Taste of the South

DECKED OUT LAYER & BUNDT CAKES

AMBROSIA CAKE

MAKES 1 (9-INCH) CAKE

The classic holiday fruit salad meets fluffy white cake.

CAKE

1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites

WHITE FROSTING

2 cups sugar, divided
⅔ cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
8 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

AMBROSIA FILLING

2 cups White Frosting
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry
¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons orange zest

Garnish: fresh cherries, pecan halves, toasted sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray pans again.

2. For cake: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, zest, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4. In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir one-fourth of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Divide batter among prepared pans, gently smoothing tops with an offset spatula.

5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

6. For frosting: In a medium heavy saucepan, combine 1¾ cups sugar, ⅔ cup water, corn syrup, and salt, swirling pan to moisten sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 238°, about 5 minutes.

7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating just until soft peaks form.

8. With mixer on medium speed, gradually pour hot sugar syrup into egg whites. Increase mixer speed to high; beat just until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Proceed immediately.

9. For filling: In a medium bowl, combine White Frosting, oranges, pineapple, coconut, pecans, and zest. Proceed immediately.

Spread Ambrosia Filling between cake layers. Spread White Frosting

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