This white cake is a soft and tender white cake flavored with vanilla and almond extract. Pair this cake with vanilla buttercream, almond buttercream, cream cheese frosting or Swiss meringue buttercream for the best homemade white cake recipe. If you are looking for a great wedding cake or birthday cake recipe, this one is for you!
Ingredients for White Cake
- Unsalted butter: Use room temperature unsalted butter for this recipe for easy creaming.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cake while maintaining the pale white appearance and fluffy texture.
- Egg whites: Large egg whites provide the structure the cake needs while keeping the layers white. No yolks here!
- Sour cream: Because we are not adding egg yolks to the cake batter, we need to add moisture. Sour cream is a magical ingredient for adding moisture and a tiny bit of tang to the cake.
- Vegetable oil: A small amount of vegetable oil is added to the batter to provide a bit extra moisture to the cake.
- Vanilla & almond extract: Vanilla and almond extracts provide great flavor. You can use a clear vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or regular pure vanilla extract.
- Cake flour: Cake flour keeps the white cake light and fluffy. It has less protein than regular flour and is a bit lighter in color and weight. Using cake flour will result in layers that are less dense than if you were to use all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder: Baking powder serves as the leavening agent to help the cake rise.
- Salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer and helps bring out the vanilla and almond flavor of the cake.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds more moist to the cake and also contributes to a subtle tang flavor in the cake layers. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, I have a great trick to make a substitute buttermilk in the tips below.
How to Make White Cake
- Preheat oven to 335 degrees F and prepare cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and parchment paper circles.
- On medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Continue to mix and add egg whites, sour cream, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
- On the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk: 1/3 dry ingredients, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 dry ingredients, 1/2 buttermilk, and 1/3 dry ingredients.
- Once all the ingredients are added and combined, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 30 seconds. Be careful not to over mix the batter!
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Use a kitchen scale to create even layers.
- Bake the cake for approximately 30 minutes. You will want to bake the cake layers until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or the cakes bounces back when gently touched.
- Cool the layers in the pans for about 30 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack. After the cake layers are cool, level with a serrated knife.
White Cake Recipe Tips
Bake perfect cake
Check out my baking tips blog post on 10 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes for simple tips and tricks to baking the best cake layers.
Trim off the caramelization for perfectly white layers
Where the pan touches the cake, caramelization forms. Caramelization is the light brown crust that develops around the cake. For a a slice that is perfectly white, I recommend cutting off the caramelization on the sides, top, and bottom of the cake using a serrated knife. No, don’t waste your cake. Snacks for the baker! Or friends and family. You can share.
Use your favorite frosting to ice the classic white cake. Here are some of my personal favorites!
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- Almond buttercream frosting
- Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
- Shortcut Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
- Strawberry buttercream frosting
Storing and serving
The frosted white cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be sure to cover any exposed cake with plastic wrap so it does not dry out. To serve, bring the cake to room temperature for best taste and texture.
- 3 – 7" round cake pans
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 5 egg whites room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream room temperature
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- Preheat oven to 335° F. Prepare three 7-inch cake pans using cooking spray and parchment circles.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in room temperature unsalted butter and granulated sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
- On medium-low speed, slowly add in the egg whites, sour cream, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl after the ingredients are added and continue to mix until the ingredients are fully combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
- On the lowest speed, slowly add ⅓ of the flour mixture followed by ½ of the buttermilk.
- Add in ⅓ of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Add in the final ⅓ of the flour mixture.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Mix the batter on medium low speed for 30 seconds until the batter is smooth. Do not overmix the batter.
- Divide batter evenly between your cake pans. Use a kitchen scale to ensure that the batter is equally divided.
- Bake cakes for approximately 30-40 minutes in the oven until the cakes spring back when gently touched or toothpick comes out clean. *Please note that baking times may be different for different size pans.
- Remove cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife or small offset spatula between the cake and edge of the pan to loosen from the edges. Invert the cakes to remove from the pan and cool completely.
- I recommend leveling the cakes and cutting off the caramelization using a serrated knife before frosting. Check out my "recipe tips" to see some of my favorite buttercream flavors!