Philacatessen | Cameo Cake


White chocolate buttermilk cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting is a classic; my husband requests it every year for his January birthday, doubtless a nod to his southern roots. So, once a year I make it.

The recipe is written on well-used recipe cards hand scribed by my college roommate (who was born and raised in Tennessee). I keep the cards in a recipe file and pull them out annually for this tradition.

The cake is dense, sweet and three layered. It feeds a large crowd; we invariably give slabs away in the wake of the birthday celebration.

Cameo Cake

Serves 12

  • 1½ cups butter
  • ¾ cups water
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, either chips or a chopped bar
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three round nine-inch cake pans.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and butter; bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Remove it from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking soda. Gradually blend in the butter mixture. When fully mixed, pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes until done; use the toothpick test. Cool in the pans, then frost with white chocolate cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces white chocolate (chips or chopped bar)
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 6½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave; use 30 percent power for three minutes. Stir until smooth and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy, then gradually add the white chocolate until blended. Add the sugar and vanilla, blending until smooth.

Add the white chocolate and mix thoroughly.


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