The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

Okay, you asked for it. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” since I posted my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} a while back. Believe me, I wasn’t ignoring you.

 

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

You see, I had my Grandmother’s recipe for a Vanilla Cake and I had the recipe for my Butter Cake, so, I started working on trying to take the best of those two recipes while making the cake decidedly white and perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and yep, even weddings, if you’d like.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

My son declared this white cake recipe as “perfect” while the Mister said, “Now, that’s cake.”

Umm, from him, that’s a good thing. I think.

My brother-in-law called me to tell me that this was to be his birthday cake every single year until the year he dies. We had a good laugh at that one, but I have to remember each June to make sure not to make him another version of cake on his birthday from this point forward. That’s pressure, because the older I get, the less I seem to remember. Heh.

 

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

My white cake recipe is a sturdy recipe. Tender, yet moist and holds together well from cooling to frosting to slicing and serving. It just works.

While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.

Make sense?

 

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

I used my Fluffy White Buttercream frosting, which I doubled, when I frosted the cake, but you can really use whatever frosting is your favorite on this cake. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Espresso Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Any would be fabulous!

So, the next time you need a white cake recipe, give this one a try. I think you’ll love it!

Here’s my White Cake Recipe. My family calls it the best. Ever.

4.4 from 173 reviews
The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you'll love.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
  2. Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frost cake as desired.
Notes
- This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when cupcake tin is filled more than ¾ full. When filled ½ full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake approximately 18 minutes.
- If you preferred the original white cake recipe, it used ½ teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.

 

Here’s to good cake! Love ya bunches!
Robyn xo

 

Update: Due to varying results with the cake rising, I have updated the recipe to increase the amount of baking powder. As with any recipe using baking powder, you’ll want to make sure it is fresh and double acting. Additionally, I’ve changed the method of how the cake is beaten (step 3) after eggs have been added to the cake as some were having issues with a crust forming on the outside of the cake. This was due to beating the cake batter on high speed before baking which in turned caused a meringue type crust to form on the outside of the cake.

DISCUSS

  1. 705

    Tia says

    am i the only one that cant see the previous comments? i press older comments but it stays on the same page… can anyone help. i always make sure to read all the comments before trying out a recipe.

    • 706

      Nicole says

      You are not alone.I don’t see any comments either! Thinking about testing this recipe for my sons 3rd bday today!

    • 707

      Kate says

      I am trying the same thing. I want to make this for the fourth of July but want to make sure it is good before I put the effort in.

  2. 708

    Nicole says

    I made this the other day and it was amazing! For those who can’t read the previous comments, most were good but some people experienced it falling in the centre after taking it out in the oven. I didn’t have this issue. The cake was perfect and had a great taste. It was moist, fluffy and easy to make. I’m keeping this recipe for the future for sure.

    • 709

      Emilee says

      I made this cake today and the middle sank on all 3 cakes?! what did I do wrong?

    • 710

      says

      Hi Emilee,
      There are a couple of reasons why a cake will sink in the center that you might want to make sure to avoid:
      1. Oven temperature. Make sure that your oven is fully preheated to 350º F before placing your cake into the oven. You may also want to get an oven thermometer just to verify that your oven really is at the temperature you believe it is. I previously had an oven that would change by 10º F throughout baking. It was a mess.
      2. Leaveners. You’ll want to make sure that your baking powder is fresh. To test, add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to about 1/3 cup of hot water. If it bubbles, it is fresh enough to use. If not, you’ll need to discard.
      3. Over mixing. If a cake batter is over mixed, it can cause the cake to sink in the center while and after baking.
      4. Peeking. Don’t open the oven door while the cake is baking as it will cause it to sink.

      I hope this helps!

  3. 711

    sandy says

    Hello! Gonna try this recipe in a few days but wondered to make it really white, could I just add the egg whites instead of the whole egg? Or would this change the recipe significantly? Also if I just wanted to make a 2 layer 9″ cake – can this recipe be trimmed down a bit to still make a great tasting 2 9″ cake? Thanks for any information :)

  4. 712

    Elena says

    could I adopt this recipe for a strawberry cake? Like adding strawberry puree and stuff. I realize I would have to adjust liquids and whatnot.

    I have made this cake before and it really is spectacular.

  5. 713

    Kate says

    Do you have to use the shortening because I have just never been a fan of the way it tastes. Could I substitute it for 1 stick of butter?

  6. 715

    Sarah says

    Sorry if this question has been asked before, but can this recipe be made in two 9×11 pans? If so, how long would you bake for?

  7. 717

    amber says

    This recipe sounds fantastic! Can I use this recipe in a 9 x 13 pan? It will be the “extra” cake for a bday party.

    • 718

      says

      Hi Amber,
      I’ve not made it as a 9×13, but I have baked it in 1/2 sheet pans as a sheet cake and it turned out beautifully.

  8. 719

    Kayla says

    I LOVELOVELOVE this!!!!! After a few of my own adjustments, it is now my favorite go-to recipe for cake! I love you Robyn!!! Thank you SOSOSO much!

  9. 722

    Liz says

    Do you use 8″ or 9″ cake pans? What about rectangular pans? Is this enough batter for a 1/2 sheet?

    Thanks!

    • 723

      says

      I use three 9-inch cake pans. It does work well in a 1/2 sheet pan, which I use sometimes in place of my cream cheese pound cake when I make petit fours. Hope you enjoy it!

  10. 724

    Elena says

    so I went out on a limb and tried the recipe strawberry. It turned out great. Had to alter a bit. It got lots of compliments. Next time I might add a stitch more buttermilk though.

  11. 725

    says

    AMAZING!!!! I used your vanilla icing as well and it was so divine! I seriously would use this for my wedding cake someday! So moist, fluffy, light, and incredibly delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 727

    jayne says

    Terrible recipe. Save yourself the time, money and trouble – pick a different cake recipe. It won’t turn out right. This is my second time (stupidly) trying this recipe. I paid super close attention this time to every detail of comment 710 from Robyn – oven fully heated and calibrated: check, fresh baking powder: check, no over mixing: check, and of course, no peeking: check. Result. Completely deflated center. It could have been a bundt cake, that’s how bad it was. And really, the texture’s no good. The cake is super crumbly. There will be no “third times a charm” here. Also, Robyn – the star rating doesn’t work – I wanted to give this 1 star, but it only let’s you do 5. HA! Definitely not happening.

  13. 729

    AJ says

    I made cupcakes using the new recipe and I’ve decided I prefer the old recipe for cupcakes. I see the ingredient changes but can’t remember the changes in directions. Was it just that you whipped it for several minutes after all ingredients had been added? Thanks!!! Great website.

  14. 731

    Ryan Smith says

    Wow! I used the best white cake recipe with the perfect chocolate buttercream frosting recipe and my wife swore I had purchased the cake from the Marietta Fish Market! (That’s a huge compliment if you’re not familiar with that restaurant) I’m a man’s man and actually couldn’t believe I had made something that good myself! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I have bookmarked your site and will be back very soon! You made me a rock star in my home! Even my 8 year-old son said,”Daddy, you sure know how to make a cake!”

    • 732

      says

      You just made my day, Ryan! Thank you so much for your sweet comment and I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the cake!!!

  15. 733

    Caitlin says

    I’m hoping to make a zebra cake with this recipe… If I were to substitute the 1/2 cup milk with the equivalent in coffee, do you think this will work?

  16. 734

    Lauren says

    Hi.
    I made this cake a few months ago, but i substituted the shortening for more butter, and used organic vanilla bean paste. Here are the results:

    *pros: *moist *delicious vanilla flavour *mostly fluffy
    *cons: *a bit dense *shorter layers

    Right when the cakes came out i put them in the freezer for 30 min, hoping it would be moist. It did turn out very moist, but was a bit dense. I want to make this cake again, but would REALLY like fluffier, lighter, and taller layers. Because shortening is unavailable to me, do you have any other substitutions? Do you think I could put half a cup of vegetable oil? Also, what if I used 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, or 2 eggs and 3 egg whites? Or all egg whites? How do you think it would come out?

    So sorry for all the questions, Robyn but please answer ASAP

  17. 735

    Tamara says

    Mine sank in the middle, I didnt spray the pan well enough and it stuck and broke apart. Even with that mess it was still the best tasting recipe! we just dipped the pieces in homemade strawberry rhubarb jelly. Holy cow it was delicious!

  18. 740

    Allison says

    This cake looks delicious. I was just wondering if it really took 3 cups of sugar that seems like more than other recipes with similar flour/butter ratios?

  19. 741

    Chelsey says

    This cake tastes like a sugar cookie. Really good. But even being gentle mixing the dry and wet ingredients I had a huge crust on top. :/ not sure what else to try.

  20. 742

    CIndy says

    I love the cake, but the outside is right “crunchy”…what did I do wrong. I am baking it in a 12″ round for the bottom layer of a tiered cake and for the center to come out clean I have to bake it for 50 minutes.

  21. 743

    Saffron says

    Hello there. I have been searching for the perfect white cake recipe to tweek a little, and I think this is the one. I am wanting to make an orange poke cake… I am wondering what your thoughts would be about substituting the buttermilk with orange juice, since they are both acidic? Then I plan to poke and pour orange jello….and top with my stabilized whip cream (cream whipped with vanilla pudding mix) I wanted to do an orange cake and the only recipes I find, call for the dreaded “boxed cake mix”. I really think I want to give this one a shot. Wish me luck. Any feedback…is greatly appreciated!

  22. 744

    Hollie says

    OH MY GOODNESS this is so good! I usually use cake mix (cuz I’m lazy ;) ) but this was so much better! I bake a LOT of cupcakes and these were amazing. I scented the sugar with lavender and made a cream cheese and honey frosting. It’s a very large batch, and they don’t rise as much as mixes do, but that leaves more room for frosting, right?

  23. 745

    Indu R says

    What a wonderful recipe! Just made a three layer cake with fresh orange buttercream frosting…for my hubby’s birthday. Lovely texture, super soft, turned out beautiful..Thank you so much Robyn! How do I share picture of my cake with you? :) X X

  24. 747

    Trina says

    I read the comments before making this cake, and it was still a failure. It did not rise properly, did not come out of the pans well, and I felt the taste and texture were just off. I did make your lemon pound cake, and it is delicious!

  25. 748

    says

    Solid recipe, slight buttery aftertaste, nice texture. I really like it after sitting in the fridge- it holds the chill well! My topping was a layer of raspberry jam, topped with toasted coconut flakes.

    My only reservation is it tasted more like a yellow cake than a white cake. Maybe i had some really fat egg yolks!

    This would make a very handsome celebration cake!

    • 749

      says

      Thank you so much, Michele! I’m so glad you enjoy it! I make it all the time for various events and everyone always loves it! xo

    • 751

      says

      Hi Clare,
      Not a silly question at all! The shortening is not melted. You will cream together the shortening and the butter (step 2) and then add the sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Hope that helps!

  26. 754

    Casey says

    Mine was REALLY thick. I figured out the problem…. I weighed the flour and thought 3C should have been 24 oz. I knew it didn’t look right but I went with it anyway :) I will definitely try it again because it had a really good flavor

  27. 755

    Christine says

    Hi, is it possible to use 2 – 8 inch pans? And if so, what’s should the baking time be? Thank you in advance :)

  28. 756

    Lynn george Abraham says

    Hi Robyn,

    Firstly,thanks for your time and effort in creating such wonderful recipes for us :)
    Truly are a wonderful and gifted person.I tried your “best chocolate cake recipe ever” and it was indeed the best. :) so moist and tasty..My husband loved it as hes got a big heart for chocolate cakes :)

    I would like to try out this White Cake recipe for my Mother in law now.However, i have a few questions
    1)Can i substitute shortening with vegetable oil?If so,could i use the exact same measurement as the shortening
    2)Could you advice how to make butter milk at home
    3)I could not find Vanilla extract at the store.Could i use Vanilla essence instead and how many teaspoons?

    Thank you once again
    Lynn

    Note:For the haters out there.Go get a life!!!Fetch a new recipe instead of cursing..simple as it sounds :)

    • 757

      says

      Hi Lynn,
      Thanks so much and I hope your mother-in-law loves it! I’ve done my best to answer your questions below:
      1. I would recommend substituting all butter instead of the shortening or using coconut oil. I’ve not tested the recipe using vegetable oil (or a melted fat) in the recipe so I can’t tell you how it would work. I’m sorry!
      2. To make a buttermilk substitute at home, for each cup of whole milk add 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or lemon juice to the milk. Allow to stand about 5 – 10 minutes to thicken.
      3. I’ve not used vanilla essence, so I can’t really say how it would taste. You could substitute with almond extract for an almond white cake as well.

      Thanks much!
      Robyn xo

  29. 758

    Stephaine says

    Hi Robyn,

    The cake looks delicious, and the recipe seems to be fairly simple, but I have one question, is this a great recipe for vanilla/white mini cupcakes.

    Thanks,
    Stephaine

    • 759

      says

      Hi Stephanie,
      While I use it for making cupcakes and mini-cupcakes, this cake recipe does not “dome” on the top like the more prevalent cupcake recipes you’ll find. It was developed so that the layers were flat for a decorated cake, if that makes sense. It is definitely delicious, but I did want to let you know about it not doming. Hope that helps!

  30. 760

    Lauren says

    Hi Robyn,
    Could you please go back and read my questions? It’s been a while since I first posted them, and I am always posting them over and over again (since April, actually!) and you don’t answer. So please… I am waiting.

    • 761

      says

      Hi Lauren,
      I’m not seeing any questions from you. Can you repost them or even contact me directly through the contact page and I’m happy to help if I can. Thanks much!

  31. 762

    Mrunalini says

    Hi Robyn,
    I would like to try and bake a dairy free version of this cake for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, since she is allergic to dairy. What substitute would you recommend for butter? Soy butter does not taste good, so would it be shortening itself or coconut oil?? I would be substituting the buttermilk for coconut buttermilk.

    Thank you in advance. :D

  32. 764

    says

    I know you already have a zillion comments, but I just wanted to let you know I made this cake a few times to practice and then used it for my wedding cake! The cake had a total of 6 layers on two tiers and everyone loved it. Thank you!

    • 765

      says

      Natashalh,
      Best wishes on your new marriage! What a wonderful and exciting time in your life. I’m so excited for you. I’m honored and humbled that you chose my recipe to use on such a special occasion! I’d love for you to share a photo if you can. I’m sure it was gorgeous! xo

    • 767

      says

      Hi Sara,
      You can use the recipe as listed and bake in a rimmed sheet pan (known as a half sheet pan) which measures 18×13. I make it fairly regularly this way as a sheet cake.

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