White cake, vanilla cake, yellow cake — aren’t they all really the same thing? Well, not exactly. They all do usually have vanilla flavoring, but they are as different in appearance and texture as apples and oranges. White cake is a little finer and more delicate than its counterparts because it relies on egg whites only to give it its beautiful lily white appearance. (But don’t worry, you don’t even have to go to the trouble of whipping up those egg whites to stiff peaks or anything!) The egg whites are added to the other wet ingredients in this recipe, and there is little more to do here than mixing that in with the dry ingredients and the butter.
While white cake is a cinch to mix up, the result is a gorgeous snowy and elegant cake and so it’s a natural (and common) choice for a wedding cake. Using a clear vanilla extract will keep your cake even whiter, but really we use whatever kind we have on hand. We love this cake with a classic buttercream, but our favorite way to top it is with the BEST Whipped Cream Frosting. We promise this lovely cake will be a regular in your baking rotation. It’s delicious and pretty as a picture.
Perfect White Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour three 9-inch round baking pans.
- In a medium bowl, mix together milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract with a fork until well blended.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with an electric mixer on low. Add butter and continue beating until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 of the milk mixture and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat until well incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Pour batter evenly between the prepared pans and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Adapted from Add a Pinch.