Classic White Cake

This homemade white cake recipe has a delicate crumb, a perfect level of sweetness, and a subtle vanilla flavor. You can frost it using your favorite white frosting or with one of my suggested recipes! I personally love this white cake with cream cheese frosting or Italian meringue buttercream. If you’re used to boxed cake mixes, you should really try preparing white cake from scratch. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful it tastes and how quickly it comes together! 

Classic Homemade White Cake Recipe

After many tests, I have finally perfected my white cake recipe! My yellow cake recipe is the most popular on the blog, so this has been a high priority for ages. It’s perfect for holiday parties, birthdays, or any special occasion where cake should be front and center.

How to Make White Cake From Scratch

The key to perfect homemade cake is patience and attention to detail. I’m recommending some of my favorite kitchen tools below. None of them are essential, but I find that they make cake baking such a breeze.

I highly recommend using a kitchen scale so you can make sure your ingredients are accurately measured. My post How to Measure Flour demonstrates why the scale can make such a big difference. If you don’t have a scale, this article also explains how to accurately measure using cups.

White cake batter being poured into cake pans

This cake uses 9-inch round cake pans. Keep in mind that if you try to use a different pan, you’ll likely have to adjust the bake time and possibly the ingredient quantities. Epicurious has written a thorough article on how to do cake pan substitutions. I haven’t tested this cake with any other sizes, so my best suggestion is to use this article if you want to experiment with a different pan.

I like using parchment rounds in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. A spritz of baking spray or a dab of butter helps keep them in place. Don’t grease the sides of the pan or your cake will detach from the sides, creating an angled shape instead of a flat one. If that happens, don’t worry! You can cover it with frosting.

White cake batter being evenly distributed in pans with a spatula

Try to get an even amount of batter in each pan, either using a scale, or you can just eye it out, which I usually do. You want to level off the tops to avoid a lopsided rise. I love using an offset spatula for this, as well as for frosting the cake itself. If the cake rises unevenly, use a bread knife to gently even out the top.

If you’d like to know more about my cake equipment recommendations, as well as general tips and tricks, check out my blog post: How to Make a Perfect Layer Cake.

Crumb layer on cake side by side with final layer of frosting being added

What’s the difference between white cake and yellow cake?

Yellow cake and white cake are almost identical with one main exception: the eggs! Yellow cake gets its color and slightly more custardy flavor from egg yolks, whereas white cakes use only the egg whites. Also, while this isn’t always the case, white cake is typically prepared with cake flour, whereas yellow cakes mainly use all-purpose flour.

How long does white cake last?

Not long in my house! Joking aside, this cake will keep at room temperature, covered, for 4-5 days if left unfrosted (or if you use my Italian meringue buttercream). After that, it can be stored in the refrigerator for an additional 5 days, though it will start drying out.

If you use a frosting with cream-based products, like my cream cheese frosting or sour cream chocolate frosting, you’ll want to store the cake in the refrigerator.

Can white cake be frozen?

This cake can be wrapped tightly and frozen, unfrosted, for up to 3 months. I recommend using parchment and cardboard rounds to keep the cake secured in the freezer.

Finished homemade white cake from scratch

More Cake Recipes

If you like this white cake recipe, you may also enjoy my classic yellow cake, chocolate espresso layer cake, and rum cake!

Finished homemade white cake from scratch
Print Pin Recipe

White Cake

5 from 8 votes
Learn how to make a perfect homemade white cake from scratch with this easy to follow recipe! This white cake recipe is the best I’ve tried.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Keyword White Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 slices (two 9-inch cakes)
Calories 328
Author Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

  • 15 ounces cake flour (3 cups using Scoop & Sweep Method)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons half-and-half (or 50% heavy cream + 50% whole milk)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 7 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 pound granulated sugar (2 1/4 cups)

Instructions

  • Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Barely grease the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans and top with parchment rounds (do not grease the sides of the pan). If you have a sheet pan large enough to fit both cake pans, set them on it to simplify transferring the pans in and out of the oven.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. In a separate large bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg whites until frothy, around 15-20 seconds. Whisk in the half-and-half and vanilla extract until evenly combined.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on low speed for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and fluffed up a bit. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, swiftly alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients over 60 seconds, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, all the way to the bottom to catch any hidden dry patches, then turn the speed up to medium for 20-30 seconds to aerate the batter slightly.
  • Divide the batter equally between the two pans and level the tops out as much as possible (I like using a small offset spatula to do this). Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, the tops are still slightly pale but firm, and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  • Cool completely, then run an offset spatula or small knife around the edge of the cake to detach any areas that may have stuck. Place a large cutting board or cardboard round covered with parchment (my preference) over the cake pan and gently flip to dislodge the cake. Frost using one of the suggested frostings below (or with your favorite recipe).

Notes

Please read my post for a variety of tips and tricks for making this cake!
   

Frosting suggestions

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 107mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 7.7% | Vitamin C: 0.2% | Calcium: 4% | Iron: 1.6%

Recipe Troubleshooting

For help troubleshooting a recipe, please email recipehelp@savorysimple.net. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! This email address is only for recipe troubleshooting; Solicitations will be ignored.

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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