The Best White Cake Recipe

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The best white cake recipe is made from scratch and must be added to your collection of cake recipes. It’s so moist, light, and tender.

Whipping egg whites to soft peaks and folding them into the batter is what gives the cake it’s phenomenal texture. The batter is then flavored with hints of almond and vanilla extracts.

Vanilla buttercream with the addition of almond extract is the perfect way to frost the cake. This truly is the best white cake recipe you’ll ever try.

Moist white cake recipe with white frosting on a stone grey cake stand with a wooden base.

The Best White Cake Recipe

Baking a white cake that’s full of moisture and has a soft and tender crumb isn’t all that difficult. It’s really not much different than making my basic vanilla cake, which I must say, is my most popular recipe.

It’s tried and true! Just take a look at all the photos from everyone who’s tried it on Pinterest.

I took all the concepts I learned through making the perfect vanilla cake and used them to create the Best White Cake Recipe. I know so many of you hate the word moist, but how else am I supposed to describe a cake that is so far from dry, it sticks to your fork.

There is no other way!

The best white cake on a grey slate cake stand with a slice of cake being taken out.

How to make the best white cake recipe

It all starts with room temperature ingredients. Set the eggs, butter, and buttermilk out on the counter for at least an hour before you begin to make the cake.

Cream the butter and sugar together for a good five minutes. You want it to be light, fluffy, and double in volume. This is so important for a fluffy cake.

Use only the egg whites. The extra fat in the egg yolks will weigh the cake down. It’s not a terrible thing. I use whole eggs in my vanilla cake recipe. But, the egg whites do yield a lighter texture.

Whipping the egg whites to soft peaks and folding them into the batter at the very end will ensure the cake stays light and airy. Think of how soft chiffon cakes and angel food cakes are. They use this same method for incorporating egg whites.

Cake flour is necessary for this recipe. Do not use anything other than that! The low protein content in cake flour means less gluten development which is only going to enhance the soft texture of the cake.

Cake flour can be found in the baking aisle with all the other flours. If for some reason you can’t find it, here’s how to make homemade cake flour.

Close up view of a homemade white cake on a grey stone cake plate with a brown base.

When mixing the ingredients together, don’t over mix. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Any longer than that and you’ll start the process of gluten development which will yield a denser, tougher cake texture.

How to keep homemade white cake moist?

Don’t overbake the cake! Leaving the cake in the oven any longer than needed will dry it out.

Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to test the doneness of the cake. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, it needs more baking time.

If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, it’s perfectly baked and needs to be removed from the oven.

If the toothpick comes out completely clean, I’m sorry to say, you’ve overbaked the cake and it will be dry.

It’s always best to start checking the cake 5-7 minutes sooner than the bake time listed in the recipe.

A slice of white cake with white frosting a white plate set over a blue napkin.

Follow all these tips for how to make the perfect cake and the result will be a fabulously tender and light, buttery cake. Nothing beats a homemade cake that’s better than a bakery!

There are no substitutions with the base of this white cake recipe. However, you can omit the almond extract or replace it with any other flavor extract or essence.

Frost the cake with vanilla buttercream that also has a hint of almond and you’ve got one dreamy, homemade white cake.

Helpful Tools

More cake recipes you’ll love

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This made from scratch Moist White Cake is supremely light and tender.

The Best White Cake Recipe

This made from scratch Moist White Cake recipe is one that must be added to your collection of cake recipes. It’s so moist, light, and tender. 
4.85 from 13 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar while the mixer is running. Turn the mixer up to high-speed and whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add it to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Gently whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until well combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Take care to not over-bake. Check the cake at 15 minutes to see how it is doing and judge the timing from there. 
  • Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Make the frosting according to the directions and mix in 1 teaspoon almond extract.

Make ahead tip

  • Wrap baked and cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. Assemble and frost the cake within 2 days.
  • Once the cake has been assembled, cover it and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving.
  • The frosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature just before serving.

Notes

Baking Variations:
  • Bake the cake in 3 8-inch round pans for 15-25 minutes, 24 muffin cups for 15-18 minutes, or a 9x13-inch pan for 30-35 minutes. If you wish to make changes other than these, please consult this guide for how to convert pan sizes.
  • You can omit the almond extract or replace it with any other flavor extract or essence.
1. Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. Cold eggs will be difficult to whip up to soft peaks.
2. Measure the flour by lightly spooning it into the measuring cup then level the cup with the back of a knife. Or use the weight measurement listed in the ingredients under the "metric" tab.
3. If you don't have cake flour, you can make Homemade Cake Flour.
4. Start checking the cake 5-7 minutes sooner than the bake time listed. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, it needs more baking time. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, it’s perfectly baked and needs to be removed from the oven. If the toothpick comes out completely clean, I’m sorry to say, you’ve overbaked the cake and it will be dry.
5. If making the basic buttercream frosting and you want it to be stark white, mix in a few drops of white food coloring.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

Tried this recipe? Share it on Instagram!Mention @introvertbaker or tag #bakedbyanintrovert!

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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59 Comments

    • Jen Sobjack

      This can happen with chiffon type cakes – cakes that call for folding in whipped egg whites. The air in the egg whites expand during baking and then shrink once cooled causing the cake to “deflate” so to speak. You can try reducing the leavening and see if that works. Maybe use 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

  • Lauren

    This looks like a perfect recipe – have you tried adding gel food color to it, I’m looking for a new white cake recipe as a starting point for rainbow cake layers, and just wondered if you’ve tried it!

    • Jen Sobjack

      This recipe works with two 9-inch pans, three 8-inch pans, or a 9×13-inch pan. I’m really not sure what the bake time would be for other pan sizes since I’ve only made it using the sizes I’ve listed – those instructions are in the recipe notes.

  • Samantha

    Does this cake need to be refrigerated? And I’m making this for a bridal party as a partially naked cake. I plan on refrigerating the cakes once cooled before assembling and icing. Any recommendations to make sure it doesn’t fall apart?
    Thank you in advance 😊

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Samantha! Once the cake has been assembled, cover it and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving. As far as assembling it, it shouldn’t fall apart especially since you are chilling the layers beforehand.

  • Emilir

    Hello ! I had a question.. if we take a big bite of cake .. is it normal that it is spongy and a little soggy ? It is nice but a little ayrange texture. I have a little over baked the cake I think . That is weird 😂 thanks for answer.

      • Emilie

        Ow.. I made so many fault ! Sorry 😂 Thanks for answering ! I love this recipe so much.. the cake disappeared in only 2 days !! 😊❤

  • Emilie

    Hello ! This cake looks and IS incredible! So tasty, lightly sweet and with perfect vanilla flavour. So moist and fluffy ! I made it yesterday and all my family approved this cake. I enjoy your blog sooooo much ! Your recipes always works so I love them. I save this recipe! Thanks and keep it up!

  • Stacy

    Made for my husbands birthday turned out perfectly!! Thankyou for the detailed instructions. He always has cake with milk on top the next morning and he said this cake is perfect for that! Dense but moist. Yummm!!

  • Emilie

    Hello ! I’d like to try this recipe but for a little portion. Is it possible to make one cake in a 8 inch pan ? How can I keep this recipe?

  • Sierra

    This cake turned out perfect the first time! I only used vanilla extracts, salted butter instead of salt and trust me- GENTLY folding in the eggs whites was key! I was scared because when I poked it with a toothpick nothing came off. But it was incredibly moist! So good.

  • Linda

    This recipe has ended my over fifty years’ long search for the perfect white cake.

    I, my daughter, and my granddaughter followed most carefully each and every instruction. This was not difficult to do as they are clearly stated.

    We used a vanilla custard filling from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook and a chocolate frosting recipe from the Ghirardelli Premium Baking Cocoa package.

    The cake received extravagant praise from all those present at the birthday party.

    Thank you (from one introvert to another).

  • Haley

    Forgive me if this is already listed somewhere but I can’t seem to find it, do you use low-fat or whole milk buttermilk? Also would you suggest putting parchment paper in the bottom of the cake pans or just flour and shortening or butter?

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Haley! When you see just buttermilk or milk listed on one of my recipes, it’s referring to whole milk. And while you can use just flour and shortening, I like to err on the side of caution and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. I do this for every cake I make. It’s probably a good idea for me to update the instructions to say this.

      • Haley

        Ok thank you! That’s what I used. I didn’t see your comment til after I was finished but I figured whole is creamier and better so I couldn’t go wrong with that. I ended up buttering, flouring, and wax paper lining the bottom of the pan then more butter and flour on top of the paper. Didn’t have a sticking problem. We haven’t tried it yet but I’ll update tonight. It smelled delicious in the oven though! thanks for the recipe!

  • Haley

    I’m currently making this cake, and it smells delicious as a batter already. But out of curiosity, why do you whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter? Wouldn’t it hold more air if you just folded them all in?

    • Jen Sobjack

      If you mix all the egg whites in at once, it will take more folds to get them incorporated which results in deflating the whites. Mixing 1/3 of the egg whites in first will loosen the batter so it’s easier to fold in the remaining whites without knocking too much air out.

  • Rebecca

    Ive been practicing baking to start my own at home cake business, I’ve tried tons of recipes so far this is by far the best one!!! How would I do a chocolate version of this cake. I’ve tried 6 different chocolate cakes, then just don’t turn out as moist and delicate as this cake and they aren’t a very bold chocolate cake.

  • Manon beland

    Great cake recipe, I used Cake flour, and followed the recipe. Unlike Many recipes that I made, what I like about this one is that it isn’t a dense cake, dense cake somewhat seem and taste underbaked in general? this recipe is quite fluffy, white as it should be, the folded in whites are the secret to a fluffy cake I guess ! I use a little simple syrup on top to keep it moist. I recommend this recipe

  • Sylvia

    If I use milk with the recipe would of change the consistency? I have vanilla bean that I’d like to soak in the milk for extra vanillicious flavour!

  • Maria

    So I’m reading this and i love to Jake! Something that came to my attention is the cake flour! Can you replace regular flour for cake flour in all recipes? And is the measurements the same.. I do bake alot of cupcakes and haven’t found a good vanilla recipe so I will be trying this day into a cake form bc I’ve wasted so many cupcakes in the past trying to find the right recipe. Thanks

  • keren shen

    I made this cake and it’s the best vanilla cake recipe I have ever used!!! Thanks!
    Can I make cupcakes out of this recipe? If so, what will be your recommendation for baking time?
    Thanks!

  • Jen

    I have a question, in your notes at the beginning you mention bringing buttermilk to room temperature but the recipe calls for whole milk, which should be used in this recipe?

  • Linda

    Nice content info. You have some good tips for beginning bakers that will stay with them forever when the cake turns out well. I’d love to have a slice right now. 🙂

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda