King's Cake (Königskuchen)

This is the cake that finally killed my old Mixmaster. The batter is thick, but the cake is surprisingly light with a dense, smooth texture. Lightly toasted slices are really good.
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • juice and grated peel from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup rum (dark rum like Myers's is best)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins (I like to use light raisins)
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated almonds (whir in the blender or food processor) or buy almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Cream the butter, shortening and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon peel, rum and salt.

Sift together flour and cornstarch. With mixer running, gradually add the sifted ingredients to the creamed ingredients and mix well. Fold in the grated almonds and almond extract. Beat at medium speed for about 5 minutes. With mixer running, add the baking powder and raisins until well mixed. Turn off mixer.

Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour batter into the tube pan, and bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of cake.

When cake tests done, remove from oven and invert on rack immediately. While you're not looking, the cake will drop from the pan onto the rack.

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