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CLASSIC WHITE CAKE

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Butter 2 9-inch by 1 1/2-inch layer pans or 1 (13 by 9 by 2-inch)
and line with parchment or waxed paper.

Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350
degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about
5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking
powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla
extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add
half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending
with flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beater often. Pour batter into
prepared pan(s) and smooth top with a metal spatula. Bake cake(s)
about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center
emerges clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out
onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.

Variation:

CLASSIC YELLOW CAKE Substitute 3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk for all
of the egg whites above.

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