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.

 

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.

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.

4.3 from 263 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.
- If you live in a high altitude environment, you'll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.

 

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

I thought I would copy this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you.

“Hi there, I am a pastry chef and have lots of knowledge of cakes, and why they do the funny things that they do. Let me start of by saying this cake is delicious, moist and fluffy! This is thanks to the seemingly large amount of sugar and fats, so do not reduce the amounts or make substitutions! If you’re that concerned about the healthiness of this cake, you should probably just avoid it.

This cake does not rise much, but that does not negatively affect its fluffiness. I followed the directions exactly, except for one very important step which I believe is why my cake is so fluffy inside and did not sink. Cream your butter, shortening and sugar altogether until very white and fluffy (about 4 minutes). After that, follow the instructions to a T. If you overbeat after adding the eggs, they will produce a tougher cake. Take extra care while rotating pans as to not deflate the cakes, and resist the urge to open your oven door to peek except when you need to rotate.

This cake does form a bit of a crust on top from the high egg and sugar content, which makes it more difficult to tell when it is done. Your best hint is your nose. If you can smell cake, then check it! If its not jiggly, take it out and scoop a little bit out of the middle to see if it’s done (you’re gonna cover it with frosting anyway). Don’t trust the toothpick-test!

Sorry for writing a novel, I just know how hard it is to make a great white cake and this recipe is probably the best I’ve had yet, so it made me sad to see how many people were disappointed by it due to their lack of pastry knowledge and proper method.”

 

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Comments

  1. 1166

    Elixaveh says

    Hi! Thanks so much for this recipe, I usually use it as a base for a rich chocolate ganache frosting to go on top, and it is absolutely wonderful!!

    I was thinking of making an ombré cake for a birthday, and I was wondering if you have ever tried dyeing this cake and your white buttercream frosting? I have Wilton’s blue and purple gel colouring. Thanks again!

  2. 1168

    Parrish Nored says

    I am planning to make this cake with your Strawberry Buttercream Icing for my husband’s birthday! Thank you for the recipe.

  3. 1170

    Benita says

    Mmm, this looks amazing! It’s impossible to find buttermilk where I live… What could I substitute it with? I was thinking maybe coconut milk although that would obviously change the flavour… Any suggestions?

    • 1171

      says

      You can make your own buttermilk substitute. Here are the directions on how I do it –> ” target=”_blank”>Buttermilk Substitute Recipe

    • 1172

      DeAnn Caylor says

      If I don’t have buttermilk, I EITHER put a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into whole milk OR I use enough sour cream blended into the milk to make it the proper consistency. Either works. Don’t be afraid. And you can also find dried buttermilk in cans in the baking aisle at your market.

    • 1173

      Kathleen French says

      You can make your own buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to whole milk. and let set for 5 minutes but don’t use coconut milk its the consistency and tang of buttermilk that makes the cake.

  4. 1174

    says

    I made this for my husband’s first Father’s Day and WOW. Seriously, that is some CAKE. I loved the density of it and the flavor is out of this world!! He loved it! Thank you for sharing this recipe & for sharing some tips on proper baking methods! This is my new go-to cake for special occasions!

  5. 1176

    Breanna says

    I plan on making these along with your chocolate cake into cupcakes for my daughters first birthday Saturday. If i made them Thursday would they still be moist and delicious Saturday? I’m pairing them both up with your strawberry frosting.

    • 1177

      says

      Happy birthday to your daughter! Oh my goodness, those first birthdays are absolutely precious and I know you are just so excited! I believe they both should be just fine to bake them on Thursday for serving on Saturday. I would just be sure to store them under a cake dome or in another type of airtight container. Sending tons of happy birthday wishes her way for the weekend! xo

  6. 1180

    Amy says

    I used this recipe for cupcakes and it was a total loss. Every pan sank in the middle – some were even hollow after they sank. They tasted great, but were completely unusable. I followed the directions and the tip
    on mixing. Any suggestions? The flavor was so good, I’d like to try it again.

    • 1181

      Lauren says

      You may have opened the oven too soon or pulled them too early. A cake should always slight spring back when lightly touch it in the center. Try baking longer and don’t open the oven too soon or the cake will fall and not rise properly. Unfortunately not all ovens bake the same. Good luck on your next bake!

  7. 1182

    Lizzie says

    This looks AMAZING. I am going to try it in 3 pans when we go to the cabin with the whole family, but I’d like to make this tomorrow as a sheet cake and decorate it for a small friend gathering. I only have a 13 x 9 metal pan, will it run over? Any idea how long to bake it if I use the 13 x 9 pan? Thanks a bunch in advance.

    • 1183

      Marcy Fraser says

      I would like to use a 13×9 pan and would like to know if that is big enough and how long to cook it?

  8. 1184

    Maram says

    Thanks for posting this amazing recipe. I made a six-layer rainbow cake with it and it was among the best cakes I ate. It was crumbly and fluffy with a very rich flavor. I was also amazed by how even it was after baked! no huge pump in the middle so no cake wasted when it came to decorating the final cake.
    Tip: I think you should avoid using cooking spray as I found it to create a hard crust on the outside of the cake. As I was baking a rainbow cake I experimented with it and compared it to just brushing vegetable oil and dusting with flour and found the second method better.

  9. 1185

    Margaret says

    My daughter has tried to make this twice. Both times the cake did not cook in the middle, ended up crusty and brown on the outside, and sank in the middle. Can’t get them out of the pans either. We have tried using different ovens too but they came out the same way both times. what could be wrong?

    • 1186

      Linda says

      You can purchase wraps for your cake pans that you moisten and wrap the outside of the pan with. They are inexpensive. I bought mine at Michael’s, but I’ve seen them at WalMart too. They really help with this. The soft center and crusty outer edge is due to the cake not cooking evenly. The outside is getting done much faster. The wet wrap slows that outer edge down.

      It could be due to the oven not preheating completely before the cake is placed in, too. Or your oven temperature isn’t accurate.

    • 1187

      Diana says

      My daughter & I had the same issue the first time we made this recipe when we sprayed the pans. However we made a second batch utilizing crisco/flour to prepare the pans and they came out perfect. We did have to cook them longer than directed (assumed it was our oven). Delicious, moist cake. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 1188

    nikki says

    The cake tasted delicious but i followed it 100%and my cake is crumbly it broke in half and crumbled when i went to move it to a plate what did i do wrong?

  11. 1189

    Tisho says

    I’m thinking of using this recipe for a tiered wedding cake. Do you know approximately how many cups of batter one recipe makes? I’ll be making a 12″ x 4″ bottom layer with a 9″ top layer so if I can get the batter amounts I can scale up accordingly. Thanks!

  12. 1190

    Donna says

    I’ve tried this recipe for the very first time today & Oh my, I’ve finally found the perfect recipe for a white cake, it’s moist, has a great texture to it & so yummy, Ive used this recipe for cupcakes with chocolate ganache filling, cream cheese peanut butter frosting & a drizzle of salted caramel. Thank you for sharing this, it’ll be added on my recipe book;)

  13. 1192

    Dani says

    Is this a sturdy enough cake to withstand tiers? I’m making a decent sized cake and would like to know if it would hold up. Thank You!

    • 1193

      Anna says

      As long as you build the cake correctly it shouldn’t matter. If you are making multiple tiers you should always dowel it. If you do it is essentially just cakes delicately sitting on top of each other with just the wooden dowels bearing the weight and not the cake.

  14. 1194

    sg says

    Making this for the first time as I type. Just popped the pans in the oven. If the finished product is as good as the batter, I’m in for a real treat!! :)

    • 1196

      Anna says

      You should be able to answer that for yourself. Whole milk has more fat than skim milk and fat=flavor. I hate using shortening in cakes but it does create a different texture and flavor than butter. But your cake will not be anywhere near as delicious if you make substitutions to make it “healthier.”

  15. 1198

    Terry McVicker says

    I have baked since I was 9 years old, but NEVER had a failure like this one. I was baking for 2 birthdays…today and tomorrow. Now I have to start over. This cake didn’t rise in the middle, just around the edges. What a waste of good ingredients….and Boy am I tired! Ah well, back to the old Betty Crocker cookbook!

  16. 1199

    Venus says

    I’m going to have say that this is the best white cake I’ve ever made. Thank you for the recipe!
    (And the same goes for your chocolate cake recipe! My daughter is CIA trained and still goes on about it 4 weeks later.)

  17. 1201

    CS says

    Hello, can you make this cake the night before a birthday party and will it still be good? Would you recommend to store in the refrigerator Overnight?

  18. 1202

    says

    It’s rare that I comment after I’ve made a recipe that I read on a blog, but I had to come back and tell you that this cake is WONDERFUL. I recently made a wedding cake for 190 people and used this to make 4 of the 7 cakes and it worked WONDERFULLY. I did not scale this recipe up to make a 10″ cake, so my layers were ever so slightly shorter than probably originally intended, and baking three at once took about 32 minutes. What’s funny is that, mathematically (yes, I’m about to get nerdy), this amount of cake batter can also make 3 8″ layers AND 3 6″ layers with the same results. I loved that I didn’t have to do much as far as scaling and I knew my layers would come out evenly. The cake itself was moist and sturdy enough to come out of the pan and be layered. I will say, just with spraying, that I had a little bit of moist cake residue left in the pans (nothing uneven or causing breakage), but just enough for me to run my finger through and eat it 😉 I also used your chocolate cake recipe which turned out lovely as well. The chocolate domed a bit whereas these layers remained quite flat. Not complaining, saves me time cutting down cake! Thanks again, Robyn!

  19. 1203

    pine says

    Hi, has anyone tried to cut this recipe in half? I’ve made a regular batch of this recipe in cupcake form before and it came out wonderful, but it was way too many cupcakes. My main concern is that the recipe calls for 5 eggs; should I use 2 eggs or 3 eggs? Would I have to increase/decrease anything else depending on how many eggs I use?

  20. 1204

    Francine says

    What if you have no buttermilk? Can this be substituted? I got from google that buttermilk can be made/substituted by adding 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk. Will this work for this recipe????

  21. 1206

    Joy says

    I made this cake today and it turned into a cookie like pancake. I retread the directions and will try again with the butter creamed for 4min. In addition, did anyone make the recipe by weighing the flour? I’m thinking that I need to adjust for altitude too. Suggestions?
    By the way, my family is loving”rejection cake” with blueberries and whipped cream. Tastes like an incredible cookie!!
    Help!

  22. 1207

    Mary aNN says

    Your cake looks beautiful. Wouldn’t I get a yellow cake by using whole eggs? Should I just use the whites if I want the white cake?

  23. 1208

    jessica says

    Am I suppose to use the whole egg or just the egg whites? It seems like it wouldn’t be truly (white) if I used the yoke? Thanks for the recipe!

  24. 1211

    Katy says

    I didn’t read the directions close enough. :( + I don’t have a 3rd cake pan so there is way to much batter in the pans I think. did have extra and filled just 2 places in a silicone heart shaped pan and they have spilled over. So they are rising fine. Btw it is the BEST batter I have ever tasted. Fingers crossed it comes out ok.

  25. 1213

    Robin says

    I am looking forward to using this recipe for my daughter’s “rainbow” birthday cake. I just have a few questions. First, is it ok to use salted butter and if so, does that mean I should omit adding salt? Also, I noticed your recipe calls for a;;-purpose flour instead of cake flour. What would be the difference? Lastly, What would you recommend for a white icing, buttercream or cream cheese? Thank you! : )

  26. 1214

    Josie says

    Hi, I leave in England and it is really hard to find vegetal shortening, should I substitute it for lard?

  27. 1215

    Trish says

    I’m pretty sure I just goofed! Didn’t realize I needed 3 pans! They are baking now so time will tell! Batter was only half way up pans .This was a birthday treat to myself!! Lol….

  28. 1216

    Paula says

    This is my go to recipe for vanilla cake. I always have the tendency to cut the sugar in cakes but this one i follow the recipe exactly. The high sugar and fat content create a beautiful candy like crust on the cake. Not only does it taste delicious but it is sturdy enough for tiered and layered cakes. Thanks for the great recipe. I have tried numerous recipes from this site and have had great results with them all. They are accurate as written and the detailed info with the recipes almost guarantee you success!

  29. 1217

    Susan says

    If I don’t double the buttercream frosting recipe will there be enough to cover the cake? I’m short on butter and wondering if I must run to the store again…thanks!

  30. 1218

    Virginija says

    Hmm I liked the cake but it was a bit too heavy for my taste, too sweet. The cake itself is buttery and sweet so the frosting was too much sweetness.

  31. 1219

    Katherine says

    I want to make this for my son’s birthday but need it serve closer to 20 people. Any ideas how to increase the recipe and do I just use larger pans?

    Thanks

  32. 1220

    Josie Hall says

    Thanks for the recipe. I need to make a cake for a decorating class I am taking. So I asked my husband what kind of a cake I should make and he said a White fluffy cake. The only one I have made is angel food cake. I checked the website and found yours. I just took out of the oven. It came out beautiful. Nice and golden, no crust on the sides, did not sink in the middles. It feels fluffy because when I touch in the middle it bounces. I am so happy. Thank you so much. I haven’t tasted it yet, but the batter taste good so I am assuming it will taste good. Now I will try to find a filling that is good for the middle. I am thinking of a glaze with fresh strawberries. Not sure never done it. Thank you again it turned out great. One thing that I did was I put in the oven one at a time. I used a 2×9′ pan. I only did 2 and the rest I saved for tomorrow. don’t know if it will be good but will try it on some cake pops. Thanks again <3 :)

  33. 1221

    Leom says

    This is the best white cake ever! Made it for my wife’s event and everyone loved it. I iced it with a strawberry buttercream frosting. Delicious!

  34. 1222

    Deena says

    Hi Robyn,
    I made the best ever chocolate cake and for this birthday event coming up I want to try your white cake given all the great reviews.
    I was wondering if one can use all butter instead of butter and shortening?
    Someone else asked that question but I didn’t notice a reply.
    Also is the recipe you posted the updated version, showing 2 tsps of baking powder?.
    I want to use cake flour and would I use the same amount?
    I look forward to your reply as I am making it this Sunday March 15th/150 for my sister’s birthday, cheers! Deena

  35. 1223

    Nina McCallie says

    Hi Robyn!
    Does it matter if the 9 inch cake pans are 1 inch or 2 inches on the sides? Mine are only 1 inch and Im not sure if the recipe is a lot of batter that it could swell over the top of the pans when cooked? Thoughts?

    Thank you.

  36. 1224

    Holly says

    This cake looks and sounds amazing! I will be baking it for a friend’s birthday (tomorrow!).
    Did you ever find out the answer to the butter and shortening question? I live in Spain and it is difficult to find vegetable shortening here.

  37. 1226

    Becci says

    I made it today with all butter and all buttermilk and it came out wonderfully. Happy birthday to your friend.

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