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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.

    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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    That looks so good!

    Hi! I made this today and it looks beautiful! But it’s rubbery! Like you have to work at chewing it more than typical cake! I have never ever had this happen to my cakes. And I definitely paid attention so it wasn’t overmixed. Darn! What do you think happened? Was so excited and now deflated.

    Hi, I was so excited to try this recipe. I’m not sure what I did wrong but it is dry. I used egg whites from a carton and a 9″ pan. I only baked it for 25 minutes.

    How many does it serve

    Yummy! I made this today and it turned out pretty good. My only question is what should the flour look like when mixed with butter? After I added the wet ingredients it looked a little curdled.

      Mine too! Really weird. And the cake was dried

    I tried this recipe over the weekend and it was fabulous! I did a three layer cake, so I divided the recipe in half and then added that to the current recipe to have enough batter, the cake tastes great, but I believe I slightly over baked it. However, everyone still loved it. I also made the whipped vanilla buttercream with it. I thought it paired well but next time I would not add as much sugar to it.

    I’m making a sheet cake for a friend in a few weeks and I wonder how this recipe would do doubled or even quadrupled?!

    If anyone has any experience with this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share!!!!!

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!!!

    This looks really cool I’m going to make a zebra cake for my birthday and I couldn’t find any good white cakes but now I have and I am very happy about it!!!!!!!!!

    This cake was DRY! Needs some veg oil, buttermilk or something. Super Dry!!

      Dry cake can be a result of method, quality of ingredients, oven temperature, cooking time, etc. Sorry you had any issue.

      You must freeze the cake layers, after only 3 minutes out of the even. Use a spring form pan to bake the cake, to make easy release. Wrap still warm layers in plastic completely and then hard freeze. Doing this prevents the loss of moisture from the cake as it sits naked and exposed, while it cools to room temp. All the moisture simply evaporates into the air, leaving a dry, horrid, cake…if you do not wrap and freeze shortly out of the oven. Further, be sure to use SIMPLE SYRUP lavishly squirted upon each cake round, while it is still frozen, shortly before building the cake up. The use of simple syrup is how professional, highly skilled, bakers produce very moist finished cakes. You can add flavoring to the simply syrup to enhance the cake, such as adding vanilla to it, or any other flavoring suited for your type of cake. Ice your layers while the cake is still frozen, and return the cake to the freezer, if it begins to be too soft, while you are constructing the cake. Freezing and Simple Syrup is the trick to ANY moist cake, or any sort. Plus, the trick to cake decoration and crumb control. Seriously.

        Thanks for the advice, I’m going to try it!

        Thank you! Made this cake over the weekend and the taste is really good, the cake was a little dry. Thanks for the tips.


    I would like to know what 1 1/2 sticks of butter converts to? Is 1/2 a stick 1/4 cup or is it 1/2 cup?

    how can I have the conversions in grams?

    Do you have a solution for the cake having a “rubbery” layer on the bottom? I had seen a couple other comments about that & that is how mine turned out. I would like to try the recipe again if I had a fix – the rest of the cake was great! Thank you!

      Freeze the cake rounds, after wrapping in plastic, about 3 minutes after removing from oven. When the cake round is frozen, unwrap cake round and, using a large knife, cut the dome off the top of the round to level it, and then cut the bottom of the round to remove the BROWN HEAL of the cake. This way, when you build your cake, layer by layer, you do not end up with the horrid brown, crusty, strata, streaking your cake slices, on either side of every frosting layer. Ever see these brown lines in a professionally constructed cake? Freeze the cake, add simple syrup to each layer…even more than you think…, and cut off the top and bottom of the round. If you are really cool, you also take the outside circle crust off too. Working with solidly frozen cake rounds is the key to a perfect cake, of a perfect shape, and no crumbs…cutting off the brown crusts….adding simply syrup (flavored) for a delicate, moist, cake..is the only way to go. This is how we make cakes in our Walt Disney Bakery at Walt Disney World.

    I made this today. It was very delicious. The only thing I’ve noticed is, on the outside my cake was soft and fluffy, not dry. But on the inside, my cake was very dense. It was cooked through, but I’ve never had that happen before. Why would it do that?

    I just made this cake for my husbands birthday as he loves white cake! i followed it exactly and it turned out beautifully! One thing I would personally do to change it is I would make the 2 teaspoons of Almond Extract only 1 teaspoon as it tastes and smells a little too almondy for us. It still tastes awesome and he loves it 🙂 I made a chocolate fudge icing to top it off.

      Also: I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour because that’s all I had on hand. very moist and fluffy.

    I made this cake yesterday for my uncle’s birthday – and it couldn’t have gone better! The cake was fluffy and flavourful (the only change I made was to whip the egg whites first and then fold them into the milk and then the batter). I made a vanilla buttercream to go with it and beat it a long time to get it white and fluffy as well. It was a huge, huge hit and I’ll definitely be making this again 🙂 Thanks so much!

    Both are really good but the white cake it is better because you can cut it and half and put some dulce de Leche or chocolate or other yummy creme in the middle to stick together! ! Thanks you

    I just made this as cupcakes for the first time and while they tasted amazing so etching went really wrong. They totally caved in on half of them and the other half spilled over the top. The tops also stuck to the liner’s so they ripped the top of the cupcake off when trying to peel off the liner. Any suggestions as to what went wrong?

    This cake was hugely disappointing. I made this for my daughters birthday and it was a disaster. Super dense and really weird texture. Directions followed exactly. Fresh ingredients ect. I’m so glad I tested it on her birthday and not at her party serving it to others. The only think I didn’t use was almond extract since I’m not a fan of it.

    Thank you! This looks amazing!

    Why imitation vanilla and not clear vanilla? I buy it for my baking when I am making anything I want white in color. Wouldn’t real vanilla taste better than imitation?

      clear vanilla IS imitation vanilla. Real vanilla would taste much better! As I mention in the post it’s an aesthetic decision.

    I’m wondering about how this recipe would work in a half-sheet pan? Any advice? It’s a 12×17 or 18 jelly roll pan.

    Hello! I was looking to make a 9″ 13″ rectangular birthday cake and was wondering, how many cups of batter does this recipe yield? I’ve tried making a half-batch for mini cupcakes and it seemed like it made a lot of batter, but of course I forgot to measure the yield before baking it.


    Oh wow! I have tried to find a true home scratch white cake mix for the longest. FINALLY, and I’m going to make it next week-end. Mine might be a bit not stark white, because I always use pure vanilla.
    I’d have no talents for decorating like you did, but my son wants a white coconut cake like Sam’s Club makes. I think this fits the bill perfectly.

    Great stuff – thanks for sharing!!!

    I made this cake as directed and was very disappointed. The cake is heavy, tastes eggy and you can taste the baking powder. It was for a birthday cake. Now I have to start over and use a different recipe.

      Sorry Christine! Hope you find what you are looking for.

    This is my all time favorite white cake recipe. I have made it 20+ times and it always comes out perfect! Even in cupcake form, they are lovely. Thank you for this recipe, I am obsessed with your blog!

    Hi! Is this cake sturdy enough to be used in stacking cake tiers?

    Don't Pass on Dessert!