Combine flour, baking soda and cocoa. Sift mixture 3 times. In separate bowl, cream shortening. Add sugar, and cream until light. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for 2 minutes after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at medium speed after each addition. Add vanilla. Add water, 1/3 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter in two ungreased 8 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
For Frosting: In top of double boiler over simmering water, combine sugar, salt, cream of tartar, egg whites and water. Beat with electric mixer at top speed 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat one minute. Add vanilla; blend. Frost cake.
By Robin from Washington, IA
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