I have been searching for this cake for about two years now. In my experience, making a White Cake at home is just never as good as the bakery. (Sorry! I know some of you just cringed reading that.) Until now.
I am not kidding when I tell you that this recipe is it. The flavor is fantastic and the texture is truly perfection. Even the-pickiest-dessert-eater-ever, aka my hubby, loved it.
And I know you will too. As I noted in the recipe I found this cake on Epicurious who got it from Cooks Illustrated. I have never been led astray with either of those sources so I am confident you will find the same success I did!
One major adaptation I did was using 8-in cake pans. The original recipe calls for 9-in and about 5 minutes less cooking time. If you plan on using 9-in plans please do consult the original recipe. The first time I made it I used 8-in cake pans with no time adaptation and was not as successful. And, if you live at a higher altitude, be sure to check out my High Altitude Baking Tips.
I used my famous Whipped Vanilla Buttercream recipe to frost this cake. (You can see a video of me decorating a cake with this design here) This is the BEST buttercream (American version) that I have ever tried.
FOR AN EXTRA VELVETY TEXTURE: try subbing sour cream for the butter. You would use 3/4 cup for this recipe.
I have made this cake more times than I can count! It works every time and tastes bright and fresh.
How do you get a truly white cake?
1. Egg whites in the recipe. There should not be egg yolks in a white cake recipe.
2. Butter color. I try to use a pale butter. There are many brands of butter that have the most glorious, rich, and vibrant yellow tones. I don’t use those when trying to make my cake white. You can also whip butter on its own for 3-5 minutes to lighten its color.
3. Imitation clear extract. Vanilla can add a dark tinge to your batter, taking away from a vibrant white. Imitation clear vanilla extract helps to keep the batter colorless.
There is just something beautiful about a naked cake, you know?
I think my heart skips a beat when I see a white on white cake. This is the “after” of my naked cake above.
One of the MOST common questions I get about this cake is:
Can I make it into cupcakes?
Yes… kinda. You will need to adjust cooking times dramatically. Start checking at 15 minutes; you want to cupcakes to no longer appear “wet” in the center and to spring back when touched. If the edges are brown(dark) the cupcakes may be overdone.
Do not fill the cupcake liners more than 2/3 full.
The cupcakes do not create a big dome, they will be a bit flatter.
Making a white cake at home is never as good as a bakery...until now!
- 2 1/4 cups (261g) cake flour
- 1 cup (245g) whole milk, room temperature
- 6 large (197g) egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 169g) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into cubes
Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans. (Use butter and flour, line with parchment, or spread GOOP)
(Make sure milk and eggs are room temperature.)Pour milk (I used whole), egg whites, and extracts into a medium bowl and stir with a fork until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. (just to sift and incorporate ingredients) Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans (approximately 2 3/4 liquid cups or 612g per pan).
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs and has no wet batter clinging to it, about 27 to 30 minutes.
Allow cake to cool in pan about 5 minutes then carefully flip onto a cooling rack to room temperature.
Frost cakes with favorite frosting.
If you like this Perfect White Cake you will surely love these:
Here is a slightly different take on the same frosting design above.