Now for the cake. First, grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Then take parchment paper, draw circles the size of the bottom of the pan with a pencil, cut them out, and press them onto the greased bottoms of the pans. Then grease and flour the tops of THOSE.
Sift the flour, soda, and salt together, beat the butter until creamy, add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and almost white, and add the egg yolks to that mix one at a time. Beat in the vanilla, and finally add the flour mix in several additions alternating with splashes of the buttermilk. Take the egg whites and beat them with an electric mixer until they're at the stiff-peak stage (that's important!). Stir the whites into the mix one third at a time. And pour the mix into the pans to bake. (They'll be pretty full. It's okay.) Bake them about 35 minutes at 350º F, but it might be sloshy, so keep checking it with a toothpick or a knife and putting it back in for 5 minutes. They'll rise pretty high and big. Let them cool in the pans after they're finally done. Then loosen them onto wire racks and peel off the paper. Leave them to cool completely before icing--it will take three hours, so make sure you've left lots of time for this recipe.
So, for frosting, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt until moist. Use an electric mixer to make it creamy if desired. Then put your cake's bottom layer top side DOWN on a dollop of frosting on a plate (to anchor it), frost the top, and then put the top layer on top side up, and cover the whole mess with frosting! (The recipe makes just enough to cover it liberally.) Then apply snowflakes all over! It's recommended you chill it for at least an hour (chill it for the first thirty minutes uncovered so the icing doesn't muss when you do cover it) and then cut it with a knife dipped in hot water before serving.
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