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 | ©

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 | ©


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 581 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.
Serves: 12
  • 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
  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.
Some people have had problems with the cake not rising. Try creaming the butter shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don't over beat when adding eggs and other ingredients, just mix gently until incorporated well into batter.
-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.”


2,589 comments on “The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}”

  1. Hello! This looks like a fantastic recipe for my boyfriend’s birthday. **Silly question, but I may already know the answer. Is the butter to be salted or unsalted? I usually see unsalted butter in baking recipes, but I’m just making sure. Thank you!

    • Hi Gina,
      You can use which ever type that you prefer. I generally keep salted butter on hand and use it in all of my recipes, just because it keeps longer than unsalted.

  2. This cake says serves 12. I need a cake that serves 25! Would this work if I double the quantity and make the cake in one go? Can I then just divide the batter in two large rectangle pans?

  3. What’s the best beg shortening brand I can use in Australia? 

  4. Do you think it is possible to add mini chocolate chips to this delicious cake?

  5. How would this hold up with chocolate mousse between the layers and fondant instead of buttercream ?

  6. I made this into two 9″ layers and a dozen cupcakes. At first taste this cake does not live up to its name. The first taste reminded me more of a corn bread. Then something almost magical occurred. The texture and taste transform just a bit do knock your socks off. Others have said its very sweet. I don’t find it too sweet at all. The carmelized edges, the slightly crusty edges, are amazing. Whatever resemblance to corn bread has completely disappeared. After finishing the cupcake a wonderful lingering hinting taste of sweet and vanilla linger in my mouth. LOVE IT!!!!

    I still don’t think I’d call it the best white cake ever, but it’s pretty darn good. It is moist. It is fluffy. The flavor is quite delicious.

    I can see the 9″ layers sinking in the middle as they are cooling, so I’ll have to play with my preparation next time. Not sure what I did wrong. But I will make this cake again. Probably a lot. It’s very yummy! I can’t wait to try it with frosting.

    Rating: 4

    • I personally do think it is a tad sweet and so each time I make it, I back off the sugar a bit. I have it down to 1 3/4 cups and it comes out just fine. 

  7. Can I add sprinkles to this to make it a confetti cake without it messing up the texture or batter?

    Btw, this is my FAVORITE recipe for cakes that I need to decorate! It’s firm enough not to fall apart! 💚💚💚

    Rating: 5

    • Hi Sara,
      I’ve not tried it with sprinkles in the batter, so I can’t say what the result will be.
      I’m so happy you enjoy the cake – it’s one of our favorites too! Thanks so much! xo

  8. This really is the best cake ever. I bake a lot and this is now the only white cake receipt I use. I always get comments from everyone on how good the cake is. I used it for wedding cakes, confirmation and birthdays.

    Rating: 5

  9. Thank you very much for another great cake recipe. Even at high altitude they always work for me. I am making my daughter’s wedding cake and wonder if you have a recipe that you would recommend. Many thanks!

    Rating: 5
  10. I’d love to know what frosting recipe people think most complements this cake recipe.

  11. Great recipe, made in 2 8inch rounds that are 3inch deep, needed to add an extra 15 minutes to the bake time. Super moist!

    Rating: 5
  12. HEAVENLY…This is by far (and I mean by far) the BEST WHITE CAKE I EVER MADE…the cakes came out perfectly flat…great for frosting…they were baked perfectly…springy, moist and delicate…I wasn’t sure due to how thick the batter was, but boy was I wrong…and they were beautifully white…AND TASTED JUST LIKE I WAS IN HEAVEN!

    Rating: 5
  13. So I want to make this layer cake for my son’s first birthday on Wednesday. I”m trying to make a ‘teddy bear’ our of it 🙂 2 questions: does this cake my two 9 inch rounds? and i would like to have a teddy bear brownish icing….can you add a little food coloring to your classic vanilla buttercream icing?
    thanks so much for your help! I’m a little new to the cake baking world 😉

    • What a special time for you, Barb! I know you and your little boy will have such a great time for his birthday!
      I use three 9 inch rounds for the cake recipe (I think that is your question). I’ve not colored this frosting brown before, but it could be done, I’m not sure how much food coloring you’d need so I can’t say exactly. You could also make one of my chocolate frostings if you wanted to – such as my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting , my Chocolate Heritage Frosting or even my Nutella Buttercream Frosting.
      I have shared tips from a pastry chef who bakes this cake in his bakery – they are just below the recipe. I have some tips in the text of the blog post as well. For special events – (and it doesn’t get more special than a little one’s first birthday!) I always suggest giving the cake a test run before THE final cake.
      This is going to be sooo much fun! I hope this helps and that your sweetie has a wonderful birthday and you all love the cake! xo

  14. I made this recipe for my great niece’s first birthday tomorrow.   I followed the directions and made the cake according to the recipe taking into consideration some have had trouble with the layers sinking in the middle, and being able to tell when it is done.  I added 7 mins. to my baking time, or 35 mins. total.  The layers looked great when I took them out, but after the 10 minutes of cooling in the pans, the layers were sunken in the middle and they had gooey centers. I cut a little bit out to check and see what the problem was, then popped it back in the oven for another 10 mins. hopeful that I might be able to save them.  The layers were still gooey in the center… the taste is great, but I can’t see serving an under cooked cake.  Frosting it would be a hard too, as the bottoms and sides of the layers are crumbling and falling apart.  I’m sadly out of time now, and have purchased a box cake to avoid another flop. This is the first scratch cake flop for me in 50 years!  Thanks for any tips you can lend me. Thanks, Auntie M 

    • Hi Melanie,
      I’m sorry you had some problems with the cake. I’m sure it was important to you for that sweet niece’s birthday.
      I can’t be certain what happened since I wasn’t there, I can add a few things that may help. In the text of my post, just after the recipe, I’ve shared a comment with many great tips from a pastry chef who bakes my cake often. These may be helpful. It sounds like you’ve been baking for some time, but a few tips with this cake are be sure to not overmix after adding eggs and flour or have the mixer on too of a high setting – nothing above medium speed once you add eggs. Opening the oven door while the cake is baking can cause the cake to sink – and it didn’t sound like the cake was completely done; and over beating after eggs are added sometimes causes the cake to crumble.
      I do hope some of this may help you to figure out what could have possibly happened. If you give the cake another try some time, I do hope you enjoy it!
      Thanks so much, Melanie. xo

  15. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake. I made it for somebody else and I’m so glad I did as I’m a chocoholic and didn’t like white cake at all I never would have tried it. WOOZA it’s now my favorite cake. Anyways everytime I make it however it… well bonds to the tin/cupcake holder. The first time I made it I though it was the cupcake holder paper and so I made it in a regular cake pan next time and again it was married to that cake pan. I have never come across this problem before and I was hoping you could tell me what I’m doing wrong cause I’d love to serve this as a cake instead of a pile of amazingly delish crumbs… well I guess I’d have to share then… It would be nice if I could serve this as a cake : )

    Rating: 5

    • Hi Esther!
      I’m so happy you enjoy the cake! Did you use baking spray to prepare your baking pans / cupcake liners? If the cake stuck after using baking spray, then you may want to try greasing and flouring the cake pans to prepare them. I hope this helps! Thanks so much! xo

      • Yes, I used baking spray the first time and the grease and flour method the second as well as a silicon cake pan. I was hoping someone had also had this problem and whatever I’m doing wrong had been figured out…I’ve never seen anything like it the cake doesn’t stick to the pan it bonds to the pan every bit of cake that is touching something when it comes out of the oven has to be soaked off. Idk what the deal is.

      • Hi Esther,
        I’m not exactly sure why the cake is sticking since you’ve greased the pans. The cakes can stick if left in the pans too long to cool, but I’m not sure if that’s the issue here. Just remove from oven once baked and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
        I hope this helps, Esther. Thanks! xo

  16. I have been looking for that “go to” white cake recipe for awhile, And I am so happy to say that I will never use another recipe but this one. Everyone that tasted this wonderful cake, absolutely loved it!!!
    My oven does not run hot, more on the warm side. I had to leave them in a little longer. The recipe was bang on.
    Very happy baker:)

    Rating: 5

  17. This looks great! I am about to try it, but i dont use shortening, is there an alternative? Coconut oil, vegetable oil, or yogurt i can use?

  18. Hi, this recipe sounds great and I am keen to try! I’m based in Australia and was hoping you could please clarify if the preheat oven temperature of 350F is for a fanforced setting or conventional bake setting ? Also for cooking in three 8inch round pans do you think the length of time for cooking should be adjusted ? Thanks so much

    • Hi Renee,
      As this recipe is sized for two 9 inch pans, the layers in three 8 inch pans will be thin I would suspect – but I have not baked it that way so I can’t say exactly how thin or how long it will take to bake exactly.
      There are tips just above the recipe from a pastry chef that uses my recipe that are helpful, as well as my writing in the blog post.

      • Thanks Robyn! I think I got confused as I read in the instructions to “prepare three 9-inch round cake pans” and the photo looked like three tiers to me – have I missed some details ? Thanks again for your time, much appreciated.

  19. Unfortunately this cake did not work for me! I used it to make cupcakes and they tasted good, but the texture was denser than expected and the cupcakes were greasy on the bottom.

    Rating: 2

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work for you Kim. This is a sturdy cake recipe as mentioned in the blog post. Thanks!

      • What type of flour do you use? When I saw that you live in the Southern U.S., I wondered if the recipe failed because it is

        written for a softer flour with a lower protein content. I am in Canada and our flour is generally higher in protein. The type I used is an unbleached flour made from hard spring wheat.

  20. I was planning on making a test cake of this before my son’s birthday but I noticed some conflicting information between the recipe and comments section. Is this for a two or three 9″ layer cake?
    The recipe call for prepping three 9″ pans but later in the comments section you state it’s for a two layer 9″ cake. Did I miss something?
    Could you please clarify?

    Thank you,

    • The recipe is for a three layer cake, Michelle. The recipe is correct. Thanks for catching the mistake in the comments section. I hope you and your son enjoy the cake! It’s a birthday favorite around here! Thanks so much! xo

      • Wow, this cake is wonderful!

        My soon to be three year old couldn’t keep his hands out of the mixer bowl and he cried when I put the pans in the oven; we then had to hide the cake in the cabinet. We kept one layer and sent the other two to my husband’s office and they were gone by 7:00am.

        One layer fell apart when I flipped the pan but I noticed that the crust hadn’t darkened nearly as much as the other two; this is why I made a test run. Also, I use the USA Pans with corrugated bottoms and coconut oil to grease them. Absolutely nothing stuck!

        On a final note, my husband hates cake. However, he tried this after he smelled it and said it was dangerous to keep in the house. He loved it.

        Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe,

      • LOVE this story! I’m so glad that you shared it with me and that you all loved the cake! xo

  21. This is my go to cake recipe! It is perfect for decorating. It’s more like a giant fluffy cookie. I have had rave reviews!

    Rating: 5
  22. Do you think I could add in 1/2 cup of greek yogurt and/or a packet of pudding mix? I really like my cakes to be moist and a little more dense (like the bundt cake place) but the recipe I have been using is box mix, along with the addition of the yogurt and pudding mix. BUT I have been trying to find a fully homemade recipe. thanks super excited to try this!

  23. Hi Robyn!
    Can this be made with all butter and all buttermilk and produce pretty much the same results?
    Sorry if this has already been asked but 3,000 comments is a lot to read through. 

  24. I’m making a lamb cake for easter and am trying to find a cake that is dense enough to stay together in the lamb mold. My mom and grandma use pound cake, but I’m not a huge fan of pound cake. (1) Do you think this cake would hold up okay in a mold? (2) Do you have any tips as to using the mold…this will be my first time using it! (: Thanks.

    • This cake is a sturdy cake, but I can’t say how it works in a mold as I’ve never tried making it that way, Murphy. If you do decide to try the recipe in the mold, I suggest giving it a test run. I hope this helps! Thanks! xo

  25. hello there.

    I made this cake last week as test for my daughters birthday coming up soon. It was a little dry any suggestions?

    Rating: 4

    • Hi Roya,
      There are few things that could be the reason for any cake to turn out a little dry. (I’ve never had this cake turn out dry though).
      The dry ingredients that absorb moisture can sometimes be the issue – If the flour got packed into the measuring cup, a tad too much could be in the measure. Maybe try spooning the flour into the measuring cup and level off evenly.
      Another possible reason is over baking. The cake should slightly pull away from the sides of the pan when done, should spring back to a gentle touch, or a cake tested inserted in deepest part should come out clean.
      You may have seen them already, but next to the recipe, there are tips from a professional pastry chef who bakes this cake recipe – those may be helpful.
      I hope some of this helps, Roya. And that your daughter has a wonderful birthday! xo

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