10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
8 eggs whites, beaten stiff, and at room temperature
Shortening, for pans
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped Bing cherries
8 egg yolks, beaten
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch cake pans well with shortening.
Make batter: Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and then mix in dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.
Beat until smooth following each addition.
Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour into greased cake pans.
Bake for 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the filling by combining pecans, raisins, coconut, and cherries in a food processor; pulse until contents are chopped to a desired coarseness.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks with sugar and butter; stir well. Transfer to a double boiler and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, about 5–6 minutes.
Remove from heat. Fold in pecan mixture, adding brandy as needed to thin the mixture.
Let filling cool before spreading between cake layers. Cake is better when aged and should be kept in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 8 hours before frosting
Make the frosting by creaming together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla with a hand mixer in a large bowl. Slowly add in sugar and cream until fluffy. If needed, add milk to reach desired consistency.
Frost cake, top and sides, and sprinkle with additional coconut and pecans, if desired. Top with cherries.
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