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White Cake with Bourbon Buttercream and Seven-Minute Frosting

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Hands-on time 45 mins
Total time 3 hrs

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Top this cake with Sugar-Coated Orange Slices and Sparkling Cherries.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Basic White Cake layers
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sugar-Coated Orange Slices
  • Sparkling Cherries

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Buttercream: Beat butter in a medium bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Gradually add milk and next 3 ingredients, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.

  2. Place 1 Basic White Cake layer on a serving platter. Spread half of buttercream over cake layer. Top with second layer, and spread remaining buttercream over cake layer. Top with third cake layer.

  3. Prepare Frosting: Pour water to a depth of 1 1/2 inches into bottom of a double boiler over medium heat; bring to a boil. Stir together egg whites, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup water in top of double boiler; beat at low speed with a handheld electric mixer until blended. Place top of double boiler over boiling water, and increase mixer speed to high. Beat 7 minutes or until soft glossy peaks form and frosting is spreading consistency. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Spread immediately over top and sides of cake.