Butter cakes were a the most traditional homemade cake in American kitchens throughout much of history, I find recipes like this one to be a staple in my catalog of must have recipes! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two - 8 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper.
2While eggs are still cold separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3In bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
4In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined.
5Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour, this will make filing and frosting your cake easier.
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