White Trillium Cake

This cake was known in Louisville as Jenny Benedict’s Souffle’ Cake. Jenny Benedict was famous for the sandwiches, cakes, and ice creams that she served at her restaurant and in catering debutante parties and weddings in the early days of the twentieth century. We are told that Miss Benedict was very partial to flavoring her cakes with rum.

White Trillium Cake


  • Cake:
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites (approx. 6 oz.)
  • Butter Frosting (recipe follows)

  • *The water in the cake may surprise you, but water makes a lighter

  • white cake than milk.
  • Butter Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 – 2 1/2 Tbsp. heavy or whipping cream, warmed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, cognac vanilla or rum


  1. Cake:
  2. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. 2. Combine the sifted flour with the baking powder and salt, and sift
  4. again. Set aside.
  5. 3. Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly with an electric mixer. Add
  6. the milk and beat hard. (The mixture will become smoother.)
  7. 4. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar in batches, alternating
  8. with the water, beating it in by hand with a rubber spatula or whisk.
  9. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  10. 5. Beat the egg whites until they hold a stiff peak but are not dry and
  11. grainy. Gently fold them into the batter.
  12. 6. Spoon the batter into 2 greased and lightly floured or wax-paper-lined
  13. 9-inch cake pans. Place the pans on the middle shelf of the oven
  14. and bake until the layers spring back at once when lightly touched,
  15. 30 to 35 minutes.
  16. 7. Remove the pans from the oven and allow them to rest a few
  17. minutes. Then turn them out onto cake racks and let them cool
  18. completely.
  19. Butter Frosting:
  20. Cream the butter and sugar together in a processor or with an electric mixer. Add the cream gradually, stirring until the frosting has a good spreading consistency. Stir in your choice of flavoring.
  21. unknown

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