Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add softened butter or shortening and 1/2 cup milk and beat for 2 minutes until batter is well-blended and glossy. If an electric mixer is used, beat at low to medium speed for the same period of time.
Add 1/4 cup milk, egg whites, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes.
Pour into lightly greased, floured 9-inch ring mold, three inches deep. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cream butter and salt. Add alternately to creamed mixture confectioner's sugar and egg white and cream. Blend well after each addition. Add vanilla and food coloring. Beat until light and creamy. Frost cooled cake. Fill the ring with scoops of a variety of ice cream or ice cream molds.
Pour batter into 10x15 inch shallow pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out onto cake rack while warm and remove parchment paper. Cool. Cut with fancy cutters or sharp knife into small squares, diamonds, triangles or any desired shapes. Frost with Creamy Butter Frosting and decorate with colored sugar, candied fruits or nuts.