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1. Separate eggs. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (reserve yolks for another use). Meanwhile, grease three 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper and lightly flour pans; set aside. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites all at once; beat on medium-high 3 minutes. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low after each addition just until combined (batter may look slightly curdled). Divide batter among prepared pans. (If you do not have three pans, refrigerate remaining batter until ready to use.)
3. Bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks.
4. Frost with desired frosting. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.
1. In large mixing bowl combine butter, sour cream and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Thin with buttermilk or milk to desired consistency. Makes about 4-1/2 cups.
1. In large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese. Add unsweetened chocolate and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in 3 cups of the powdered sugar and milk. Beat in remaining powdered sugar to make a spreading consistency. Makes 4 cups.