Prepare, bake, and cool White Cake as directed for 8- or 9-inch round layers.
Transfer 1 cup of the Creamy White Frosting to a small bowl; set aside. Tint the remaining frosting a light sky blue. Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a serving plate. Spread top with sky blue frosting. Top with second cake layer, bottom side down. Spread top and sides of cake with sky blue frosting.
Divide the remaining 1 cup white frosting among four or five small bowls or custard cups. Tint each bowl of frosting a different color using desired food colorings. Spread each color onto a few vanilla wafers. Arrange vanilla wafers on top of cake to form a cluster of balloons and/or individual balloons. Insert a piece of shoestring licorice underneath each cookie to resemble a balloon string; bunch strings in a cluster at base. If desired, tie a piece of licorice into a bow and place at base. Sprinkle top of cake with nonpareils to resemble clouds.
Creamy White Frosting
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining milk to reach spreading consistency.
Nutrition Facts (Creamy White Frosting)
298 kcal cal.,
16 g fat
( 4 g sat. fat,
0 mg chol.,
2 mg sodium,
38 g carb.,
0 g fiber,
0 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Classic White Cake
Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1-1/2-inch or 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan(s) aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan(s).
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for 8-inch pans or 13x9x2-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center(s) comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks. Or place the 13x9x2-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with desired frosting