4 egg whites from large eggs
1 cup milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
8 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup multi-colored jimmies
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans. (Or, for a four-layer cake, grease four cake pans.) In a small bowl mix the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, vanilla and almond extract. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds or until well-combined. Add the butter and shortening and mix for another 30 seconds, or until well-combined with the flour mixture. Pour in the remaining 3/4 cup milk and continue mixing on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Gradually pour in the egg white mixture, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Mix for one more minute. Gently fold in the multi-colored jimmies.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (see this tip on the best way to divide batter between cake pans). If baking four layers, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden and spring back when pressed. If baking two layers, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the pans on baking racks to cool for about 10 minutes. Turn the pans over onto the rack. Flip the cake layers over and let them cool completely before icing.