 9×13 sheet cake
Adapted from: Sugar Spun Run