The mixing and baking of cake requires more care and judgment than any other branch of cookery; notwithstanding, it seems the one most frequently attempted by the inexperienced.
To butter and fill pans, grease pans with melted fat, applying the same with a butter brush. If butter is used, put in a small saucepan and place on back of range; when melted, salt will settle to the bottom; butter is then called clarified. Just before putting in mixture, dredge pans thoroughly with flour, invert, and shake pan to remove all superfluous flour, leaving only a thin coating which adheres to butter. This gives to cake a smooth under surface, which is especially desirable if cake is to be frosted. Pans may be lined with paper. If this is done, paper should just cover bottom of pan and project over sides. Then ends of pan and paper are buttered.
In filling pans, have the mixture come well to the corners and sides of pans, leaving a slight depression in the centre, and when baked the cake will be perfectly flat on top. Cake pans should be filled nearly two thirds full if cake is expected to rise to top of pan.
Two cups of butter, four cups of pulverized sugar, two cups of sweet milk, two scant cups of corn starch, four heaping cups of flour, whites of twelve eggs, one tablespoon of lemon extract, three heaping teaspoons of baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar; add the well beaten whites; then the milk, the corn starch, and the flour in which baking powder has been sifted. This should be as stiff as pound cake. Bake in a moderate oven. It makes a very large cake, or two moderate-sized ones. Sometimes you will have to use more or less flour, according to the size of your eggs.