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A slice of white cake on a decorate white plate with a fork on the side.
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4.92 from 24 votes

White Cake Recipe

This is my favorite white cake recipe! This cake is light, tender, moist, and topped with a delicious vanilla buttercream frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword white cake recipe, white layer cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 slices
Author Danielle

Ingredients

For the white cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups (305 grams) cake flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites , room temperature

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (540 grams) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

To make the white cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup and stir until well combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture (begin and end with the dry ingredients) on low speed. Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.
  • In a separate clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and spread around into one even layer. Gently tap the cake pans on the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed until fully combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

To assemble the cake:

  • Level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand, top with a layer of frosting, and smooth it out into one even layer. Place the second layer on top, then use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.

Notes

Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To make a 9x13-inch cake: Spray a 9x13-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I would suggest just using one batch of my vanilla buttercream frosting recipe for a 9x13-inch cake.
Freezing instructions: Cake will freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature. Frosting will also freeze for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cake.
Cake flour substitute: I highly recommend using cake flour for this cake. If you don't have any cake flour, you can make a substitute by measuring 1 cup of all-purpose flour, removing 2 tablespoons of the flour, then replacing the 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the mixture 4-5 times. You'll need to repeat this process 3 times to have enough flour. Then measure 2 and 3/4 cups for this recipe.