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Blushing Valentine

I know it may seem a bit early to start thinking of Valentine’s Day, but it’s only a few short weeks away.   If you like to make a special treat on Valentine’s Day, this is the cake.  
It is a towering 4 layers high and lovingly encased in the most delicate rose-scented buttercream.  It is outrageously good and worth every. single. calorie.  

This is also the type of cake that could easily become adorned with say a few candles for a little celebratory birthday party?   The colors could be swapped out for any, the flavor of the buttercream could be adapted to whatever you’d like it to be.  Using a vanilla base for both cake and buttercream allows you the flexibility to change colors and flavors to suit the occasion or intended recipient.

Typically, when we think of Valentine’s Day desserts we usually think of chocolate.  I won’t even pretend that I’m not one of them, but sometimes the “molten lava cake” or “ganache-covered devils food” is well… a bit played out.

This cake is a show-stopper and you might not even miss the chocolate.

For the cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3 ½ cups sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 egg whites
2 cups whole milk, room temp
4 tsp vanilla
Deep pink gel food coloring

Place racks in middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour 4 cake pans.  I used 6″, but 8 inch will work as well (the cakes will not be as tall).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until light & fluffy.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Combine egg whites, milk & vanilla together and set aside.

Add roughly 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, followed by half of the milk mixture.  Scrape down bowl, and then add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the rest of the milk.  Scrape down again and add the last of the flour.

Divide batter into 4 equal portions.

      One portion will remain white.  In the remaining 3, mix in food coloring.  Add 3-4 drops to the first layer, 6-7 drops for the second and 9-10 drops for the last layer.  Mix thoroughly until color is uniform. 
      Pour into cake pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating cakes halfway through baking time.  Cake is done when knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wrap in parchment paper and plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours.  Using a long serrated knife, trim off the domed top of cake to make it even and flat.   Once all cakes have been trimmed, set aside.

For the Rosewater Buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temp, cut into tablespoons
½ -1 tsp rosewater

      Set a bowl inside of a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Combine egg whites and sugar, whisking frequently until sugar has dissolved. 

 You can test this by carefully running your finger through a stream of egg white falling from whisk, then rub your thumb and finger together.  If you feel any grains of sugar, it is not ready.

      Once sugar is completely dissolved, transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
      Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff peaks and mixture is cooled, about 5-6 minutes.
      Turn mixer down to medium low speed and begin adding butter, a few tablespoons at a time, let butter incorporate before adding more.
      After all the butter has been added, add rosewater and beat for another 30 seconds.
      Set darkest layer of cake on cake plate and apply a layer of buttercream to top.  Following with remaining layers, ending with white layer on top. 

Apply a thin crumb coat of buttercream to entire cake and chill for 30 minutes.


When crumb coat has hardened, apply buttercream and smooth with an offset spatula.
Cut with a very sharp knife and serve!




  1. Lovely, Sissy! I must say that I don’t make white cakes often enough. but the vanilla flavor (or any flavor) is so much more pure w/o the yolks to get in the way.

    And of course then for me: pudding with the leftover yolks! 🙂

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