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.

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.


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.

4.42 from 29 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 Rettke
  • 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.

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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  • Sonia De Leon says:

    Hi what brand of cake flour are you using for this recipe?
    It is rising flour or all purpose flour? Thanks

  • Naomi says:

    Hi! Is it possible to make this in 6” cake pans?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, just make sure your pans are never more than 2/3 full or it could spill over.

  • Nanis says:

    I love this recipe! It’s perfect for cupcakes, cakes and cake pops. I do use only 1/2 tsp of almond (I use imitation almond extract) and two tsp of Vanilla. It turns out heavenly.

  • Lily says:

    Can I use fat-free milk instead of whole milk. I know it won’t be as good as it would with whole, but would fat free work? Thank you!

  • Tina forbes says:

    I baked this cake. Taste is delicious. But the layers overflowed down the outside of pans and collapsed in the middle some. I think I followed instructions but I am a novice cake baker. Any suggestions?

    • Mat Herman says:

      I pre-mix my egg whites to medium peaks and hold them until everything else is mixed. Mix in 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten mixture then fold in about 1/2 of the remaining egg whites, finish by folding in the remaining egg whites. I then place cake heating cores in the middle of each pan before pouring in the batter. The cores help the middle to cook more evenly and help prevent the center from falling. The medium peak egg whites help lighten the batter.

  • Adwait says:

    How can i make this cake eggless becoz im vegetarian

    • Jo says:

      Vegetarians eat eggs :))) or are you vegan ?

  • Kirsten says:

    What is the half cup if milk for then? You include it in recipe ask us to keep it back then don’t use it? Confused

    • Keninseb Sias says:

      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

  • Ellen says:

    Would like to make 4 layer white cake you show that but no recipe for it. Can you tell me the measurements of all ingredients pan sizes and how much frosting to make for it. Thank you , also how much icing to decorate it

  • Laura Perry says:

    I totally have felt this same pain of wanting to find a recipe as good as bakeries. I’ve been so discouraged since so many of the recipes I’ve tried have fallen short of my needs and expectations. I’m so excited to try this recipe out and have a lot of trust in you as I’ve followed your recipes for a while now. Thanks for sharing. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 😁👍

  • habila victory says:

    That is great one

  • Bess says:

    I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times. I was wondering if I could make it in a half sheet cake pan (12×18). I think I’m going to try it, but do you happen to have any insight or suggestions to do this? Thanks in advance!

    • Amanda says:

      So glad you like it! I would start checking the cake at 14 minutes. 🙂

  • Ruby says:

    Just made this cake,it turned out fantastic. (I used regular flour in mine.) It is moist and held up great. I will definitely be making it again.
    Thank you.

  • Ayanna Anderson says:

    This recipe was easy and delicious. My mom wanted a white cake with pineapple filling. It paired awesomely with the filling and ther buttercream frosting.

  • Jodie says:

    OMG!!! This cake is amazing. I used GF flour. I made my own GF cake flour using gf flour + gf cornstarch. It did fall a little in the middle but is the fluffiest, lightest, best tasting cake I’ve ever made. I used two 8 inch square cake pans, the disposable kind they sell at the grocery store. I baked it the full 30 min. The recipe video was super helpful. I’m a visual learner and it helped me see how it all went together. Thank you for this amazing cake recipe. I made it for a friend’s birthday.

  • Misa Harris says:

    Hi I wanna made for 12inch Square pan so I need to prepared double mixture right
    And I have wrongly bought the flour instead of cake flour I bought multi purpose flour will that work for the white cake
    And if I bake in 12 inch pan how long is the baking time
    And my oven I have top and bottom flame do I ON both or just use bottom flame to bake


  • Caitlin Bayley says:

    I tried to alter this recipe into a lemon cake. I switched the almond extract out for lemon juice. It turned out with a lot of holes, as if too much acidity. I’d assume add more baking powder or maybe some soda? Any recommendations?

  • Katie says:

    Very sad 🙁
    Made this cake yesterday and it didn’t rise one bit. The flavor was great, but it was a dense as a brick. Even bought fresh baking powder so I wouldn’t have issues. Not sure what went wrong, followed the recipe to a T.

  • Eileen C says:

    I am making a sheet cake pan 12 x 17 HOw should I increase the recipe?

  • Sondra - Bossier City, LA says:

    Delicious! Didn’t have almond extract, so I used coconut extract and a 1/2 tsp lemon extract along with the 2 tsp vanilla extract. Came out absolutely scrumptious! I’ve decided to make a cake every week for our church fellowship luncheon – so excited to try new recipes (or tweak them a little). Thanks!

  • Laura Perry says:

    So I made this cake and you were right, my search is over! It was fantastic! I knew I could trust you. 😁 Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!! Now I’m wondering if you have an equally great chocolate cake recipe. If so please let me know.

  • Melissa Smith says:

    I baked this cake the other day and it turned out extremely dense and tasted floury. I used 9 inch pans and baked for less time. I noticed the batter was really thick when I poured it in the pans. It definitely wasn’t like your chocolate cake batter I made the week before. Did I do something wrong?

  • Jane Watkins says:

    Wonderful recipes
    Thank you so much

  • Jody says:

    I am going to make your very best white cake for my Wedding Cake. Going to masks cupcakes and a 2 layer made into 4 6 in cake for us. I am very excited to do this . I made a red velvet cake last night and did not care for it. Originally was going to be blue. Too heavy I think. Too dense.

  • Vicki Rush says:

    Looks great will try the white cake. How about the butter cream recipe

  • Juanita Johnson says:

    Going to make this real soon. Can it be made in a sheet cake firm? What adaption is required?

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