A beautiful soft, fine-grained vanilla birthday cake with luscious butter frosting and raspberry jam filling from the amazing folks at America's Test Kitchen. Lemon curd works really well too. You can omit the almonds for a nut-free cake. To quickly bring the milk and egg white mixture to room temperature, set the bottom of the measuring glass in hot water and stir until it feels cool rather than cold, around 65 F. MAKE AHEAD: Cake layers can be wrapped and stored for a day; frosting can be covered with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for several hours. Once assembled, the cake should be covered with an inverted bowl or cake cover and refrigerated. Under its coat of frosting, it will remain fresh for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. There is enough frosting to pipe a border around the base and top of the cake. If you want to decorate the cake more elaborately, you should make one and a half times the frosting recipe. If desired, finish the sides of the cake with 1 cup of sliced almonds (lightly toasted works well). Recipe is from Cook's Illustrated/Baking Illustrated.