- 3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 7 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
- 3/4 cup pecan pieces
- 3/4 cup chopped dried apricot pieces
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon bourbon extract or a few tablespoons bourbon
- Zest of 2 oranges, no white bitter pith
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans. For easy removal, place cut circles of parchment paper on bottom of pan and treat with butter and flour. Set aside.
- In a bowl, beat soft butter, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar until very light and fluffy. Do not proceed until this has happened.
- Alternately add flour and milk in five increments, starting and ending with flour.
- In a separate bowl whip egg whites and cream of tartar to medium-firm peaks. Then gently fold the egg whites in three increments into batter. Fold until egg whites are just incorporated. Do not over mix to avoid a loss of air cells (makes the cake rise).
- Divide batter evenly between pans and place in oven and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes and then turn upside down onto paper towels or parchment lined cookie sheets. Allow to cool.
- For filling, if using bourbon instead of bourbon extract, mix bourbon with chopped apricots and raisins. Allow fruits to soak liquid, add more bourbon if fruit is dry and is able to absorb more. Set aside.
- Combine evaporated milk, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and salt in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat using a heat resistant spatula or a whisk until thickened. This will take about 15 minutes and the consistency should be slightly thinner than room temperature ketchup.
- Add coconut and pecans and stir to combine. Add fruits, orange zest, and bourbon extract (if using). Allow filling to cool and consequently firm up.
- Place a cake layer on a serving platter and spread a generous third of filing on the layer, keep filling about a 1/2-inch away from edge.
- Place second layer on first and cover with another generous third more filing. Cover with remaining layer.
- Spread remaining filling on surface keeping 1/2-inch away from edge.
- Place in refrigerator and make frosting. Place a large pot filled with 1-inch of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place egg whites and sugar in a bowl and place over boiling water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 150°F. Remove from heat.
- Whip mixture into a stiff meringue and add vanilla extract.
- Frost cake, and using a plain round tip pipe “kisses” along the edge. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.