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  • 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.

    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.

    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. 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.


    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.

    4.73 from 11 votes
    White Cake Recipe
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Total Time
    40 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: white cake
    Servings: 8 slices
    Author: Amanda
    • 2 1/4 cups (225g) cake flour
    • 1 cup (245g) whole milk at room temperature
    • 6 (240g) large egg whites at room temperature
    • 2 tsp. almond extract
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cup (350g) granulated sugar
    • 4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. table salt
    • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup or 169g) unsalted butter softened but still cool, cut into cubes
    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.
    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.


    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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    It doesn’t look like many people are getting a response but I’ll ask anyway with hopes of hearing back.
    Can I use this recipe & simply use coconut extract vs vanilla & add shredding coconut to turn this into a coconut cake? Thank you!

      You could but I have not done that with this recipe so can’t speak to its effectiveness. I would just make a coconut cake! 🙂

    Can this cake be made ahead of time and put in freezer? If so, how long would you suggest thawing before frosting?

    I’m making a two tiered cake for a birthday and trying to do in steps (cakes soon, frosting and assembly the day before).

    Any suggestions?

    Hi Amanda,

    I just read your recipe for Perfect White Cake. I want to use this recipe to make my son’s wedding cake. I like the photo of the 4-layer cake. It looks gorgeous! Question for your: did your split two layers, or did you make 4 8-inch layers? I look forward to hearing from you. Such beautiful baking!

      I doubled the recipe for the picture of the TALL 4-layer cake.

    I love the cake recipe but I not have cake flour can make it with all purpose flour and what I add

    I made this cake last year for my son’s birth day with a sinful chocolate icing and it was amazing. all the tips you give in your explanation were great! All the parents were blown away!

    Nice one

    Hi Amanda, In your notes for the Perfect White Cake recipe it says you can substitute sour cream for the butter. Is that in the cake itself? Or is that for the frosting?

    Yup-better than the bakery!! For my anniversary I wanted to imitate my original wedding cake-all white. I had never been able to find a truly dense, moist, delicious cake. This is it. I paired it with my standard white buttercream but decided to do only one layer and save the other to try making petit fours. Wonderful!

    HI I wanted to make a 9×13 sheet cake for a baby shower. Will I have to double this white cake recipe are will just one do it thank you.

    I’ve been looking for a site with GOOD scratch cake recipes and at last, I’ve found it! I made this white bakery style cake this past week-end and it is excellent! Frosted in ‘The Real Deal’ buttercream from another site and it rivaled birthday and wedding cakes from my youth! Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Thank you for delicious, easy to create cake recipes!! Wish I could give you ten stars!

    Have you tried altering this recipe to make a chocolate cake which is suitable for stacking and maintains moistness and good density?

    I made this, turned out well – definitely better than any grocery store cakes. I think my shortening wasn’t in the greatest condition, so the icing was junk in my opinion, and will do cream cheese icing next. I may try again, but sub one teaspoon almond for strawberry flavor.

    Hello, I plan to make your perfect white cake, however, would you mind posting the white frosting that you’ve used in the pictures? Thanks so much.

    This looks delicious. I am going to try the recipe.

    Hi Amanda,
    I love your recipe, I am a beginner at making cakes. I think I do pretty good work, for the most part, my son is getting married, and I have been ask to make the cake I would to use your recipe, I’m gonna make a 3 tier, 10, 8, and 6 inch, I guess I want to know how much of it will I need to mix up to get the right amount for that size cake. I will be be cutting the cake in to more layers, I would like to have 3 or 4 layers of each size, if you could answer but I would greatly appreciate it

    Hi, thank you for sharing. I cannot wait to try this white cake recipe. I have tried so many. I couldn’t find your buttercream frosting recipe. How do I find your recipe for the frosting? Thank you.


    Debbi Cole

    I’m going g to try it but I would NEVER use imitation anything in my baking or cooking

    This is perfect! Thank you!

    I made this cake exactly according to the directions, using the exact ingredients. My mom made it twice as well. We were trying to make a soft white spongy cake for my daughter’s first birthday. This cake turns out quite dense with a close sponge. Looking back at the picture I see that my mom and I were not doing it wrong, because it looks just like the cake in the picture. That is simply how this cake turns out. If you like a denser cake, you may like this. The flavor is good, but I was not impressed by the texture. Maybe that is just me!

    Hello mam, I love to bake cakes. This is really very delicious. Please give me some other alternative of egg white. Because i am pure vegetarian.

    I like ur hand work and I’m interested .thanks

    Not everyone has access to a printer so please add email ad an option to get the recipe!

    I love this

    Do you know the adaptations to make this in 10 inch diameter pans?

    Can you email me the ingredient amounts for 10 inch layers, 2 inches high each?

    Don't Pass on Dessert!