Homemade white cake from scratch

Hey there! If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing dessert, you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ white cake. It’s perfect for all kinds of events, from school parties to family gatherings. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a moist and delicious cake?! We’ve got you covered with our tried-and-true recipe that’s perfect for cupcakes, birthdays, or even weddings.

We know how important it is to have a reliable recipe that always turns out great, just like our famous homemade chocolate cake. So, we’re sharing our best homemade white cake recipe with you too. Go ahead and give it a try!

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

Key Ingredients for Homemade White Cake From Scratch:

Baking a cake from scratch using real ingredients and a homemade recipe is healthier and more satisfying than using a box mix. Plus, it’s special to use a recipe passed down through generations. Take the extra time to enjoy a sweet treat made with wholesome, natural ingredients.

  • Room temperature egg whites. This will help your cake turn out light and fluffy. Additionally, using only egg whites is important for achieving the best results.
  • All-purpose flour. If you’re gluten-free, don’t worry! This recipe can hold up well with 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking flour. So feel free to make the substitution if needed.
  • Shortening. This will give your cake a nice white color that is perfect for special occasions like weddings or bakeries. For a bit more info about using shortening or butter check out this article from King Arthur Baking.
  • Sugar. Be sure to use the amount specified in the recipe for the best results.
  • Vanilla. If you’re looking for a really white cake, use clear vanilla extract. This will help your cake maintain its white color.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk adds richness and moisture to the cake. If you don’t have any on hand, don’t worry! Check out my post below for an easy substitute that you can use instead.

Instructions for Homemade White Cake from Scratch:

  • To begin, make sure to grease and flour your baking pans. If you’re using a 9 by 13-inch pan, you’ll only need one, but if you’re using 9-inch round pans, you’ll need two.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Next, take a medium bowl and mix together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for now.
  • In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat your shortening on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Once that’s done, add in your sugar and vanilla and beat until everything is combined.
  • Then, add in your egg whites and beat for another 30 seconds.
  • Now it’s time to add in your flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat everything together until everything is fully combined.
  • Once everything is mixed, turn your mixer up to high speed and beat everything for an additional 30 seconds.
  • The final step is to spread your batter into your greased and floured pans.
  • Bake your cake for 20 to 25 minutes if you’re using 9 inch round pans, or 30 to 35 minutes if you’re using a 9 by 13 inch pan. And that’s it! You’ll have a delicious cake in no time.

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!

Homemade cakes such as chocolate, white, carrot, and pound cakes are timeless and never go out of fashion. Particularly, recipes that are as good as the ones our grandmothers 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 a 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!

There’s something about tried and true recipes that just feels right. This white cake, in particular, gives me a sense of nostalgia for a simpler time. I can picture a family gathered around it, sharing stories and laughter. Even though I’m using modern tools and gadgets to make it, there’s still a sense of connection to the past that I cherish. There’s just something special about recipes like this that stand the test of time.

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

Vanilla cake and white cake are quite similar, but there are some key differences. The primary distinction lies in the amount of vanilla used in the vanilla cake recipe and the absence of egg yolks in the white cake. As a result, the white cake retains its pure white color even after cutting, while the vanilla cake has a slightly yellowish hue. Additionally, the white cake has a more fragile texture due to the lack of egg yolks.

How to Decorate a Layer Cake Video Tutorials:

If you’re interested in learning how to frost a cake with ease, we offer a selection of cake decorating videos that cover everything from creating the perfect buttercream frosting to constructing a smooth-layer cake. Best of all, these videos are completely free!

Click HERE to grab the FREE Cake Decorating Videos

the BEST White Cake

| 12
Prep Time | 15 minutes
Cook Time | 25 minutes
Total Time | 40 minutes
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
  • 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
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

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!

homemade white cake recipe is the best, simplest homemade white cake. |

simple White frosting

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


  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 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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12 thoughts on “Homemade white cake from scratch”

  1. Go ahead and use a dairy free version. Still tasty! Almond milk will usually still curdle but coconut milk will not.

  2. I need a gluten free, dairy free version. Can almond milk or another non-dairy milk product be substituted for buttermilk. Will it still curdle with vinegar?

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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?? :)

  8. 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?

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

4.37 from 19 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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