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If you don't have the time or inclination to frost each individual cake, bake it in 2 9" layer pans and use the frosting to fill and frost the finished cake. Then hold chopped pecans in one hand and carefully press them into the frosting to completely coat the cake.
2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 egg whites, at room temperature
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl. Beat in butter, milk and vanilla until smooth, at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the unbeaten (that's right, UNBEATEN!!) egg whites and beat 2 minutes longer until satiny. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until surface springs back when lightly touched with finger, and cake just begins to pull away from edges of pan.
1 cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar, pressed through sieve
1/2 cup milk, or more or less, as needed
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream butter with 2 cups powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add remaining powdered sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla, beating until fluffy and desired spreading consistency.
3 cups pecans, finely chopped OR 3 cups coconut
Cut the cake into 1-1/2" squares. Frost all sides of each square, then drop into the pecans and roll to coat. Store tightly covered at room temperature.
Makes about 40 cakes