Preparation time: 90 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Yellow cake with pineapple filling and stiff egg-white frosting
Growing up, my mother regretted ever finding this recipe in a cookbook and giving it a try, because both my brother and I requested it every birthday. So, twice a year, out came the double-boiler and the candy thermometer, and the kids were kicked out of the kitchen while mom turned it into what seemed like a science lab. Fortunately, we grew to prefer this cake cold (especially the pineapple filling), so she could make it the night before (after we were asleep, of course, or it would be gone before our birthday).
YELLOW CAKE: Use a standard yellow cake recipe, and make two round pans.
FILLING: This is a double filling recipe, because I really like the filling, so this is enough for three filling layers plus layer of filling on top. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in top of a double boiler (or bowl in hot water in a sauce pan). Add water. Blend with a mixer on low until smooth. Drain juice from pineapple and add to mixture. Then add 1.5 cup combined pineapple juice and water. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon juice. Cool thoroughly.
LAYERING: Cut the two round cakes in half to create a four-layer cake, leveling and slicing the rounded top off the bottom cake with a bread knife. Make sure the cake is fully cooled before applying filling and frosting. Add three layers of filling between the four layers of cake, and then add another layer of filling to the top going almost all the way to the sides.
FROSTING: Place sugar and water in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add corn syrup. Stir until sugar dissolves. Continue to stir and cook 8-10 minutes until mixture forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water (234-240° F on a candy thermometer). Add salt and cream of tarter to egg whites. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and beat on high speed until frosting is cool and forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes.
Apply frosting to the sides of the cake and on top around the perimeter only (about a 1-2" from edge), leaving at least 4" of pineapple topping exposed in the middle.