Today I’m so excited to be sharing the very best white cake recipe! This recipe yields a fluffy, snow-white cake that’s light and soft but still sturdy enough to stack or cover with fondant. Read on for plenty of tips for making the perfect white cake, completely from scratch!
We’ve covered chocolate cake, vanilla cake (one of my most popular recipes, thanks to you guys!), and even pineapple upside-down cake, but up until today we’ve been missing a critical flavor: a classic, delicious, white cake!
This is a classic cake flavor and a personal favorite of mine, so when I say up in the intro that I’m excited to share this recipe with you, I really, really mean it. This cake is delicious, and honestly so easy to make… even if you’ve never beaten egg whites before I’m going to walk you through that below so you too can enjoy a perfect, from-scratch white cake.
In case this white cake recipe seems familiar to you, I should probably mention that it is essentially my Funfetti cake recipe, only scaled down to be just two layers (so if you want a 3 layer white cake recipe, just head over to my Funfetti recipe and leave out the sprinkles!).
Let’s dig in to what makes this cake so incredible.
As I mentioned, this cake is fairly simple, but there is an important technique that I want to discuss regarding the egg whites. To keep this cake pure white, we’re not using any egg yolks and instead we are going to beat our egg whites to stiff peaks (if you’ve made my meringue cookies, you’ve beaten egg whites to stiff peaks before). Let me explain how:
How to Beat Eggs Whites to Stiff Peaks for White Cake
- Place your egg whites in a completely clean and grease free bowl. It’s best to separate your whites and yolks in a separate bowl first, that way if a small bit of yolk escapes you don’t have to start over. Even the smallest bit of grease or yolk can ruin your egg whites and keep them from reaching stiff peaks.
- Reaching stiff peaks will take several minutes, just keep beating and you will see them start to take shape!
- Stiff peaks are formed when the whites have increased in volume (see visual below) and, if you pull a beater straight out of the mixture, a peak forms that does not recede back into itself — its holds its shape. Once you reach this point, stop beating, as it is totally possible to over-beat your egg whites.
Fold your egg whites gently into the rest of your white cake batter. I always recommend doing this part by hand. Make sure that you stir enough so that the egg whites are well-incorporated into the batter, but use a light hand so that you don’t deflate the egg whites, or you’ll end up with a dense cake.
While the cake is baking, don’t be alarmed if it seems that the surface is turning too dark. The outside of the cake will actually bake up to a golden brown in the oven, but don’t worry, the cake will be pure white inside once you go to actually slice into it.
What Kind of Extract Should I Use for My White Cake?
I use clear vanilla. Regular (caramel-colored) vanilla extract will work just fine and your cake will still come out mostly white (check out my above-mentioned Funfetti cake, that one was made with standard vanilla extract), but for this white cake recipe I opted for clear extract for a cake with a pure white interior.
Many white cake reicpes also call for almond extract. None of my family members are huge fans of almond extract, so I leave it out, but if you like the taste you can substitute some of the vanilla extract for almond… since almond extract is quite potent I wouldn’t personally recommend using more than 1 ½-2 teaspoons for this recipe, but feel free to experiment!
Can I use 9″ Cake Pans Instead of 8″
Yes! The baking time will be reduced, though. Start checking your cake at 30 minutes.
Can I Make This Recipe Into Cupcakes?
Yes! Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ full (don’t over-fill) and bake on 350F for about 18 minutes (for mini cupcakes, bake for 14-15 minutes). This recipe will yield approximately 30 standard sized cupcakes.
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How to Make White Cake
The Best White Cake Recipe
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature (85g)
- ⅔ cup canola oil or vegetable oil (160ml)
- 2 cup sugar (400g)
- 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 2 ⅔ cup + 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (345g)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk room temperature preferred (235ml)
- 6 large egg whites room temperature
- Double batch Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (click link for recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with a round of parchment paper and generously greasing and flouring the sides. Be sure to shake out excess flour.
- In a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
- Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla extract.
- In separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Measure out your milk.
- With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
- Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
- In separate bowl combine your egg whites and using a hand-mixer on high-speed beat until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
- Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans.
- Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
- Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely before covering with buttercream frosting*. I used a double batch of my recipe (linked above) to thoroughly cover and decorate this cake.