Vanilla cake tinted and decorated in varying shades of pink and red as inspired by the ruffle on a certain Valentine’s Day dress. 

serves 24 (makes one 4 layer cake)

What You Need:
5 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups vanilla sugar* (can substitute regular sugar)
1 1/2 cups milk
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature, plus 4 tablespoons for the pans
10 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pink and red gel food coloring
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow)

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter four 8-inch round baking pans. Line the bottom of each buttered pan with a parchment round and butter the top of the paper round. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla sugar and mix just until combined. Add the milk, butter and vanilla and mix until combined (mixture will be very thick). Add the egg whites and mix until batter is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Pour 1/4 of the batter into one pan (this will be your white layer). Mix in just enough pink food coloring to the remaining batter to make a light pink batter. Pour 1/3 of this remaining mixture into another pan (this is your light pink layer).  Mix in more pink food coloring to make a deeper shade of pink batter. Pour 1/2 of this mixture into a third pan (this will be your deep pink layer). Finally, add red food coloring to the remaining batter to reach a deep red color and pour into the final pan (this is your red layer). Smooth the top of each pan and bake until baked through (about 20-25 minutes). Set aside to cool. When cakes are cool, remove from pans and remove parchment paper. Prepare frosting and decorate (see below for how to decorate like mine using a simple star tip…it’s so easy and so cute).
*Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been with a vanilla bean in a jar for a few weeks imparting a mild vanilla flavor

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
yields about 5 cups (DOUBLE THIS RECIPE for the PS I LOVE YOU CAKE, you’ll probably have leftover frosting, but I like to make sure I have plenty!)

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
4 to 8 tablespoons milk
Pink food coloring

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add the salt, vanilla paste and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more of the sugar (1/2 a cup at a time). If the frosting is too thick, add more of the milk (1 tablespoon at a time).

Recipe by Libbie Summers
Photography by Teresa Earnest

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