Prepare frosting; cover and chill. Place white chocolate in a bowl. Pour boiling water over white chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside, and let cool.
Grease 3 (9") round cakepans; line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper. Set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until blended. Stir in white chocolate and vanilla.
Combine buttermilk and soda. Add flour to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended.
Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Butter-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired. Store cake in refrigerator.
What makes it so well-loved is the pecans sauteed in browned butter, then mixed into the cream cheese frosting. People have said that it tastes like butter pecan ice cream. I'm not even all that crazy about butter pecan ice cream, but I love this cake!
This cake is one of the best cakes ever. I originally made this cake for Christmas after purchasing the 25th Anniversary Edition, Christmas with Southern Living 2005, which was not posted on this site for along time. Since then I have made this cake for almost every major holiday. Therefore after seeing the recipe posted, now I must give it a "HIGH FIVE", on the level of a good home made German Chocolate cake. A moist cake with a creamy finger licking buttery & nutty frosting. Ummm, ummm good! Going to bake it now, Easter Sunday is tomorrow, why not make it a with a green frosting. I can go on and on, lol.
This is one of my favorite cake recipes for the holidays. I would not change a thing about this recipe. I will be making this for years to come. It is a very moist cake. If you love butter-pecan ice cream, you will love this cake.
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