White Cake

Again, from The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  It really is hard to beat her cake recipes.  But just because it's from a book that has "Bible" in the title doesn't mean that you can't throw in some lemon zest if you want.  Or some chocolate chips.  I'm just saying...

Why make a white cake instead of a yellow cake? Well, sometimes a white-white cake is what you want.  The flavor is more pronounced vanilla, because the yolks aren't there to muddy the flavor. If you don't like "eggy" cakes, a white cakes is the cake for you.

This recipe makes 2 9" cakes.  It is delicate and buttery and moist.  Oh, my!

White Cake
Recipe type: Cake
What You Need
  • 4.75 oz. egg whites
  • 8.5 oz. milk
  • 2¼ teaspoons vanilla
  • 10.5 oz. cake flour, sifted
  • 10.5 oz. sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, softened
What To Do
  1. Spray your pans with pan spray. Line the bottoms with parchment circles and spray again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix on low to combine.
  3. In another bowl, combine egg whites, ¼ of the milk and vanilla. Whisk lightly.
  4. Add the butter and the other ¾ of the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix on low to moisten, and then beat on medium for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the remaining milk in 3 additions, beating for 20 seconds each time and scraping bowl as necessary.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake at 350 degrees, F, for 25-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean, and the cake should spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
  7. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and reinvert to cool right-side up.



  1. isurus9 says

    I tried this cake today and they came out of the oven with lots of holes and the batter looked curdly. I had the butter and eggs and milk at RT so I don’t know what happened. Is this normal for this cake to have lots of holes and spaces? Thanks

    • says

      It sounds like an overbeating problem and that maybe too much gluten developed. Did you time how long you beat the batter both during the initial beating and the subsequent additions? Since this cake doesn’t contain the extra fat of egg yolks, it is especially important to not overbeat.

      Sorry that happened to you, isurus9. Hope my explanation helps. 🙂

  2. Krista says

    I tried this recipe and it’s great, but I changed the method of mixing. I was always taught to mix the butter and sugar first, slowly incorporate the eggs, then add a bit of flour mix., a bit of milk, a bit of flour mix., and so on. I think it comes out a little smoother and you don’t have to overbeat.

  3. Lisa says

    So glad I found your site! I’m a lover of white cake…so much so that when I go to a wedding and find out that the cake is not white, I’m disappointed! I love an almond flavor. Do you usually see that in the cake or in the frosting only? I know almond is strong so I usually cut back when I use that flavoring vs. vanilla. I’ll have to see if you have a great almond frosting on this site. 🙂

    • says

      Hey there; glad you found me! I would probably be more apt to add almond flavoring to the cake and leave the frosting vanilla. In the cake, you could probably find a recipe that utilizes marzipan or almond paste for an authentic almond flavor. Of course, a judicious amount of extract would work, too (you’re so right–almond is a powerful flavoring!)

      I don’t have an almond frosting on the site, but if I were going to make one, I might use marzipan in it as well as almond extract. I might also think about steeping ground almonds in warm milk and then straining it out to make an almond flavored ermine frosting. When I want to come up with a new flavor, that is my cue to experiment and play! I hope it is yours too, and if you have questions, I’m happy to help if I can!

  4. Tasha McClam says

    I have noticed that using butter vs oil in a cake completely changes a TON! I think I prefer the oil based as it’s less dense, more fluffy and has way more moisture. I was wondering if you use both depending on the recipe and what you’re going for or do you have a preference? LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!!

    • says

      Hi, Tasha! What a great question. I generally like to use butter in most of my baked goods because I love the flavor. Oil has its place though, for sure. For instance, if I’m going to make a cake that needs to be served chilled, I’ll use an oil-based recipe since oil-based cakes don’t get hard and dry seeming in the fridge.

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