Classic White Cake

  • Serves: Makes two 9 x 2-inch round layers
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 26722
  • Comments: 125

Every baker serious about baking, needs a basic White Cake recipe, because you can do so much with it. We use this with the Shabby Chic Rose Cake because it makes the perfect sturdy cake base from which to decorate on. Some white cake recipes can use 6 to 8 large egg whites, which I find have a drying effect on the recipe. When I develop white butter cake recipes, such as this one, I substitute some of the egg whites with whole eggs, without affecting its color; it's because of the presence of a still larger percent of egg whites in the recipe. The result is a more flavorful and moister cake, with longer storage capabilities. I use my ingredients cold from the refrigerator because I found that the friction from stand mixer blades against them will quickly warm the cake's ingredients to the optimal finished batter temperature of 68 -72 degrees F.

Cake decorated with White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Frosting and Filling, flavored instead with strawberry jam and filled with strawberry pie filling. The cake is bordered by thin pieces of white chocolate.

CYNDI65, Premium Member, SAYS: "Sarah, this is an awesome cake recipe that I have made tons of times in the past few months. I sometimes sub the (1 1/2 cups) white sugar with... 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 brown sugar - very slightly packed... for my caramel cake. I frost it with my Caramel Icing. I used this white cake recipe (I love this one), halved the batter, added 3 ounces melted chocolate to one half and swirled batter together in pan. Oh my! It was soooo good! " See also the Classic Two-Layer Marble Cake, Redux

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon flour into measuring cup and level to rim)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large egg whites
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole or 2% milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold from the refrigerator
1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Position the oven shelf to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9- x 2-inch cake pans or one 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan, and line with greased parchment paper. Set aside. Light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pans are preferred. (If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F).

2. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout, combine the egg whites, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, cut it into tablespoon size pieces, and then beat it; it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds).

Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until light yellow and fluffy.

Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.

4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the milk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.)
Add the flour and liquid ingredients slowly at the side of the bowl. The minute you have finished adding one, begin adding the other ingredient type; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.

After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.

Then, let the mixer run for 30 to 45 seconds on low. The batter should look light and fluffy. Then, STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.

5. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP!

6. Divide the batter in the prepared baking pans (should fill less than 1/2 full) and lightly smooth the tops.

7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top feels firm and gives slightly when touched and will shrink slightly from the side of the pan. The cake will be slightly browned. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and remove, there should be a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter. The cakes will have a slight dome and small cracks on top right when it comes from the oven, but as the cakes cool, they will flatten on top and the tiny cracks will disappear.

Cool in pan on a wire cake rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper. Invert right side-up and let cool completely.

The cake layers store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days. The cake layers freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped.

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