how to bake a simple White Cake

A simple white cake is one of the most popular cakes to bake. It's the perfect dessert for your kids' school parties or just to treat your family. Here's how to bake this tasty cake.

This homemade white cake recipe is perfectly moist and the best homemade recipe! One of our favorite homemade cake recipes, you'll reach for this easy recipe for birthday cakes, weddings, cupcakes, and more.

homemade white cake on a cake platter. The cake has a simple white frosting and sparkly white sugar.

After seeing the success that our homemade chocolate cake recipe has had and how much you all love it I realized that my best white cake recipe could be something that you would find valuable as well.

Having a chocolate cake or white cake recipe that you KNOW will produce a fantastic cake makes life so much simpler.

It might take a bit longer to make these homemade cake recipes than a box mix, but it certainly is better for you to use REAL ingredients. And, there is something so satisfying about making a cake from a similar recipe as Grandma did, back in the day.

Put a bit of music on, pour a glass of wine, pull out your stand mixer, and get baking. Truly, you'll be feeding your soul!

Classic cakes like chocolate cake, white cake, carrot cake, and pound cakes never go out of style. Especially really, really good cake recipes like grandma used to make!

Tips for the best white cake:

  1. Use ONLY egg whites. Using only the whites helps keep the cake that perfect white color inside.
  2. Use room temperature buttermilk and egg whites.
    Don't skip this. It makes a huge difference!! Just set your buttermilk and whites on the counter a few hours before you intend to start.
  3. Using shortening keeps your cake white in color.
    But don't be afraid to use butter! The flavor is better. Just be sure your butter is softened a bit.
  4. Spray & flour your pans.
    There is nothing worse than cake that sticks to the pan. Especially when making layer cakes. Of course, if you are making a 9 by 13 cake there is no need to worry about this step as much as if you are attempting a layer cake. You can even pick up cooking spray that is made just for baking and has flour right in it...easy peasy!
  5. Use clear vanilla extract, if possible.
    Again, this does nothing for the flavor...only the color. And don't be afraid to try almond extract....yum!
  6. Use good flour.  We used Bob's Red Mill.  It's organic and incredibly versatile.  And it is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods.

When you don't have buttermilk:

Stir together 1 cup of milk (as high of fat content milk as you have) with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to curdle & thicken. Use it as buttermilk in most baking recipes.

This homemade white cake recipe that the best it gets. And delicious!

I'm a big fan of tried and true recipes, and this white cake is one of them. I can imagine a family back in "the day" sitting about talking and laughing around this very same cake. That makes me feel like I have a small touch of the "way it was" in my kitchen. Granted, I am making this cake with my fantastic oven, mixer, and fancy pants tools. But still. I still have a bit of nostalgia for recipes like this.

Is there a difference between vanilla cake recipe and white cake?

Yes, but not much. The difference between vanilla cake and white cake is the amount of vanilla added to the vanilla cake as well as the use of egg yolks. White cake doesn't have egg yolks so that it maintains that perfectly white color when you cut into it. White cake also tends to be more delicate in texture because it doesn't have egg yolks.

If you are looking for a simple technique for frosting a cake, we have a set of FREE cake decorating videos including how to make perfect buttercream frosting and use it to create a smooth layer cake.

the BEST White Cake

| 12
Prep Time | 15 mins
Cook Time | 25 mins
Total Time | 40 mins
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
This is the best white cake! Easy to make and turns out great every time!


  • 4 egg whites let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla I use clear
  • 1 ⅓ cups buttermilk see post for easy way to make your own
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Grease & flour pans (1 - 9 by 13 or 2 - 9 inch round).
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl and set aside.
  • Beat shortening with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds on medium speed in large bowl.
  • Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  • Add egg whites and beat for about 30 seconds.
  • Add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat until combined.
  • Beat on high for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Spread batter into the pan (s)
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes (30-35 for 9 by 13 pan).


Calories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 115mgPotassium: 108mgSugar: 30gVitamin A: 45IUCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg
homemade white cake recipe is the best, simplest homemade white cake. |

simple White frosting

| 1 9 by 13 cake
Prep Time | 10 mins
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This is a simple white frosting that works perfectly with our easy white cake!


  • ½ cup butter unsalted
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Beat the butter until creamy.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar, while beating.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add the milk until desired consistency (you may want to add additional milk)


Use as pale of butter as you can find to keep the frosting white in color.


Calories: 2238kcalCarbohydrates: 360gProtein: 1gFat: 93gSaturated Fat: 58gCholesterol: 247mgSodium: 830mgPotassium: 39mgSugar: 353gVitamin A: 2835IUCalcium: 61mgIron: 0.2mg

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10 thoughts on “how to bake a simple White Cake”

  1. Yes, I would use whole eggs and butter. And go ahead and use whatever vanilla you have on hand, no worries about the color.

  2. To convert this into a vanilla cake would I substitute the egg whites for whole eggs and use butter or coconut oil instead of shortening?

    Thank you!

  3. Hooray!!! I'm so happy that you tried it AND Happy Birthday to your daughter. What a great mom making her a special homemade cake!

  4. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! My daughter wanted white cake with sprinkles for her birthday (essentially a funfetti cake), so I added 2/3 cup purple and blue sprinkles for her mermaid theme colors and it turned out amazing! It's sweet but not overpowering!

  5. Hey, in the icing recipe you've listed almond extract, but in the instructions it's vanilla. I'm guessing vanilla is the correct ingredient?? :)

  6. 5 stars
    Hi, I have tried this recipe for my y son’s birthday . I paired it with speculoos butter cream instead. Everyone love them! Thinking of doing them again but I do not have shortening at home now! If I use butter would it be 1/2 a cup too?

  7. So glad to hear it! And thanks for the tips on turning it gluten-free. I know there are many readers that will appreciate it!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi I made this white cake gluten free and it turned out fantastic. I used my gluten free converter chart and made this cake using Bob Mills white rice flour. I also added a 1/2 teaspoons Xanthma gum. Followed everything else according to your recipe. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

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