The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

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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.

4.3 from 195 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. 781

    Lauren says

    Lauren says
    July 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    (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)

    I re posted it. Hopefully you will reply this time.

    • 783

      Anthony says

      This by far is the best recipe I’ve tried. I made two changes…well not so much a change but added favoring, but anyway, I added almond extract and tablespoon of lemon zest. Its crazy how much body this cake has a remains tender. Thank you so much!!

    • 784

      Meriel says

      I dont think so… I baked a 4 inch chocolate fudge cake , in a 12 inch pan (Nigella’s recipe)..it called for 2/3 cups of flour. I had to triple the recipe and that was the result 12 by 4 inch of heavenly cake….

  2. 785

    Katie says

    Hi, I have a request from a family friend to make a white wedding cake for his birthday and I was considering using this recipe. Traditionally, wedding cake only uses the egg whites, and I know you said you tried it both ways but preferred the whole egg, but I want to make a cake as close to a wedding cake as possible, so how did it turn out when you only used the whites? Would you recommend beating them first and then folding them in? Also I noticed your recipe calls for all purpose flour, but would cake flour drastically change the outcome at all?
    Thanks in advance

    • 786

      Anthony says

      Honestly, if you trim the edges and scrape the bottoms the cake its pretty much white. In addition I used cake flour and it turned out great. I hope this helps.

  3. 787

    Anna Valdimarsd says

    This looks awesome and I will try this. You say 3, 9inch pans. Can you tell me how much batter this recipe makes in cups? TIA :D

  4. 789

    Marjorie says

    I bake cakes for Hospice and always looking for a nice and moist cake. I made a eight inch cake and a dozen cupcakes, as that is what I need this week. Was also great to get it all from one wonderful recipe. This is my new favorite cake.

  5. 790

    Lauren says

    Robyn,
    Please answer me because this is the last time I will ask the same questions I have been asking since April, with no response. I need to make this cake tomorrow for a birthday, so please. ASAP.

    I made this cake a while ago, but used all butter instead of shortening, because it is unavailable to us here. The outcome was very moist, but also quite dense, and also pretty short layers. is there something else I can use that would give me lighter, fluffier layers, like using half a cup of vegetable oil, or something?
    If I used all egg whites, would that give me lighter, fluffier layers? How about 3 egg whites? 2? 1? 4? Would the cake taste bad?
    I read in another blog that if you put cake layers right out of the oven into the freezer for half an hour or more, it will be very moist. it was, but I think it made it more dense. What do you think of this, would you use it? Also, why were my layers short?

    Please answer ASAP

    • 791

      Mandy says

      Lauren, I think I can help answer some of your questions. I think all butter is fine since you didn’t have shortening. It just makes it whiter. If you omit the yolks, your cake may be dry.
      I always freeze my cakes before decorating as it makes the job a bit easier when making wedding cakes or sculpted cakes. I have never found that it affects how dense a cake is. This just looks like a dense cake from the picture.
      If you want a higher cake, you may want to double the batch so it rises over the top of your pan. You can then trim the excess off while it is still in your pan so it is flush with the top. That way you will get a perfectly even top.
      Hope this helps!

    • 792

      says

      Hi Lauren,
      Thanks so much for your question. When I developed this recipe, I was looking for a cake recipe that would be sturdy and hold up to all sorts of decorating. I also wanted a cake recipe that the layers baked flat and did not dome, so that I didn’t have to trim the cake if I didn’t want to do so. The cake is not a fluffy white cake recipe for those reasons. If you use stiff beaten egg whites that you fold into the rest of the batter, that will make for a lighter cake. I hope that helps.

  6. 793

    Katie says

    Did anyone else end up with a hard crust around the edge? I’m considering trimming it but I’m worried it will disform the cake and lead to difficulties while assembling and frosting. For anyone who did end up with a crust, did you trim it off, if not was the crust noticeable or unsatisfactory while consuming the frosted cake?

    • 794

      Lauren says

      Hi Katie, I ended up with a crust, a while ago. I don’t know how it happens, but everyone seems to have it! I think it is because of the high sugar content. Although everyone seemed to love the cake, a lot asked me why it was a bit crispy on the edges. I think everyone left those parts, but it’s ok, since the inside was good. I don’t suggest trimming them, though. it might make the cake hard to work with.

  7. 795

    Nicola says

    Can I make this cake and use a regular buttercream frosting and then cover with fondant? will the fondant hold up? ummm.. I hope you do understand my question.

    • 796

      Erin K says

      I frequently use fondant as an amateur baker. The cake doesn’t have much to do with the cake as much as the frosting, and buttercream would work just fine. The only thing I could suggest is not to put a whole lot of frosting on the outside of the cake and to make it smooth. I like to put mine in the fridge for a little while, then take it back out and smooth out the semi-hardened frosting. Also, don’t let your kitchen get too warm when you are working with the fondant! Good luck!

  8. 797

    Laura Perry says

    It has buttermilk, it has to be good! I’m always searching for a good white cake recipe. Thanks for sharing this. I’m trying it today!! :)

  9. 798

    Noreen says

    Hi There, can you tell me how to make a 9×13 in cake with this recipe? Can I get 2 layers out of 1 recipe? How long should it bake for? Thank you!

  10. 799

    Kristen says

    How early can I make and crumb the cake and it still be moist? I’m also going to make your best ever chocolate cake….is the time frame going to be the same (as far as how early I can make it)

  11. 800

    says

    Hi, I just stumbled across this recipe while searching for a cake for my daughter’s birthday and I had a question. My daughter wants “rainbow cake.” So I am going to add food coloring and layer the colors so it turns out to be rainbow colors when we cut it. Will this mess with the recipe much if I add lots of food coloring to it?

  12. 804

    Claire says

    Made this cake as a sheet cake. Delicious! Cut the sugar just a bit-not too much. Still lovely, sweet and moist.

  13. 806

    kendra says

    I used all buttermilk (homemade- 1 cup low fat milk, 1 tbsp white vinegar) and 1.5 tsp baking powder… SO GOOD! I used 8″ round pans and got 6 extra cupcakes. About 25 minutes was perfect! I can’t stop eating these stupid cupcakes!

  14. 807

    maru murillo says

    Than you, Robyn.. I love this recipe< I make my cakes with less sugar and this recipe its just great!!!

  15. 808

    debra says

    just made cake. did not turn out at all, added 15 more min center not done, formed crust everyone is stating. made exactly as directed. so disappointed, have made three white cake recipes and not getting what I am looking for.

  16. 809

    says

    Robyn, Hi from another Robyn!! I love this cake recipe, but recently I have had EXTREME problems with them NOT rising!! The sides rise, but the middles will not rise and so I have this hole in the middle of my cakes that are only like 1/2″ thick IF that. I am getting so frustrated cause I really do like this cake recipe……I had it turn out right ONCE. i have no idea what I did differently then compared to what i am doing now. My ingredients are room temperature, my baking powder is new and doesn’t expire until may of 2016. any suggestions? Its getting to the point where I hate when people ask for white cake because i have such a hard time with it. please HELP!

  17. 810

    says

    I followed the recipe to a T and the middle of my cake is completely sunken in. It tastes great, but I am not sure how I am going to make a nice layered cake. Any idea why it’s doing this? I can easily remake it by Saturday if I can figure out what’s wrong.

    • 811

      says

      Here are some things that may help. I use White Lily flour, which is a light, soft winter wheat flour. If you don’t have that flour available in your area, you may want to try cake flour in place of the all-purpose flour. Additionally, you may want to lower your oven temperature to 325º F and try baking the cake for a longer period of time. Check the cake at about 5 minutes past the regular baking time and then cook about 5 more minutes or so, or until the center of the cake is springy to the touch and comes out clean when tested with a toothpick. I hope that helps, Heather!!! xo

  18. 814

    says

    Thank you Robyn! I talked to my mom after commenting and she suggested adding a little more flour because of our high elevation (we live at 4,498 ft (1,371 m)) and it worked perfectly. It just needed 1/4 more. Thank you for responding so quickly! I will be sure to post a link once the party is over with all the pictures

    • 815

      Tracy says

      Hi Heather! I’m making it at high altitude too (~5280 ft.). How much more did you add? 1/4 c. or 25%? Just wanted to clarify! Thank you!!!

    • 816

      Suzanne says

      I am also at an altitude of 5280 and having the same issue with the sunken top and crust. I will try adding the extra 1/4 cup of flour. I am guessing the altitude is the issue. As a Georgia born girl I forget about the altitude being a factor when baking here in Colorado. The recipe tastes terrific (my crusty cupcakes are getting eaten) so I hope the additional flour resolves the issue.

  19. 817

    chris says

    I made cupcakes today from this recipe and for some reason they all turned out flat and crunchy on the top. I was very disappointed needless to say but I’m bringing them to a party I made them for anyway. I hope they’re good even though I tried one and thought it was way too sweet. I’m sticking to doctored up cake mixes ;/

  20. 818

    Emily says

    I am about to try this recipe. It sounds great! But, I was just wondering what kind of frosting you have in the pictures. I always use from-scratch buttercream. On this particular cake it has to be snow-white. I’ve been researching ways to avoid the butter-yellow, and am a bit hesitant to use vegetable shortening instead of butter. Yours looks absolutely white! I’d love to see your recipe.

  21. 820

    Margie says

    I baked 3 recipes of this cake mix and I found out I cannot beat this too much as the recipe states, I got the crust on it too but not too bad. I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder not 3.
    After I put it in the oven do not open the door and it cooks in 30 minutes. I wish the recipe
    made the layers higher but even trying the first recipe with 3 and the second with 2 1/2 and finally the best one was 2 and that was the last one.

  22. 821

    Kaye T says

    I tripled the recipe for a three tier cake order this Saturday. I should’ve tested first before making a big batch. My problem is the cake is delicious however it turned out too dense and I had a really thick crust around my cakes. I already made 4 9 inch round cake, 3 8″ and 3 6″. I’m stressing out now bec I’ve used so much ingredients and don’t want it all to go to waste. My question is can I use simple syrup to make it moist before frosting? Will that help make the cake moist and not too dense? I’m just so desperate right now. I won’t have time to make new batch with another recipe. Please please please can anybody please answer my question.

    • 822

      Karen CL says

      I made this cake for my sons birthday a few months ago and am looking it up again to make for my mom’s. I also used it for making cake pops with my fave chocolate frosting and they came out unbelievably delicious. It was a good thing there were no leftovers! I was so glad I found it again.

  23. 824

    T Young says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it to recipe with two exceptions: I used only 2 cups of sugar and added in some of your strawberry syrup recipe in order to make jumbo cupcakes topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting for a birthday. The batter made 18 total with the cups filled near the top, so probably could get 24 if you fill 3/4. As a new cake baker I was nervous that my changes would alter it completely but this is a pretty resilient cake batter recipe that came out moist and tasty!

  24. 825

    Lisa says

    I am going to make this for my daughters birthday and need to know if its too much batter for a 9X13 cake pan? and what would the bake time be? I need to make a #7 cut out so I don’t want to use round pans.

  25. 827

    Zirah says

    I just made this cake paired with the classic vanilla buttercream for a colleague’s birthday. My cakes domed ever so slightly but nothing major. The cake is a bit sweet though and I would cut the sugar next time I use this recipe. A good recipe nonetheless!

  26. 828

    Michelle says

    I have a picnic coming up in a few days for which I have to make 48 cupcakes. I wanted to make cupcakes in a variety of colors, and hadn’t found a single decent white cake recipe until I found this one.

    I made a half batch tonight, just as a test. A lot of white cakes turn out too dense or too chewy (like angel food cake). The texture of this cake turned out PERFECT – Moist, but not dense; Fluffy, but not chewy. Color was nice and white as opposed to many yellow “white” cakes I’ve made in the past.

    I did make one alteration to the recipe, which was to use cake flour instead of all-purpose. Next time I’ll probably cut the sugar a bit, since the cupcakes were very sweet (too sweet for icing, in my opinion). Overall, though, this is a GREAT recipe. Thanks so much for posting!

  27. 829

    Annie says

    Hi, I was just wondering what you would substitute the shortening for? I’m in Australia and they don’t sell shortening over here. Thanks heaps

  28. 830

    says

    I just made this, too, but I tweaked it just a teensy bit.

    I used 2 cups of sugar instead of 3, used 3 tsp of vanilla instead of 2. I didn’t have any shortening, so I used 3 sticks of butter instead of 2. As far as the flour, I used 1.5 cups of King Arthur organic all-purpose and 1.5 cups of (literally) whole wheat (I have a mill) and 4 eggs instead of 5. (The eggs I have are gigantic, so I thought the volume might be about right.)

    Maybe I’m cheap, but I couldn’t bear to put that much sugar in a cake. I also get a sharp pain in the back of my head when things are too sweet, so I guess I was sparing myself that issue, too. (But then again, I cut back sugar on every single recipe I ever do, so nothing new on that front.) I know that sometimes in the south, people like things a little bit sweeter than some places up in the midwest (sweet tea = I would go blind if I drank it), so I was hoping it would turn out okay anyway.

    Thank you for this recipe! Real food is where it’s at!

  29. 831

    Masha says

    Make sure you flour the pans! I did a test run of the cake for my grandmother’s birthday and boy am I glad I did! The recipe is easily halved, but I didn’t flour the pans which resulted in them sticking to the bottoms horribly.

    Second, make sure you don’t overmix it! My cakes came out flat and sticky on top because I overbeat the mixture.

    It was still amazing. Everyone who tried the test said it was wonderful and I know the next time it will be even better

  30. 832

    Baker Girl says

    I’ve made this cake many times now (as cupcakes). It has delicious flavour and is very moist. As a matter of fact, it stays moist for several days. I have also made variations on the recipe and turned it into a rosewater cake by omitting the vanilla and using 2 tablespoons rosewater instead. I also make my favourite vanilla icing recipe omitting vanilla and using rosewater instead (and tint it a very pale pink with gel food colouring). Outstanding versatile recipe!

  31. 833

    Tiffany says

    I love your blog. Every time I Google a cake that I want to make your website pulls up. I am learning so much from you, and I tried this cake recipe with coconut milk for a coconut cake with lemon curd filling and 7 minute frosting…..amazing! Thanks for your amazing recipes!

    • 835

      Samara-Faith Ewins says

      It says at the bottom of the recipe, 3/4 filled cupcake tins makes approx. 24, and filling them 1/2 way makes approx. 36 or so using the same recipe.

  32. 836

    Nay says

    This cake is delicious! Made a cake for my mum’s birthday and a bunch of cupcakes from the leftover batter to take to work. Everybody said it was really good! I covered it with cling wraps to put in the fridge because I had to decorate it at the next day, it was still moist and delicious.

  33. 837

    Thanj says

    Could you please tell me whether i could just use 1 cup of whole milk rather than half whole milk and half butter milk ?

  34. 838

    jenniferbdc says

    I made this cake tonight, and it was delicious. I substituted some of the vanilla extract with almond extract, and everyone loved it. The cake is moist and flavorful. I noticed that I got a bit of a crispy edge, as well, but once the cake was iced, it wasn’t noticeable. I look forward to trying other recipes on this site. Thanks!

  35. 839

    jzorviolinist@gmail.com says

    Use 1 Tsp baking soda and 2 tsp baking powder. I made the 1st cake and followed these directions and my cake was dense and didn’t rise. I added 1 Tsp Baking Soda and it rose and was nice for the other 2 layers. Also they turned out yellow. From what I remember with white cake recipes is if you want it to be white, you use only egg whites…if you use yolks then its a yellow cake. Mine first cake using this recipe without the baking soda and only the baking powder made it turned out white and dense. The baking soda made the others fluffy and rise, but it seemed more yellow.

  36. 840

    Stephanie says

    This cake recipe is AWESOME! I’ve made it 3 times already.

    I found it also makes:
    – Two 1inch high, 9×13″ rectangle cakes
    – 34 cupcakes (puffed up really nicely)

    I will be testing it out with fondant next week for a birthday cake

  37. 841

    monica says

    Making this cake again for the third time. My favorite go-to white cake recipe. DELICIOUS! Super moist and always a favorite with guests. By the way – I cut the sugar down to 2/3 of what the recipe calls for, but that’s just because I like my cake a bit less sweet.

  38. 842

    Nancy says

    Thanks to your wonderful post, I have now found the recipe I am using for my friend’s wedding cake.

    Five stars for this recipe all the way. Whole eggs made this cake substantially better than just using egg whites; it gave it so much more UMPH and structure. It was a sturdy texture, so I think I will be swapping a few of the AP flour with cornstarch (that is how you substitute cake flour with only AP flour, by adding cornstarch).

    Thanks again. I am so releived I now have a recipe I am excited to work with! I will be making three tiers of this magnificent piece of cake with a cooked roux frosting.

    Yum!!

  39. 844

    Pamela says

    I made this cake for a friends daughter, and let me tell you it came out great! Nice tall layers, very moist, and tasty. I made another batch for a cupcake cake, and I got 39 full size cupcakes out one one recipe. And the cups were 3/4 full. They baked up nice and tall. I also used your icing recipe, and it was not too sweet. Needless to say everyone loved them. Thanks for a great recipe! I will use it again.

  40. 845

    Diana says

    I tried this cake today to test for use of a future birthday cake. I thought 3 cups of sugar was alot but tried it anyway. I frosted with chocolate buttercream and just thought it was way too sweet and I love CAKE! I need 4 layers. Any suggestions on increasing the the recipe?

  41. 846

    Betty Hodgson says

    I made the Best ever White Cake this morning. Here are my questions; sifted flower as directed, do I measure only the sifted flower to make the 3 cups? Is the batter suppose to be rather dense? I’ve only used box mixes and would love to find the perfect “from scratch” cake. Thanks!

  42. 847

    Scott H. says

    If I am making this as a sheet cake and using a half sheet pan, will this recipe be enough? Also what would the baking temp/time be?

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