Midnight Cake

Serves: 8Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 1⁄2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of 2 round cake pans (9 inches) with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  • In a large bowl, stir the shortening to soften. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, creaming together until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. In another bowl, combine 1⁄3 cup water and 1⁄2 cup cocoa, mixing well. Beat into the creamed mixture. Add the sifted flour to the shortening mixture alternately with 1 cup water, beginning and ending with the flour, and beating well after each addition.
  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add the remaining 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter. Dissolve the baking soda in 1⁄3 cup water; stir into the batter, mixing thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on racks.
  • Meanwhile, put the butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and buttermilk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the confectioners' sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt ,and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla, mixing well. Frost cake.