Silver White Cake with Lemon Filling and Fluffy Boiled Frosting

This makes a big impressive three-layer cake that has a nice combination of flavors. Sprinkled on the top and sides with shredded coconut, this was called "Coconut Cake" in old Betty Crocker cook books. Make cake and filling a day in advance. Cake should be assembled and frosted on the same day you intend to serve it.
Cake and filling are based on recipe from the Betty Crocker Cook Book. Frosting is from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980.
Prep Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


SILVER WHITE CAKE - 45 min prep plus baking and cooling time

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 large egg whites room temperature

CLEAR LEMON FILLING - 40 min prep plus cooling time

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice from approximately 3 lemons

FLUFFY BOILED FROSTING - 35 min prep plus time to assemble and frost cake

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 large egg whites room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • shredded coconut



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9" round cake pans.
  • Into bowl of stand mixer, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add shortening, 2/3 cup milk, and vanilla; beat 2 minutes. Add another 1/3 cup milk and egg whites. Beat 2 minutes more. Evenly distribute into cake pans. Bake approximately 25 - 30 minutes, until inserted cake tester comes out clean. Turn cake onto cooling rack. Cool completely before filling and frosting.


  • To a medium saucepan add sugar and cornstarch. Gradually whisk in water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat, stir in butter and grated lemon rind. Gradually whisk in lemon juice. Cover and cool in refrigerator until needed.


  • To a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and water. Bring to a boil. Boil without stirring until candy thermometer indicates it has reached 260°F, or until a small amount dropped in a glass of cold water forms a hard ball. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form.
  • With beater on, pour syrup in a thin stream into egg whites. Add vanilla; continue beating until stiff peaks form.


  • Place first layer on cake plate. Protect edges of cake plate with strips of wax paper inserted slightly under edges of cake. Top with 1/2 lemon filling, spread to within 1/2 inch of edge. Add second layer and repeat with filling and final layer. Spread frosting evenly around sides and top. If desired, sprinkle top and sides with coconut. Remove wax paper strips.


Not sure if cake should be increased 50% for three layers or if this recipe is adequate. Can also bake longer in 2 layers, if one has only 2 pans. 
Cake is fine when made with 50% shortening and 50% Smart Balance margarine.