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 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.

 

The Perfect White Cake

White Cake Recipe

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.

The Perfect Homemade White Cake

 

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.

The Best Homemade White Cake

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.

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.

whitecake

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.

4.47 from 32 votes
perfect-white-cake
White Cake Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Making a white cake at home is never as good as a bakery...until now!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: white cake
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Amanda Rettke
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans. (Use butter and flour, line with parchment, or spread GOOP)

  2. (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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans (approximately 2 3/4 liquid cups or 612g per pan).

  6. 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.
  7. Allow cake to cool in pan about 5 minutes then carefully flip onto a cooling rack to room temperature.

  8. Frost cakes with favorite frosting.

Recipe Video

*****

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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Comments

  • Jaynie Skadron says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I have been searching for a white cake forever. I am baking a birthday cake for a 13 year old girl’s birthdays and have been desperate for a white cake and have just baked 9 different recipes in search of one that was even just good. Your recipe was the 10th and I am so ecstatic to say it is delicious so thank you!!!!! I was afraid of too strong of an almond flavor which some people don’t care for. I used two teaspoons vanilla an 1/4 teaspoon almond. Does your recipe have a strong almond flavor as written? I do appreciate good recipes. There are so many out there that have no business being on sites. Thank you!!!

  • Barry Moore says:

    Do you think a white cake made with meringue is a better white cake than one just made with egg whites? Been searching for years for a perfect white cake recipe. Haven’t been able to find one.

  • Demet says:

    Hello, will you be able to tell me how many cups of cake batter this recipe makes please, thank you!

  • Alison says:

    Not sure how this recipe got so many high marks 🙁 I used grams to follow the recipe as exactly as possible. The only change to the original recipe I did was from the author’s suggestion: I substituted sour cream for the butter. The cake rose high in the oven, but then collapsed into this odd, firm, egg-like thing. Sad to report this was the worst cake recipe I’ve ever made

  • D. Garcia says:

    Where can I find clear vanilla? I saw the video of the recipe on Facebook and found it here on Pinterest.

  • T joseph says:

    Hello I have tried this recipe 3 times & the cake comes out sunken, tacky and dense. The only thing I did different was use castor sugar. It is always recommend, and all my baked goods turns out perfectly when I use the castor sugar. Is there anyway you might be able to advise me if the sugar would cause this issue? Everything I have read has indicated no. Also, I know some of your conversion are different from the original recipe. The original does not give grams and as I converted them from original recipe they are different then yours. When you make this cake do you go by the grams you have listed or do you go by the cup measurements? Not for sure if that could be the reason the cake isn’t coming out correctly. This cake looks so nice.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi! So in my research, I do not believe that castor sugar would make a difference. However, I have not tested this recipe specifically with that change. My girlfriend made this cake twice and it sunk for her as well, I was baffled to went to her home and watched her. She did everything right and still couldn’t produce the results I did in my kitchen time and time again! This recipe is tricky because half the folks who make it LOVE it and the other half don’t have as much success. This has troubled me for some time and I am actively working on how to improve and/or change the recipe. While this cake comes out perfect for ME, that is simply not enough! It needs to be replicated for home bakers as well. I will keep testing and trying to improve and keep you updated!

  • Yvette Boden says:

    Sorry, I can’t leave out the stars! This is one of the most requested of all the cakes I bake and take to work. I follow your recipe exactly, down to setting a timer for your recommended times in each step. LOVE it…thank you

  • Sheicakes says:

    First time I made this; it was an excellent moist fluffy white cake.( I used the sour cream suggestion). Second time, no sour cream, it failed miserably. I’m not sure what I did wrong outside of not using sour cream. My baking soda is still fresh but the cake wasnt at all fluffy and had an almost crusty top. It also tasted very eggy though that might be my cheaper quality vanilla. The last time I used top of the line extracts. On the plus side- I will turn it into some very indulgent french toast, on the minus side- I have to try this recipe again to see if its a keeper or is too finicky to keep as a go to.

    Fingers crossed!

  • Janine Currie says:

    My 6 & 13yr old request this as their bday cake every year, only difference is I use rosewater essence instead of almond. It really is perfect 💗

  • Alice morgan says:

    What happens if I use buttermilk instead of the milk that’s called for in this recipe? I’m thinking of doing this this afternoon I don’t know how fast you can get a reply to me.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Buttermilk would be a great substitution!

  • Alice morgan, Green Bay,Wi. says:

    Hi it’s alice again with another question,… I have been looking for a wedding cake, white in color recipe that would give me a dense a very dense heavy cake because I think the wedding cakes tend to lean towards that more than a box cake which is light and airy and fluffy which I don’t want,which is very good, but that’s not what I’m after this time. Thanks for your reply

  • Mercy says:

    Perfect white cake recipe if you take out the almond extract. Both in the icing and cake. But definitely a keeper recipe

  • Jenn says:

    I made this cake and did my best to weigh ingredients in grams. The only thing I did differently was I used 1/2 tsp baking soda instead of baking powder b/c I ran out. The cake tasted good, however the cake seemed very delicate and when I attempted 5o dump it after 5 minutes it fell apart (I greased the pan with shortening and then floured it). The cake would have been good in a 9×13 as a poke cake as those don’t have to be dumped. Will keep looking for a white cake that is an all around good cake.

  • Dorothy says:

    Just made this & missed the note on 9 inch pan adaptation (5 min less bake time) but baked 27 min & immediately tested/removed them as recipe states. The cakes look fantastic. (I also did not “force” the out of pans but inverted onto rack & let them be until they cooled. They slipped right out.)

    Using the white buttercream and considering adding a jam layer in center. Cake smells & looks like high quality bakery or custom cake. Looking forward to sampling it later as part of a birthday celebration. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kimberley says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe for the perfect white cake, keep sharing such great cake recipes with us, I try it amazing.

  • Gila Hever says:

    I love to bake too! I bake for my friend s and my family and people asking me for business card too but I prefer to do it fir fun. Just by reading the ingredients ( the recipe) and by looking at the pictures of your cakes, I can tell how good you are at baking! I love ❤️ to look at your website !

  • Susan Peterson says:

    I just found this recipe and plan to make the cake for our Sunday dessert. Could you please tell me what GOOP is. The only one I know is a hand cleaner used in garages.

    Also, to the baker who was having trouble with the cake falling in the middle and being dense, I was taught that is an indication of a temperature problem with the oven. Because of this happening to me, I purchased an oven temperature to use just to double check the oven controller.

  • Rachel says:

    I’m not sure that the grams measurement for the egg whites is correct. One egg white is approximately 30 grams, which would be 8 egg whites instead of 6 to get to 240g.