The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

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This White Cake recipe is the perfect cake for so many celebrations! This Best White Cake is simple to make and is a moist, tender cake everyone loves.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

I got so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” after I shared my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}.

I began creating this white cake recipe by taking some ideas from the best of some of my favorite family cake recipes. The final cake recipe is decidedly white and perfect for a birthday cake, anniversaries, and even weddings. 

It quickly became a family favorite cake recipe. My son declared it as “perfect,”  and my brother-in-law says this has to be his birthday cake every year!

It’s definitely the Best White Cake I’ve ever tasted!

I think you’ll agree when you try it, too!

Why This Is The Best White Cake Recipe Ever!

This easy homemade white cake recipe is the perfect combination of fluffy, soft, moist, and flavorful!

  • Amazing flavor. Full of buttery, vanilla flavor.
  • Sturdy yet tender cake. It is so moist, with a tender stick to your fork crumb. It holds together beautifully, making slicing and serving a breeze.
  • Versatile recipe. This cake recipe works well as a layer cake, cupcakes, sheet cake, or even as a bundt cake.
  • Favorite cake. Always a favorite recipe! This recipe makes the best cake for special occasions and is easy enough for a weeknight dessert. It is loved for so many special celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries, and it even makes a delicious wedding cake.

Best White Cake Recipe

Ingredients and Substitutions

To bake this cake, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • butter – it is important to make sure that your butter is softened before you begin making this cake. You can use unsalted or salted butter in this recipe based on your preference.
  • vegetable shortening – adds to the moisture and texture of this incredible cake.
  • sugar – You’ll use granulated sugar
  • eggs – While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided after numerous rounds of testing that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg, including the egg yolks, lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white. Make sure to use large, room-temperature eggs before you begin.
  • all-purpose flour – I use soft-winter-wheat-based all-purpose flour. In this instance, you can substitute with cake flour (or make your own cake flour with my easy tips!)
  • baking powder
  • salt – I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you substitute with Morton’s Kosher salt, fine sea salt, or table salt, you will only need half the amount of the salt called for in the recipe. 
  • whole milk – make sure the milk is at room temperature
  • buttermilk – room temperature
  • vanilla extract – I prefer the flavor of vanilla in my cake and use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. If you like the flavor of almonds in your white cake, you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. This will reduce the vanilla flavor in the cake, but it is a good balance between the two. Additionally, if you want as white of a cake as possible, use a clear vanilla extract.
White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Step-By-Step Instructions

Preheat the oven. Begin by preheating the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

Prepare cake pans. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coat well with shortening or butter and flour the pans, taking care to remove all excess flour.

Cream together the butter mixture. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), cream together the 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. Mix together until light, fluffy, and white, about 4 minutes.

Next, add eggs (one at a time), making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.

Whisk together the flour mixture. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together your add your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt).

Combine the milk mixture. Stir together the milk, buttermilk, and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup or mixing bowl.

Make the cake batter. Add a small amount of the dry ingredients (flour mixture) to the butter and shortening mixture, gently stirring after each addition. Then add a small amount of the milk mixture to the butter mixture and gently stir until just combined. Repeat alternating between adding small amounts of the dry mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, just gently stirring until combined after the addition of each. Begin and end with the addition of the dry ingredients.

Final Stir and Scrape the Bowl. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Then, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure that all ingredients are mixed well.

Distribute Cake Batter into Pans. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the three 9-inch cake pans and place the pans into the oven.

Bake the Cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Please don’t open and close the oven door a lot while the cake is baking, as the oven temperature drops each time the door is opened. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.

Remove from Oven and Cool. Remove the cakes from the oven when done and allow them to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes. Then gently place the cake layers on a wire rack to finish cooling completely. This is important because cakes left in the cake pans for too long to cool may sweat, making it possible for them to stick to the pans.

Frost the Cake. Frost your cake with your preferred frosting.

White Cake Frosting Options

I used my fluffy white Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, which I doubled when I frosted the cake. It’s perfect on this cake, but you can use any favorite frosting.

Other Delicious Frostings

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting,

Cream Cheese Frosting,

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Best White Cake Success Tips!

1. Follow the recipe. Follow my recipe instructions exactly for mixing the cake to ensure success and make it as white as possible.

2. Use room temperature ingredients. Butter, eggs, milk, and buttermilk all should be at room temperature to ensure the best mixing into the cake batter. This makes for the best texture and soft crumb of the finished cake. 

3. Prepare the cake pans. Prepare your cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coat well with shortening or butter and flour, taking care to remove all excess flour. 

4. Mix the cake batter well but not too much. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t overbeat when adding eggs and other ingredients. Just mix gently until incorporated well into the batter.

5. Cool the cake layers. Make sure you let the cake layers cool slightly for 5 minutes before removing the cake layers to a wire rack to cool completely. Set a timer!

Close photo of layers of white cake with white frosting.

How to Store and Freeze this Cake

To store. Store leftover cake at room temperature under a cake dome or covered with wrap for up to 3 days. Storing in the refrigerator tends to result in a dry cake.

To freeze. Let the cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

To serve from frozen. Allow the cake layers to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost as desired.

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.

The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}

4.90 from 648 votes
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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (226 g) butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup (92 g) shortening
  • 3 cups (594 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large (250 g) eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.7 g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (113.5 g) whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113.5 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (9.4 g) vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Prep. 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.
  • Cream together butter mixture. Cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Mix together for 4 minutes until light, fluffy and white. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  • Whisk together the flour mixture. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the milk mixture. Stir together the milk, buttermilk, and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup or bowl.
  • Make the cake batter. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to mix just until combined to prevent overmixing. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, making sure to have all ingredietns mixed well into the cake batter.
  • Bake and cool the cake. 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.
  • Frost and serve. Frost the cake as desired.

Notes

Best White Cake Recipe Success Tips!

1. Follow the recipe. Follow my recipe instructions exactly for mixing the cake to ensure success and make it as white as possible.
2. Use room temperature ingredients. Butter, eggs, milk, and buttermilk all should be at room temperature to ensure the best mixing into the cake batter. This makes for the best texture and soft crumb of the finished cake. 
3. Prepare the cake pans. Prepare your cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coat well with shortening or butter and flour, taking care to remove all excess flour. 
4. Mix the cake batter well but not too much. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t overbeat when adding eggs and other ingredients. Just mix gently until incorporated well into the batter.
5. Cool the cake layers. Make sure you let the cake layers cool slightly for 5 minutes before removing the cake layers to a wire rack to cool completely. Set a timer!

How to Store and Freeze this Cake

Make Ahead. This cake can easily be made ahead of serving. Bake and frost as desired and store at room temperature (or in the refrigerator based on the frosting used) under a cake dome or covered with wrap for up to 3 days. 
To store. Store leftover cake at room temperature (or in the refrigerator based on the frosting used) under a cake dome or covered with wrap for up to 3 days. 
To freeze. Let the cake layers cool completely. Wrap them well with plastic wrap and then with foil. Put each layer into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
Allow the cake layers to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, the layers are ready to fill and frost as desired.

General Recipe Notes:

  • Cupcakes. This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when the cupcake tin is filled more than 3/4 full. When filled 1/2 full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake for approximately 18 minutes.
  • Original recipe. If you preferred the original white cake recipe (published in 2013), it used 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.
  • High Altitude. If you live in a high-altitude environment, you’ll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Comment from a Pastry Chef 

I shared this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you as you bake this cake.

“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 over beat 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.”

Thanks for your detailed comment, The Pastry Life!

Here’s to good cake! Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

4.90 from 648 votes (40 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Review




3,254 Comments

  1. Erin says:

    5 stars
    Love your white cake recipe and frosting! My daughter has requested it 3 years in a row for her birthday. Yummy!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thank you, Erin. I’n happy your daughter loves this cake and requests it for her birthday.

  2. Laurence says:

    Hi Robyn, thanks for the reply. how about 9×13? should I half the recipe?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Laurence, to make the white cake in a 9×13, bake at 325ºF for 25-30 minutes. Use the full recipe. I use this recipe to make my Ultimate Coconut Cake in a 9×13 pan, I hope you enjoy.

  3. Laurence says:

    Hi, what will be the recipe if I make this white cake as sheet cake?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Laurence, 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.

  4. Chris says:

    5 stars
    Recipe sounds great but what do you recommend for dairy free substitutions?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Chris, I haven’t made this as a dairy free cake but you could substitute the whole milk for any dairy free milk like coconut, almond, soy, rice or oat milk. You can also make buttermilk with these dairy free milks. I give you directions in my recipe Homemade Buttermilk Substitute. You can use a vegan butter or plant butter for the cake. Here is a comment from Jennifer: “I just baked this cake for my husband’s birthday. I have made it completely dairy free with a vegan buttermilk substitute and vegan butter option. My son is highly allergic to dairy. I have been looking for a very moist cake that I can alter for my family’s needs. THIS IS IT!!!!!!”

  5. Arby says:

    In Step 2, first sentence, you instruct to cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Then in the second sentence you instruct to add the sugar slowly one cup are a time and then mix together for 4 minutes until light, fluffy and white. Please clarify when the sugar should be added. Thanks!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Arbey, you cream together the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. The recipe has been updated. Thank you for letting me know. Hope you enjoy the cake.

  6. Gail says:

    Hi Robyn I have family coming from away and want to try this recipe but have a question. Does this cake have the texture similar to a pound cake. I had a recipe years ago that if I recall right was similar except it called for 1 cup can milk and 1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract with the addition of a cup of chopped maraschino cherries at the end. It didn’t have all the specific details you give in mixing so I’m wondering if yours turns out different because of the mixing and the difference in milk. The old recipe was delicious but on the heavier side than a usual cake. I’m so glad I found your site. There are so many delicious recipes. I can’t wait to get started on them.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Gail, I always recommend you do a trial run with any new recipe before you serve it for a special occasion. I’ve not had a cake like you describe with the cherries added. This is a sturdy cake but tender. Read the comment by a professional chef after this cake. Here is a comment from Sara about the cake. “The outside forms a crust similar to perfect Southern pound cake that is so good I have to stop myself from eating the scraps when I level it. The inside is dense enough to hold up to layering and decorating (I always make my kids’ bday cakes-I’m not a professional!) but never dry or tough. This cake is perfect.” I hope you enjoy the cake.

  7. Megan Millspaugh says:

    5 stars
    This has become my family’s favorite white cake recipe. I’m wondering if you’ve done a chocolate version? I’ve experimented a few times, adding chocolate in different ways, but haven’t nailed it yet. thanks!!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Megan, I have not made this as a chocolate cake. I love that this white cake is your family’s favorite cake. Thanks!

  8. L. Griffith says:

    My husband and I enjoyed a Scandinavian diner that baked the best white cake. The frosting was lighter than a buttercream and looked like the one you shared in the picture. Can you share that recipe? Thank you!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I used my Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting with this cake.

  9. Reece says:

    5 stars
    I made these as cupcakes and they taste really good, but they baked pretty flat. Am I able to add some amount of baking soda to try to rise them or is that not a good idea?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Reece, this cake and cupcakes will bake flat and will not dome like some of my other cakes will.

  10. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Such an wonderful cake, moist, with a great flavour and perfect crumb.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m thrilled that you like this cake, Sarah. It is a favorite in my family.