For the best results, use high-quality white chocolate bars and organic dairy, and serve at room temperature. If you’d rather not separate whole eggs and have leftover yolks, boxed liquid egg whites can be used. When making the frosting, the key is to have the cream cheese at room temperature and the white chocolate melted and cooled, so that the two are somewhat close in temperature when combined. Depending on the mixer, the bowl needs to be scraped a few times during beating, and just beaten until it's a little lighter in color and velvety in texture—no need to overbeat. —Shauna Sever
large egg whites (or 1 cup/225 g liquid egg whites), at room temperature
(225 g) well-shaken low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
pure almond extract
(226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(400 g) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups
(280 g) half-and-half
(85 g) white chocolate, finely chopped
(28 g) malted milk powder (such as Carnation or Horlick's)
(336 g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
(336 g) white chocolate, melted and cooled
In This Recipe
Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F/180°C. Spray a 9x13-inch/23x33-centimeter light-colored metal cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For the cake batter, into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the egg whites, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In five alternating batches, stir in the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Scrape down the bowl often to insure everything is incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the malted milk for the cake: In a large heatproof measuring cup, combine the half-and-half and white chocolate. Microwave on high powder for about 45 seconds, just long enough to warm the mixture and allow the white chocolate to melt. Whisk to blend, then whisk in the malted milk powder.
Using a long bamboo skewer or similar, poke small holes all over the top of the cake about 1 inch apart. While the cake is still warm, slowly pour the liquid over the cake in a thin stream, pausing every so often to allow it to absorb (tilt the pan back and forth to encourage it). Set the pan uncovered in the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours or up to overnight (if chilling overnight, cover with plastic wrap after the first 2 hours).
To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through the beating time. Add the melted white chocolate. Beat again on medium-high speed until velvety and light, about 2 minutes more. Spread the frosting over the cake. Best served at room temperature. Tightly cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2 days.
Shauna Sever is the author of Real Sweet, Pure Vanilla, and Marshmallow Madness!, and is the voice behind the popular blog Piece of Cake. As a baking expert and television host, she has appeared on Food Network, NPR, CHOW, eHowFood, and more. Her work has been published in O, The Oprah Magazine; USA Weekend; Woman's World; Fine Cooking; Parade; the Huffington Post; and many others. She lives with her husband and their two children in Oak Park, Illinois.