Lady Baltimore Cake with Rum Buttercream Frosting

Of all the white cakes, this is my favorite. Tender yet firm, this is frequently used for wedding cakes since it can stand up to a bit of frosting and decoration. Though it calls for three 8 to 9 inch cake pans, for large groups I will triple the recipe to fill two 12 inch round pans which will serve about 45 people.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour, (or use all purpose but sift twice)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Cream butter and sugar until mixture is like whipped cream. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Alternating with milk, gradually add dry ingredients and flavoring to creamed mixture, ending with flour. Batter will be smooth. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Turn into three prepared 8 or 9 inch cake pans that have been greased, floured, and bottoms lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before loosening edges and removing cake from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Variation: Add the zest (grated peel) of an orange or Meyers lemon to the batter.

Rum Buttercream Frosting

I always end up doubling this recipe to frost three layers. The heavy cream is what makes this frosting melt in your mouth, so I don’t recommend using milk although it will taste just fine. You can adjust the level of rum flavor to your liking but keep in mind too much alcohol will make it runny.

2/3 cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons rum extract
2 tablespoons dark rum

Cream butter and sugar while gradually adding cream to desired consistency. Stir in flavoring.

VARIATIONS: Maple Buttercream Frosting – From recipe above, omit rum and rum extract. Use a scant 1/4 cup real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon maple extract. Reduce cream to about 3-4 tablespoons.

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