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.

4.46 from 31 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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  • Janet says:

    I haven’t tried the recipe but King Arthur Flour sells a vanilla powder that adds flavor but not color

  • Sebrina Perez says:

    What kind of cake flour did you use?

  • Isobelhughes says:

    Hi do you have this recipe for 2 6”cake tins?thank you

  • Heather says:

    Will this cake hold up to being layer with a raspberry filling and then stacked (a 6 inch on top of an 8)?

  • Susan says:

    My name is Susan I enjoy your recipes so much all of them look crazy delicious!! For third time yesterday I made that stuffed chicken with asparagus mozzarella but I did sundries tomatoes Because they didn’t have bacon and it came out so delicious I’m going to make it a fourth time with sun-dried tomatoes and add the beginning it’s probably one of my favorite dishes right now that I make thank you for sharing you pick your wonderful recipes I can’t wait to make these cakes!!!

  • Trish says:

    Is the amount of almond extract a misprint? I made the cake according to amounts and it was good, buy it definitely tasted like angel food cake rather than vanillaT

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, but you can decrease it if that is your preference.

  • Dana Chiu says:

    Cake pulled away from sides during first 5 minutes out of oven. Seemed somewhat flattened on top after I turned out of pan onto cooling rack. A bit of my hand impression flattened cake. I used stand mixer (not handheld) and timed the “beatings” per your directions. Any ideas why this happened?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sounds like it was a bit overbaked. 🙁

  • Marg says:

    What a wonderful receipe… Thank you ever so much!
    Your knowledge of baking is superb, please keep more coming.. Blessings!!!💕

  • Mishma Sohail Inayat says:

    I absolutely love it! It’s such a nice recipe. I swear that it will turn your atrocious days into elated ones!
    -Mishma Sohail Inayat
    (Environmental Activist and Fantasy Writer)
    I’m 12..

  • Virginia Watts says:

    I was wondering.. Have you ever heard of .. The Cake ? I will send the recipe if you wish.

    Virginia Watts

  • Danielle says:

    I have searched forever for a great white cake recipe so thank you. I have not tried it yet but it sounds near perfect. Only because I do not like almond flavoring. Can it be substituted?
    Can’t wait to try it!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can omit it. 🙂

  • Sophia says:

    I am probably one of your biggest fans so this comment hurts me to write, but I have tried this recipe several times and it never comes out. It must be my own fault. The first time it came out extremely rubbery and this last time I tried again and the eggs completely separated from the cake and it did not taste as expected. I have made your birthday cake (yellow cake) and your chocolate cake probably 50 times by now and they are always amazing!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Sophia! I will remake and see if I can replicate the problems you ran into and then make any adjustments! 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    Boy did this recipe humble me as a baker. I made 4 batches of this for a 3-tier wedding cake, and it was not my favorite. Some layers came out dense and with the gelatinous bottom, as others have described. Some layers came out okay. There are so many eggs in this recipe it borderlines on a custard taste when baked. Make sure your baking powder is fresh. This cake hardly rises, so don’t expect much lift. I do like the taste because it’s not overly sweet, and I think it will pair well with a sweet buttercream but I ended up adding less salt than it called for. Seemed a little on the salty side.

  • Leah says:

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday. While the flavor was amazing It was way to dense for any cake I’ve had or made. I was hoping for a lighter textured white cake. I don’t think it was rubbery like some people’s reviews said but it was really dense. It came out of the oven beautifully golden and the it tasted good but it was more like a really good white pound cake. I read the entire article before trying it and it didn’t say anything about it being a more denser recipe. Still a good cake though.

  • Barbara Savelkoul says:

    This recipe is phenomenal. The key is not over mixing and making sure your butter cubes are slightly cooled(just under room temp). It took about 5 batches before I figured it out. This cake is so good you don’t even need to frost it. And I always switch the amounts of vanilla and almond, 2 vanilla and 1 almond and it’s perfect.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Excellent feedback, thank you!

  • Sara says:

    Hi Amanda!
    What difference would the standard mixing wet to dry ingredients make, instead of the technique described?

  • Debbie kirk says:

    I absolutely love your recipes💖

  • Tammy says:

    I’m so confused by some of the comments. I baked this cake (exactly as directed) and it was amazing! One of the best white cakes I’ve ever had. It was super easy to do. I filled the layers with homemade strawberry jam and some fresh diced strawberries. And, topped it with a mascarpone whipped cream frosting. No complaints from anyone.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      SO glad you had that experience Tammy! That has always been my experience as well! <3

  • Maureen says:

    Thank you so much I really appreciate this

  • SUSAN BOWMAN says:

    Absolutely the best cake for layering and decorating. My cakes baked nearly flat but still airy and moist, perfect layers!

  • Janine says:

    Have used this recipe for a few years or more now. I love this cake and so does everyone who tries it. I use rosewater essence and my son requests it every birthday now. Thank you so much ❣

  • Janine says:

    There’s my 5 star rating btw

  • Katherine Warren says:

    Is your gram measurement correct for your cake flour? Should it be 245?

  • Amy says:

    I made this cake for the first time for a work event. I was so excited because I love white cake and this having almond was a plus. But when it came time to cut and eat, I was very disappointed. The almond flavor was good but the cake itself was sooo dry and dense. Please help. I want to like this cake.

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