• The Perfect {Bakery Style} White Cake

    filed under: White Cakes on February 22, 2013

    I have been searching for this cake for about two years now.  In my experience, making white cake at home is just never as good as the bakery. (Sorry!  I know some of you just cringed reading that.)

    The Perfect White Cake

    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.

    The Perfect Homemade White Cake



    The Perfect White Cake


        • 2 1/4 c cake flour
        • 1 c milk *at room temperature*
        • 6 large egg whites *at room temperature*
        • 2 tsp. almond extract
        • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
        • 1 3/4 c granulated sugar
        • 4 tsp. baking powder
        • 1 tsp. table salt
        • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool


        1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans.
        2. Make sure milk and eggs are room temperature.
        3. Pour milk (I used skim) , egg whites, and extracts into medium bowl and mix with fork until blended.
        4. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
        5. 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.
        6. Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans.
        7. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 30 minutes.
        8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature.
        9. Frost cakes with favorite frosting.
        10. Just barely adapted from [epicurious|http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/COOKS-ILLUSTRATED-WHITE-LAYER-CAKE-50017374], taken from Cooks Illustrated.

        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.

        The Best Homemade White Cake

        I have made this cake more times than I can count!  It works every time and tastes bright and fresh.

        So many folks ask me this, “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.

        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.

        Partial Frosting of White Cake

        There is just something beautiful about a naked cake, you know?

        The Perfect White Cake

        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.

        If you want the PERFECT WHITE CUPCAKE, I recommend my Elegant Cupcake Recipe.


        If you like this Perfect White Cake you will surely love these:

        Perfect Yellow Cake!

        Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

        Perfect Crusting Buttercream

        The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

        Chocolate Rose Cake!

        The Perfect Chocolate Cake

        Simple, fast, and so easy to personalize!

        Here is a slightly different take on the same frosting design above.

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        This is the best vanilla cakes I’ve ever had! My only issue that I always have when making it is how to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. No matter how small I cut the butter or how soft it is it never fully mixes into the batter. Is there a reason why I couldn’t just mix the butter and sugar together and then add the wet ingredients then the flour mixture? If I did it that way would it change the overall consistency of the cake?

        Will this cake be good for tiered cakes

        I made this for a new year’s eve party. I didn’t like it all that much. the crumb was coarse and it was weird because it seemed like it was dry but I wouldn’t call it moist, it was more like the cake was wet but still dry. I will give it another go because it was probably user error, but the first round wasn’t impressive.

        This cake recipe works! I have never found a “from
        Scratch” white cake recipe as moist and light as
        Duncan Hines white cake mix. But this recipe does it. Followed exactly. I cut the almond extract in half and did use vanilla, and it did not darken the cake. Kudos the creators of this recipe. Tastes like wonderful wedding cake.

        What is the weight of a stick of butter? In grams or ounces please

          113-114 grams

        Can you use regular flour instead of cake flour

          Changing the Flour in this recipe can change the consistency outcome. Cake Flour is different than All Purpose Flour.

        wonderfull recipe!!!
        Its so easy and yummy!!

        You are one heck of a baker, my dear!!

        Can you use your chocolate and white cake for a semi naked cake? I plan to cook in 3 inch pans 6, 8, 10. Or do you have a different recipe you could recommend?

        I need the recepe of better butter cream it look deliches

        This recipe is now my favorite white cake recipe. THANK YOU!

        Thank you so much I love your recipes. They are the best.

        This cake looks lovely! I am making a wedding cake: 2-10s, 2-8s, 2-6s covered in fondant and looking for ahold white cake recipe.
        Do you think it’ll hold up?
        I’ll probably have to make four recipes I think, or two doubles.

        Would this recipe work well if I were to split this into 6 pans to make rainbow cake? How would you adjust the baking time if so? Same as the cupcakes?

        I have read many of the comments. Reviews are mixed for this recipe, and I think I may guess why–it does not state whether or not the cake flour is to be pre-sifted before measuring.

        Hi Amanda! In your comment below the recipe, you mention that if a velvety texture is desired, to substitute sour cream for the butter. Does this comment apply to the buttercream frosting or to the cake recipe?

        How much is 1 1/2 sticks of butter in grams

        I used this recipe for cupcakes. I didn’t have cake flour so I substituted all purpose flour mixed with cornstarch. The cupcakes were golden and flat on top, with a light, airy texture inside. My mom compared it to angel food. They were still delicious! Next time I will try the recipe meant for cupcakes lol.

        Don't Pass on Dessert!