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1. Separate eggs. Allow egg yolks and egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease one 9x1-1/2-inch round cake pan and one 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pan. Line bottoms of pans with parchment. Grease the paper. Flour pans, shaking out excess; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl stir together flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add milk and oil. Beat with mixer on low until combined. Add egg yolks and orange juice; beat for 1 minute.
3. Thoroughly wash beaters. In separate large mixing bowl beat egg whites on medium until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beat until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
4. Pour batter in thin stream over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Fold in orange peel and thyme, if using. Spoon 3 cups batter into the 9-inch pan and 2 cups batter into 8-inch pan, spreading evenly.
5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks. Remove from pans. Discard parchment.
6. Meanwhile, prepare Honey Frosting. Place each layer on wire rack over a tray lined with waxed paper. Heat frosting as directed in recipe to soften. Spread softened frosting on each layer t coat. (If frosting becomes too firm too spread, microwave for 10 seconds at a time.) Let layers stand to set.
7. To assemble, on serving plate, stack small layer on large larger. Decorate with Marshmallow Flowers.Marshmallow Flowers:
8. Cut marshmallows crosswise with scissors. Place on waxed paper and sprinkle or dip cut sides of marshmallows with/in the sugar. Or dip cut sides in sugar. Place large dots of melted white chocolate on waxed paper. Arrange five petals on each dot. Chill about 5 minutes to set. Pipe a small dot of frosting in each flower center; adhere a sugar pearl. Arrange flowers in clusters, with tiny green marshmallows for leaves. NOTE: Flowers can be made and stored between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container up to 3 days.
1. Allow mascarpone cheese and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In large mixing bowl beat cheese, butter, honey, and vanilla with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. Place in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave n 100% power (high) for 20 to 30 seconds, just to soften (do not melt). Makes 2 1/2 cups.