This classic white cake recipe is perfectly moist and the best homemade recipe! You’ll reach for this recipe for birthday cakes, cupcakes, and more.
After seeing the success that our homemade chocolate cake recipe has had and how much you all love it I realized that 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 to make a cake from a similar recipe as Grandma did, back in the day. Put a bit of music on, pour a glass of wine, and get baking. Truly, you’ll be feeding your soul!
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Tips for a perfect white cake:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Use clear vanilla concentrate, if possible.
Again, this does nothing for the flavor…only the color. And don’t be afraid to try almond extract….yum!
- 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.
- Make your own buttermilk, easy-peasy…
1 cup of regular milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
Stir together and let sit 10 minutes…buttermilk!
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 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 the egg yolks.
If you are looking for a simple technique for frosting a cake, I created a quick video. I highly recommend an angled spatula for frosting, but an icing smoother(like what you’ll see in most of this video) is also great!
Homemade White Cake
- 4 egg whites let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla I use clear
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk see post for easy way to make your own
- 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).
simple White frosting
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 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)