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.

4.3 from 212 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.

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Comments

  1. 852

    Shannon A. says

    Made this yesterday using a square pan and oval pan to create a Spider-Man cake. I ended up having to cook the square pan one for 10 extra minutes and the oval for 20 extra minutes because the centers weren’t done. They taste wonderful and held up great to frosting, my question is, it came out a bit dry. I’m thinking it was because I had to add to the cook time. These were just the practice cakes. I’m making 3 of these cakes this weekend for my two boy’s birthday party. Any advice as to what I should do to keep it more moist?

    • 853

      Lauren says

      Does this cake need to be stored in the fridge? Also, If I want to us 8″ x 1.25″ round pans would I need to use 4? Thanks

    • 854

      rika says

      I made this for my son’s bday too and had to bake it longer. I used a lot bigger pan and the bottom burned because the middle wasn’t done. I also used a round pan and it was dry as well. I happen to make cupcakes with the extra batter and didn’t over bake them because I took it out even though my toothpick wasn’t clean.
      They were the lightest cupcakes ever and not overly sweet.
      I would love to know the trick of not over baking as well!

    • 855

      Karen says

      For future reference…I know your weekend is already gone…When I cute the excess cake off, and I always try to make sure its at the top of the pan, I use a simple syrup of water, sugar, and vanilla and brush it on the open cake before they are stacked…It will keep them moist and I get rave reviews on how moist and tasty they are…good luck in the future :-D

  2. 857

    Decio Andrade says

    I baked cupcakes with recipe. the first ones came out burnt, (crusty) the second ones I shut the oven off, before they were totally done and gave it a few more, just with the remaining heat, Took them off lighter, they came out very nice. Next time, I will put less sugar, too much of it causes the crust and burning. Good recipe, I believe has to be yet worked on due to oven differences, as well as location, sea level etc. Also I did not turn on convection, It would probably accelerate baking or cause it not to cook evenly. I will try it again.

  3. 859

    Ashley says

    I love this recipe! I use it to make cake-pops because the density is just right and the taste is soooo buttery. It’s easy to make and it tastes so good when I dip them in a chocolate.

  4. 860

    meghan says

    Great! This is the first time have baked a cake from scratch and it was delicious! very dense! i used almond extract instead of vanilla and used a few real vanilla bean pods with seeds scraped and mixed into batter. the little black specs added detail and flavor and the almond was extra delicious.
    thanks!

  5. 861

    kathy says

    Hi Robyn
    thanks for the great recipes. have tried the white cake, turned out great thanks. just wondered if i can use oil instead of the shortening? and if i use a 11inch pan how long do i bake it for.
    kind regards
    kathy

  6. 862

    Chelsea says

    I wanted to ask if it would make a difference or not if I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour and if the cake batter would work well with a cake mold? My fiancé’s birthday is coming up and this recipe looks perfect!

    • 863

      says

      Hi Chelsea,
      Great question. I used White Lily all-purpose flour which is much lighter than a lot of all-purpose flours and makes it great for baking. I would recommend using cake flour as the all-purpose flour I use is very close a cake flour, I believe.

  7. 864

    Jenn says

    This is the first time that I have ever entered a ‘rating’ or comment on an online recipe. I couldn’t help myself. I was searching a suitable white cake or my daughter’s upcoming 7th birthday, and this site is this first that came up. I had some reservations when I saw that there were 3 cups sugar and 3 cups flour. I have never seen a recipe that called for such proportions…disastrous are the only way to describe my results. A crunchy, overly-browned layer on the top of the cake, and unslicable, crumbly beneath. Has this seriously been used with success?

    • 865

      says

      I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you, Jenn. I know that had to be so frustrating. While I’ve, and others, have had great results using this recipe it doesn’t make it any better since it didn’t work for you, I’m sure. I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!

    • 866

      Jennifer says

      I have to agree. I’m currently panicking beyond words. have one 10 inch in the oven and 30 minutes later, the middle is burnt and it’s in water bed mode…Tripled the recipe for my friends baby shower cake…I’ve completely exhausted my supplies and fear this is officially a bust. The batter is incredible, fingers crossed for some magical save:(

  8. 867

    magilla71 says

    Hi there, I want to make purple cupcakes for the LSU game this weekend. I don’t like most white cakes with just egg whites and I love using buttermilk in my baking, so I thought this recipe looked promising. Do you think its light enough in color to come out looking purple? It doesn’t have to be vibrant, just recognizable as purple. I’ll be using Wilton violet coloring, if that matters. Thanks!

    • 868

      says

      I would recommend using the Blue Velvet Cake recipe and substituting the colors that you are planning on using. I believe for cupcakes, it works the best.

  9. 869

    magilla71 says

    Thanks for the reply. I did a trial run of purple velvet cupcakes yesterday and it did not end well.I couldn’t really tell they were purple. I’m a little nervous about trying again and I can’t afford to keep experimenting. That’s why I started looking for a good white cake recipe. Does this recipe not translate well to cupcakes? Thanks again.

    • 870

      Cat says

      Think about the amount of liquid going into the recipe at the start of the recipe. Then think about how much extra coloring that would add more liquid to the recipe making it runnier. Omit the amount of liquid from the recipe and replace it with the additional food coloring, or try gel coloring, the color is supposed to be vibrant.

  10. 871

    Tiffany Jones says

    We made this as cupcakes for my daughter’s 1st birthday. This wasn’t the FIRST recipe that we cooked, the first was awful – bricks! Then we made another recipe – I swear it was like CORNBREAD?! Then I found this recipe. I think I are WAY too many ;) They were a hit!

  11. 872

    Kathy Tobacco says

    I would love to know the weight of your ingredients- especially your flour. I know I could just look up the conversions but not everyone agrees on how much a cup of flour weighs and one person’s cup is sometimes different from another person’s cup. Plus weigh varies from different flours. Do you weigh or measure? I really want to make this cake but hearing the problems others have had I really want to get the ratios right. Do you use a scale? I will buy the Lily White flour too I know the protein content is different from other APF. Oh what frosting do you recommend?

  12. 876

    gypsy says

    Just want to make sure. It says 5 eggs. Normally white cake uses egg whites only. Do you mean egg whites or the whole egg?

    • 877

      says

      Hi Gypsy,
      Yes, that’s correct. My recipe uses the whole egg for flavor, which I discuss a bit in the post. I hope that helps!

  13. 878

    Susan says

    Hi,

    i really want to make this cake because your best ever chocolate cake was awesome and people couldn’t stop eating it at my mums 50th, would there be an alternative to putting shortening in it? is copha the same thing? I am going to make this for christmas with red and green food colouring, white buttercream and cream cheese strawberry santas.

    Thanks if you can help!

  14. 879

    Rebecca says

    So I made this last night. The top edge was a bit crispy. It did take a while to bake but I bake all my cakes at 325. The inside was nice and fluffy though. Did you or others have a bit of a crispy edge around the top? I will try today to see how well it will torte.

    • 880

      Dani says

      Hello Rebecca,
      I made this cake as a birthday cake. It did turn out a bit crisped on the top but the inside was yummy. Hindsight being 20/20 as often is….I believe that I may have contributed to the crisp effect. I wondered if not allowing the eggs and milks to reach room temperature may be a cause. I believe that may cause a bit of a crisp which br the way tasted like a delicious sugar cookie crisp. (Likely my bad:) I iced the birthday cake and it was just fine. As a matter of fact I have another in the oven right now. I again didn’t allow the eggs and milk to reach room temperature. Well the other turned out fine so I’m looking forward to trying it again this time.

  15. 881

    jessica says

    This is a regular mediocre white cake recipe….. far from being the best cake ever, sorry. But I like the other recipes of your blog, except for the one of chocolate cake which also doesn’t taste like chocolate at all.

  16. 883

    Vanessa says

    I want to use this recipe for a wedding cake I’ll be making for thanksgiving. The pan sizes I will be using is an (8in x 3in) & (6in x 3in). Do you think this recipe will cover these pans or should I at least times it by half?

    • 884

      Rebecca says

      Hello Vanessa, When I was baking the recipe I used 8 inch pans. I am not sure how many layers of cake each tier on your wedding cake needs to be but if 3, then 3 8 inch pans should be quite fine. I have been baking this recipe in 2 8 inch pans hoping to torte each cake into 4 to make a 4 layer cake. I have had varied success. My main concern was ensuring that the middle was baked before the edges got too crispy. But if you use baking strips around your pan that should help. Another thing I found was that if I wrapped the cake in plastic wrap and let it sit for a day the edges were less crispy. Good luck.

  17. 885

    Rebecca says

    Hello, this is my third time baking this recipe. This first time worked out well. The second and third time I have had to bake for almost 2 hours to bake through. Any tips? I may try it one more time and then call it quits. Thanks.

    • 886

      says

      Oh no, Rebecca! Let’s try and figure out what the issue could be from the first time you baked it and it worked well and then next two times? Did anything significant change that you can think of between them?

    • 887

      Rebecca says

      OK. So my 4th attempt it sort of worked again (I ended up not blending completely) but I think I nailed it again on the 5th attempt. I also think I figured out the difference between the failed attempts, I didn’t buy buttermilk so I made my own. The first time I had run out of lemon juice so I used vinegar. The 2nd and 3rd attempts I used lemon juice as I was back in stock. The 4th and 5th I used vinegar again. So if anyone is cheap like me and doesn’t buy buttermilk but buys there own, I found that vinegar works best for this recipe.

  18. 888

    Martha says

    I made a birthday cake using this recipe for the sponge. I made a LEGO block cake. The sponge itself turned out very good, i taste is good and the structure of the sponge is very good. I decorated it with butter icing and fondant and left it in the refrigerator covered completely in cling film and the cake was very moist even after two days in the fridge. I’m very happy with this sponge recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  19. 890

    Lucy says

    Hi Robyn, sorry to keep asking you questions!!! (thanks for replying to my question about the icing:)

    If i use copha ( the only vegetable shortening i know of in australia), i’ll have to use it as a liquid. Is there any way to keep the butter and shortening ‘light and fluffy’, as the recipe says, if its melted? thanks a bunch.

  20. 892

    Chu says

    Hi Robyn, If i have to use 2 6″ cake pans, how do i divide the recipe? can i divide the recipe by half? How many eggs will i have to use in that case to get the same result.

  21. 893

    Vanessa says

    So I made the cake following the recipe and the out side was completely dark and I found it to crunchy. So my next batch I only used 1 1/2 cups of sugar and it was perfect! I also replaced one of the teaspoons with almond extract . The flavor was fantastic and not overly sweet. Super moist and not crunchy! It’s going to work great for the wedding cake I’m doing. This recipe is a good guideline for steps but for me definitely reduce the sugar.

  22. 894

    Lucy says

    Hi Robyn,
    I assembled the cake on Sunday (in 44 degree heat mind you:) which is probably around 110 Fahrenheit for you! i was so much better than i could have imagined! a little on the sweet side, but hey its a cake!!! thanks so much; you are a culinary genius!!

    • 895

      says

      I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Lucy! Whew, I’m fanning myself with a magazine just at the thought of that heat! Bless ya! Stay cool!

  23. 898

    Lydia says

    I just used this recipe and got perfect cakes, three 9-in pans. White Lily all-purpose, compared to most other brands, is finer and has lower protein because it is made from soft wheat. That gives it less structure (and more absorption-I believe) and a finer crumb – preferable for cakes. However, it has more structure-ability than cake flour. Using Pilsbury all-purpose, I substituted 1.5 cups with 2 cups of Swans Down cake flour and got success (loosely accounting for the lighter weight of cake flour relative to the same quantity-in-cups of all-purpose). This recipe has a lot of sugar, and I think a key step is aerating the hell out of the butter before adding the sugar…and lots of beating between each egg.

  24. 899

    Jhoy says

    Hi Robyn,

    I really love your Chocolate cake and cupcake recipes. I wanted to try this on a small batch of cupcake (1dozen). Is it right to just use half of the ingredients to make 12 pcs? Thank you so much.

  25. 900

    Britney says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. This was easy and simple to follow. I used this as my dessert dish for Thanksgiving and it (seriously) was gone in less than 1 minute! Everyone loved it, & I also used your buttercream frosting. I will definitely be making this again!

  26. 901

    Dee says

    Hello Robyn am yet to try this recipe, but i have a few questions before i start. Can you give the recipe in grams, just want to make sure its exact. I live in africa and its quite warm here will using the milk make the cake go off quickly. Storage time. Please i hope you have time to answer my questions. Thanks

  27. 902

    Christiana Ohiabimen Omokhodion says

    Pls i need a recipe for vanilla cake that does not need buttermilk or veg shortening. Pls ROBYN HELPPPPPP!!!!!!
    Thx!!

  28. 903

    Shawny says

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have 4 children and have been using it to make their b-day cakes. It has saved me money and is tastes better than store bought cakes,everyone loves it!

  29. 904

    Lee says

    Cooling on the racks right now… they fell in the middle :( ! I’m living ( temporarily ) at an elevation of @4,000 ft . My yellow cakes just don’t seem to make out so well. Was there something I could have done to “tweak” the recipe for the high altitude ? I’ve research a lot for this, but not much luck. Also, lining my pans with parchment paper have anything to do with the cakes falling ? They had fallen before even removing from the oven. Should still taste good ! Thanks !

  30. 905

    Renu mathew says

    Hi Robyn, may I know which frosting you used for the Best white cake ? It looks so yummy. Will b trying the cake recipe soon

  31. 907

    Ali says

    Well let me first say that I wish I had known cake flour was needed. I assumed the recipe would specify. I made this cake as a round and square cake to make a fondant covered two for my son’s 2nd birthday. It was a little overcooked and dry. I’ve never made a birthday cake so this was quite ambitious. The cake held up great to frosting (your buttercream is so good!) and after covered with the fondant it moistened right up. I just made it again for my husband’s birthday. I dramatically reduced my baking time and they came out much better. You just have to watch it closely because it bakes quick. If I use cake flour next time it should be perfect. It’s very tasty. Not too sweet.

  32. 908

    Betsy says

    I LOVE your white cake stands!! Where do you get them? I’ve shopped around a bit but haven’t found any as great as yours.

  33. 909

    Ntombezinhle says

    Thank you for such a lovely recipe. its great and soft and moist. I did not find vegetable shortening at the shops so after a lot of googling I substituted the shortening with margarine but still kept the butter as is.Although the cake was great it came out a bit ‘fragile’. Could it be because of the substitution or something else. It breaks apart when cutting even when I was applying the cream I had to e very careful. Please advise

    Thanks

    • 910

      says

      Hi! I’m so glad that you loved it! I’ve not used margarine, but you can also substitute with coconut oil if you can find it more easily. It will lend a hint of a coconut flavor, which we like!

    • 913

      says

      Hi Gwen,
      Great question! I generally use a measuring cup and add a scoop full to one pan, then the next and then the next. I repeat until all the batter has been evenly distributed across all of the pans. I hope that helps!

  34. 914

    says

    I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday party yesterday. The best cake ever! Everybody loved it! Some people actually asked if I put coconut in the cake (I didn’t). They couldn’t believe that I didn’t put any special flavor in the cake! Just vanilla extract, I told them.

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