White Cake

This classic White Layer Cake is moist, delicate, and perfectly white! Paired with a velvety whipped buttercream frosting, every bite is fluffy cake heaven. This cake is so elegant you could even make it for a wedding!

A big slice of vanilla layer cake on a plate with the full cake on a cake stand in the background

Light & Fluffy White Cake with Whipped Frosting

Turn basic kitchen staples into a truly elegant treat by whipping up this soft vanilla layer cake! It has a gorgeous white color that makes it ideal for weddings and other events where only a perfectly pearly cake will do. The cake itself is packed with sweet vanilla flavor, and the same goes for the fluffy whipped frosting.

I’m pretty in love with both the texture and flavor of this white cake. I started with my Moist Vanilla Layer Cake and made adjustments from there. The final result is wonderfully tender and soft – so much so that it’s almost velvety. I’m such a fan that I’ve already used it in this Almond Cream Cake. When paired with the lightness of the whipped buttercream, it just melts in your mouth. It’s definitely a new favorite and I can’t wait for you to try it.

A piece of white cake on a plate with another slice and the remaining cake behind it

What Makes This Cake Special?

There are multiple kinds of vanilla cake, but white cake is unique for a number of reasons – the main one being that it’s made with only egg whites to ensure a white color. Typically, vanilla cake is made with whole eggs, which adds more flavor and color to the cake. Yellow cake, on the other hand, is made using egg yolks, which adds even more flavor and shows in the color of the finished cake.

All of these vanilla cakes are delicious in their own way, so the best option likely depends on the occasion you’re making the cake for. White cake tends to be used for weddings, while yellow cake is a popular birthday cake (one that’s often frosted with chocolate buttercream). Vanilla cake is kind of a one-size-fits-all type of deal.

White-Cake-Ingredients laid out on table

The Ingredients

Making a flawless white cake doesn’t require complicated ingredients. Simple is the way to go!

For the Cake Layers

  • All-Purpose Flour: Not self-rising flour.
  • Baking Powder: Gives the cake the ideal rise and texture. I opted against any baking soda in this white cake. It tends to affect the color of cake and make it darker, which we don’t want here.
  • Salt: To lock in moisture and enhance flavor.
  • Unsalted Butter: Bring this to room temperature.
  • Vegetable Oil: Using this in addition to the butter ensures an ultra-moist crumb.
  • Sugar: It’s best to stick with regular granulated sugar since any tinted alternative could add color to the cake.
  • Egg Whites: Brought to room temperature.
  • Milk: At room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you’d like, use a clear vanilla extract to ensure a truly white result, although I’ve found that regular vanilla extract is sufficient and it’s what I used in this cake. Almond extract is also popular in white cake, and it’s naturally clear.

For the Whipped Buttercream Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar: This gives the frosting structure and volume.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Cream: You may want to add some extra cream if the frosting seems too thick.
  • Salt: To taste.
A frosted white cake with rosette designs piped around the top rim

How to Make White Cake

Some white cakes call for whipped egg whites, but this one has a wonderful texture without that extra step. If you want to try it anyway, simply whip your egg whites in a separate bowl and add them to the batter at the end.

Make the Cake Layers

  1. Prep for Baking: Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl, then set the dry ingredient mixture aside.
  3. Cream Butter, Oil & Sugar: Cream the butter, oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add Egg Whites: Add the egg whites in three batches, mixing until well combined after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Start Adding Dry Ingredients: Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined.
  6. Add Milk & Vanilla: Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  7. Finish Adding Dry Ingredients: Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the batter is well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  8. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake each layer for about 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs.
  9. Let Cool: Remove the cake layers from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 2-3 minutes, then flip them out onto wire racks to cool them completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Beat Butter: Beat the butter until it’s nice and smooth.
  2. Start Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add Vanilla, Cream & Salt: Add the vanilla extract, salt and 4 tablespoons of cream, mixing until smooth.
  4. Finish Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth. Add additional cream as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  5. Whip: Mix the frosting on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Remove Domes: Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cake layers so that they’re flat. These cake layers don’t have large domes, but I like to make sure they’re completely flat.
  2. Frost First Layer: Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake.
  3. Finish Layering: Add the second layer of cake and spread on another cup of frosting, then add the final layer of cake.
  4. Frost: Frost the top and outside edge of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake if needed.
  5. Decorate: Pipe shells of frosting around the bottom edge of the cake, then pipe rosettes or another desired design on top. I use Ateco tip 844 for my piping.
  6. Enjoy! Cut and serve your cake or store it in an airtight container until it’s time to enjoy it.
A white cake on a dessert stand with whipped buttercream frosting spread onto it smoothly

Can I Make it in Advance?

Sure! Simply prepare the cake layers and let them cool completely, then wrap each one in two layers of plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag. Make the frosting and store it in a freezer-safe container. Both the cake and the frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Transfer the cake and frosting to your fridge the night before you plan to assemble the cake. Once everything is defrosted, you can proceed with the building process. Bring the frosting to room temperature and re-whip it if needed.

Tips for Perfection

Not feeling confident in your cake-making skills? The tips and tricks below have got your back.

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: With the exception of the heavy cream, all of your refrigerated ingredients should be brought to room temperature before they’re used in this recipe. This prevents lumps and bumps from forming and makes the mixing process a whole lot easier.
  • Substitute the Milk for Sour Cream: The milk adds plenty of moisture to this cake, but you could definitely use sour cream instead if you’d prefer. Sour cream is often used in white cake to add a touch of tang, but it does make for a slightly denser texture.
  • Don’t Over-Bake: If your cake layers spend too much time in the oven, they won’t end up as soft and moist. Once a toothpick comes out of the center of the cake with a few loose crumbs, it’s time to kick off the cooling process.
  • What Frosting Consistency Should I Shoot For? Feel free to bring your frosting to the consistency of your preference. If you’re not sure how thick or thin to make it, check out my post on how to get the right frosting consistency.
A slice of white cake on a plate with one bite on a metal fork

How to Store Extra Cake

This cake should be kept in an airtight container at room temperature. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. I recommend storing it in a cake carrier to preserve the decorative frosting on top.

Can I Freeze This?

I don’t typically freeze full cakes, but you could give it a try. Place the cake onto a baking sheet and freeze it for 1-2 hours. Once the frosting is frozen solid, wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap, then transfer the cake to a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw it out in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before you serve it. You can also do this with individual slices.

Print
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A piece of white cake on a plate with another slice and the remaining cake behind it
Recipe

White Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 14
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This classic Vanilla Layer Cake is moist, delicate and wonderfully white! Paired with a velvety whipped buttercream frosting, every bite is heaven in a forkful.


Ingredients

For the Cake Layers

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups (362g) sugar
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp (270ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Whipped Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups (560g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 56 tbsp (75-90ml) heavy cream
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

Make the Cake Layers

  1. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, vegetable oil and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add egg whites in three batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth.
  2. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, 4 tablespoons of cream and salt and mix until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional cream, as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
  5. Mix on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes to whip the frosting.

Assemble the Cake

  1. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. These cakes don’t have a large dome, but I like to make sure they’re completely flat.
  2. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
  3. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
  4. Pipe shells of frosting around the bottom edge of the cake, then pipe rosettes or desired design on top. I used Ateco tip 844 for my piping.
  5. Store cake in an airtight container.

Notes

  • Makes 12-14 slices.
  • To Store: Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy within 2-3 days.
  • To Freeze: Place cake onto a baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frosting is frozen solid. Wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 935
  • Sugar: 110.2 g
  • Sodium: 290 mg
  • Fat: 45.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 129.3 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 116.7 mg

Keywords: how to make vanilla cake, white wedding cake, whipped frosting

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Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12