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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roses? Valentines? Hearts? Oh My!

My first try at an Edelweiss White Cake for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming and I'm thinking white, pink, red, and fancy. I need some time to experiment before the big day. Time to try another recipe designed just for high altitude baking. Upon reflection I was not too crazy about the yellow cake I baked. It was too dry and not sweet enough. I wanted a recipe that would include whole eggs instead of egg yolks and maybe some beat egg whites. It seemed that would bring more air to the cake. So, a hunting I did go! This time I found a recipe that fit the bill in the cookbook The New High Altitude Cookbook by Beverly M. Anderson and Donna M. Hamilton. These authors have two white cakes on page 56. One is called the Edelweiss White Cake and the other is the Lady Baltimore White Cake. I liked the name of the Edelweiss Cake so that is the direction I went. Makes sense, right??? Right??

from The New High Altitude Cookbook

1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 Cup sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 Cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear is best if you have it; that way your cake will be more white)
3 egg whites, beaten until stiff but not dry
Buttercream Frosting or frosting of choice ( I used cream cheese frosting, yum!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch layer pans (I used 1- 9 inch pan).
2. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Mix and sift flour, baking powder and salt together (I would omit salt the next time I make it)
4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla extract. Mix very well.
5. With rubber scraper or whisk, gently fold in egg whites.
6. Pour into pans. 
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (nearly 50 minutes for doubled recipe), or until cake center springs back with lightly pressed with fingertip. Cool. 
8. Fill and frost with any flavor frosting.

Once again I found that I would need twice the recipe to fill the 2 layer pans I wanted to bake. So instead I put all the single recipe into one pan to bake. It baked up nice with a good mound on the top that stayed after cooling (that is the trick at high altitude, in case you think I am making more of it than I should!). Too many cakes collapse after baking in Denver. So that was a good sign.

The cake itself was more yellow than white. I was a bit disappointed with the color. I will try a different shortening next time to see if that helps. I accidentally got the Crisco baking sticks with butter flavor in the orange package instead of the ones in the blue and white package. It seems so illogical that the ones that are declared as "Great for cooking and baking" are not the ones I want. Duh!

Before filling and icing the cake I tasted the top of the cake that I removed (to make it all flat as Dez taught me, but really to enjoy a cake top sandwich). That tasted as if it had too much salt or baking powder. However, after filling and icing it seems much better. That is why I will add less salt next time. I think the cake may be more sweet that way.

This shows the yummy strawberry filling!

I made a strawberry filling (on from those beautiful strawberries that are in the fridge. Funny thing in my house, if it isn't prepared and presented it won't get eaten! Spoiled roommates, right? What, go in the fridge, wash a piece of fruit and eat it? Really?

So my cake is filled with those beautiful strawberries that would have gone rotten! Ha!

Strawberry Filling:


  1. 1
    Bring all ingredients to a boil in a heavy small sauce pan, stirring constantly and crushing berries slightly with back of spoon.
  2. 2
    Boil 2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly (mixture will be slightly chunky).
  3. 3
    Pour into bowl and cool completely.

This was a really simple and successful recipe!

I dirty iced with plain vanilla icing, then after it set for a while I decided to add something that I had never done before. I had seen those lovely buttercream roses used on cakes and it looks so simple, why not? Since it is a dry run for Valentine's Day why not jazz it up a bit? Cream cheese frosting in a champagne color, with pale pink accents. It was worth a try. Check out these step by step directions for making the roses that I found posted on "I Am Baker". Simple, right? But you must have a 1M tip. That is the first thing. I don't. It's snowing. I don't want to go to the store. So, using her technique I made more of a "Princess Leia Cinnamon Buns by the Ears" cake. We all wanted that hair when we were younger, right?? Oh well, it was loads of fun and you really can't mess it up unless you are serious about your baking! Ha!

This is what the cake should look like!
Princess Leia eat your heart out!
Next time I will use the right tip! I love the look of all the roses on the top picture. And Mike loves a cake that is mostly icing! Bill will eat anything! So, although this was a Valentine's Day flop, the recipes were good and I will definitely try it again! I hope you will too!


  1. I just love your Princess Leia swirls, very cool. Your strawberry filling looks so yummy and I do love cake so, YUM! I do have a question though, what is dirty icing?

    1. Thanks for the compliments, Debbie. You are so kind. Kelly wins the prize for answering the question about dirty icing a cake. Seems we could find a better term but that is the one I've learned. Maybe we should call it quick icing or not-so-perfect icing?

  2. I DID want that Princess Leia hair- unfortunately my poor genetics never allowed my hair to grow past my earlobes :o(
    This cake actually looks AWESOME! Nice work!! Funny that you chose the cake by the name- I would have gone for the Lady Baltimore Cake by name alone...can only imagine what that one looks like! {a dusty old granny house??}
    I can only imagine dirty icing is that tinted icing, yes?? Oh, I am sad that your cake sandwich was salty, but very glad that the cake turned out fantastically in the end!
    Nice :o)

    1. Ahhhhhh! "Dirty Icing" is the undercoat icing that gets all the crumbs in it, yes?? Then the Leia icing on top??

    2. That's right, Kelly. It's the First layer of buttercream that covers the cake but is not perfect. It goes under fondant or a special icing like this one.

    3. I never heard that term before... thank you Kelly and Kitty! I learned something new today!