Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour two, 9” round cake pans.
Cream shortening and 1 cup of the sugar until light; add the salt and vanilla. Combine 1/3 cup cold water and cocoa; beat this into the creamed mixture.
Add flour alternately with 1 cup of cold water; beat after each addition. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add the remaining ¾ cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter.
Dissolve baking soda in 1/3 cup cold water; add to the batter and mix well.
Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn out onto racks to finish cooling. Cool completely before icing.
Source: “Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook”, Meredith Publishing Company, 1965