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Simple white cake recipe

Simple white cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Sponge cake

This recipe makes two simple sponge cakes, lightly flavoured with vanilla. You can easily make it dairy free by using a plant-based milk instead of cow's milk.

5 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 2 round 23cm cakes

  • 280g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300ml milk
  • 265ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two 23 round cake tins.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add in the milk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Mix just until cake mixture is smooth and well combined. Divide cake mixture evenly between prepared tins.
  3. Bake cakes in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan and wire rack
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for pan
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 7 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper butter paper, and dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside. Combine milk and vanilla in another bowl, and set aside. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and creamy. Add sugar in a steady stream, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture and starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Be careful to avoid overbeating. Set aside.

In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the whites into batter until combined. Fold in remaining whites in 2 batches.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with a metal spatula. Bake until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack cool 15 minutes before unmolding. Butter wire rack. Loosen cake sides with a paring knife, and invert cake onto greased rack. Reinvert to prevent it from splitting. Cool completely before using or storing in the freezer.

Recipe Notes on Simple White Cake:

This is an easy durable recipe. It is not as light as the more advanced cupcake recipes on cupcake corner. This simple white cake uses baking powder to help the thick batter raise well. This is a tasty beginning baker recipe the whole family will enjoy.

Double this recipe for a two layer cake!

This introductory level simple white cake recipe makes one single layer cake or 12 cupcakes.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease or oil 9 inch cake pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir In the vanilla.

Simple White Cake batter is thick.

Simple White Cake cupcakes. Lainy and Milla are loading the cupcake liners.

  • Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • For cupcakes, bake 20 minutes or until done. Cake is done when it springs back to touch

Simple White Cake cupcakes

Frost as desired. If making a double batch for a two layer cake use your favorite jam for the filling.

Always supervise your junior chefs!

Cooking with kids, as I have for years, usually turns out great for everyone when they have a bit of experience, as Aliyah did . But handling even &ldquosafe&rdquo kitchen equipment can be troublesome for first time bakers. They will need a helper to keep things positive, and safe. Eventually you&rsquoll have a great assistant or dessert cook like I did. So worth encouraging them young! And they learn fractions and science in a relevant, rewarding way.

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THE best white cake I've ever had! I've made this twice now and have had rave reviews both times. I used this recipe for my grandmother's 80th birthday cake and she told me that she wants me to make her another one for her Christmas present! To those who complain about it being like cornbread, I have to wonder if maybe your baking powder is bad? I had to throw out one cake because mine had expired. The cake didn't rise and it looked and tasted like cornbread. Problem solved after buying new baking powder! I added about 1/4 cup milk but other than that followed the recipe. This is a wonderful cake, thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

For those of you who like a white cake to be light, fluffy, and/or moist, this is not the cake for you. It had the density/look of cornbread and was not very sweet either. I would not recommend this recipe to anyone or use it again.

3 1/2 stars! Great cake! Came out perfect, used the recipe for a wedding cake. I did however change the milk to 2/3 cup and added a table spoon of vegetable oil, for moisture and preventing it turning into a corn cake crumble. That little trick made all the difference! I recommend you do so also! :)

I have used this recipe 3 times in the last two weeks, it is THAT good! I did a triple batch and split in two baking sheets for about 1-2 inch tall cakes, then filled them. It did get a bit burnt on the edges, while the middle was moist, so next time I may bake it at a lower temperature for a little longer time.

This is the best cake I have ever tasted. I typically think of white cake as kind of bland but this was not at all. I was a little worried because the batter had a slight aftertaste but once it was baked it had disappeared. The people that are getting a dense cake must be doing something wrong and I have a feeling I know what it is. They are so afraid of over-mixing the batter that they are under-mixing it. I creamed the butter by itself, then added the sugar a cup at a time (I doubled the recipe), then I added the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each, then I added the rest of the dry ingredients a cup at a time (after mixing them together with a whisk, since I don't have a sifter), and then once I added the milk I mixed it on high for about 3 minutes. When I put the batter in the pan it was almost the same consistency as cool whip. I cooked it for 35 minutes exactly and it was golden brown on top and moist and fluffy on the inside. The finished product was like eating a sugar cookie flavored cloud. The only thing I changed about the recipe was to add an extra 1/4 cup milk. I iced it using a simple buttercream frosting (dyed green for st patrick's day) and it was absolute perfection. My husband loved it as well. He ate his piece in about 30 seconds and is planning on taking some to work tomorrow to share (if it stays in the house I will eat it all lol).

This cake was simple to make and is light and fluffy and tastes great. I did not change the recipe and used two 6" greased pans - I will be able to tort and fill each cake to make a nice tall cake! Thanks for the recipe!

First of all, I used this recipe to make cupcakes, which I would NOT recommend. I may try this recipe again in the future to make a cake, in which case I may change my rating. However, the cupcakes were for a friend for her daughter's 3rd birthday so they had to be cute. The cupcake tops cooked into each other and were flat and ugly. I tasted one and thought it was on the dry side, and I only cooked them for 15 minutes. I've made TONS of cupcakes before, both from scratch and from box mixes, and have never had cupcakes turn out this badly. I ended up starting all over again with a different white cake recipe, which turned out so much better - both on looks and taste.

Super simple! I made it with a half recipe of "Banana Butter Icing," also from this Web site, and served it to a very happy two-year-old birthday boy! Thanks for the recipe!

THis came out PERFECTLY. I added more milk (3/4 cup) also some lemon extract and lemon zest to taste. It was the first thing I made in my new kitchenaid mixer and I was very impressed with the results. I made little flower cupcakes in my flower pan and dipped each one in vanilla glaze - I added lemon extract to the glaze as well. These stayed moist and delish for days!

As advertised, it is simple to make and easy to change into whatever is needed for the occasion. We started this one off without changing the recipe and it came out nice. Can't wait to start fiddling with it. UPDATE: It's been a nearly a year and we've changed this up a few times for the better. If you want to stick as close to the recipe try this variation out: Add 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring and substitute half and half for the milk. If you have a kithenaid mixer, break out the whip instead of the batter blade. It produces a fluffier batter. Mix it until it puffs up a bit and bake it for the 30-40 mins. We used a 9x9 glass pan. Now if you have gotten to the 40 min mark and the center is still a bit liquidy, turn the oven down to 250 and let it sit on the top shelf of oven for an addtional 10 mins. It will set up well this way and you don't risk burning the edges of the cake. UPDATE: This cake was gone in 1 setting when my in laws dropped in. We've also mixed strawberry jam into the butter/egg mixture and gotten great results and we've done a chocolate version by making the milk into a cocoa mixture. Next up to try will be spumoni. We love to experiment!

Recipe Ingredients

This is a simple white cake recipe topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream. But don’t let the word “simple” fool you — there’s still plenty of flavor in this cake! Here’s what you’ll need to make this white cake from scratch:

  • Cake flour: I suggest sticking with cake flour versus all-purpose flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour which creates a tender, fine crumb.
  • Baking powder: Helps the cake batter rise in the oven and results in a fluffy cake.
  • Salt: Enhances the vanilla flavor and also balances out the sweetness of the batter.
  • Buttermilk: Creates a soft, tender crumb and also provides moisture.
  • Clear vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract may be used as well. Clear vanilla will ensure that the homemade white cake remains perfectly white.
  • Unsalted butter: I recommend using unsalted butter since the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between different brands. The butter and sugar need to be creamed together for a good 4 to 5 minutes to create a super light, fluffy cake.
  • Granulated sugar: I love brown sugar in cakes, but for this recipe you want to stick with granulated sugar to get that classic white cake look.
  • Egg whites: Egg yolks have fat in them, which can weigh down the cake. By using just egg whites, you’ll create a lighter cake and it will help you keep that classic white cake look too.

Tender White Cake

The ultimate tender, moist cake perfect for birthdays and special occasions, yet simple enough for everyday cupcakes. Vanilla and almond flavors combine to give you smooth, mellow flavors reminiscent of your favorite bakery cakes. This recipe uses King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, which results in a high rising cake with a moist, tender crumb. The cake also uses the paste method, so no need to cream the butter and sugar. We do recommend a stand mixer for this cake, or a sturdy hand mixer.


  • 2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (333g) sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large egg whites plus 1 whole large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (227g) full-fat vanilla yogurt or 1 cup (227g) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

*Superfine sugar, such as our Baker's Special Sugar, will produce the best results.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8" x 2" or 9" x 2" round pans a 9" x 13" pan or 2 standard cupcake pans (20 to 24 cupcakes total) by greasing and flouring or lining with parchment, then greasing the parchment. Note: Make sure your 8" round pans are at least 2" deep if they're not, use one of the other pan options.

Mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter, how much it's mixed, and granulation of the sugar used.

Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk) with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Perfect your technique

Tender White Cake

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for 8" or 9" rounds 23 to 26 minutes for a 9" x 13" x 2" sheet cake or 20 minutes for cupcakes. A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven, remove from the pan, if desired (not advisable for a 9" x 13" sheet cake), cool on a rack, and frost.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 7 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Powdered sugar
  • Gingerbread Cookies

Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper rounds, and spray paper.

Combine butter and sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop mixer, and scrape down sides. With mixer running on low speed, add egg whites, 1 at a time, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add extracts, beating on low speed just until combined.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, alternating with milk, in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until blended after each addition. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and edges begin to pull away from pans, 24 to 26 minutes.

Cool Cake Layers in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove pans, and cool completely before frosting, 30 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze 2 hours or refrigerate 4 to 6 hours before frosting.)

Prepare the Vanilla Buttercream: Beat butter in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. With mixer running, gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add cream, beating until fluffy and spreadable, about 30 seconds.

Place 1 Cake Layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spoon about half of buttercream into a large 16-inch disposable piping bag. Cut a 1⁄2-inch opening in tip of bag. Pipe buttercream, 1⁄3 inch high, in concentric circles starting from the outside and working your way in. Top with second Cake Layer repeat process, refilling bag as needed. Top with third Cake Layer repeat process. Generously cover cake with buttercream using an offset spatula. Drag spatula around sides of cake, starting at the bottom. Smooth top of cake

Insert rosemary into top of cake dust with powdered sugar. Top with cookies.

White Cake Recipe

This is the original smaller batch recipe for making a two layer 8 or 9 inch cake, or a couple dozen yummy cupcakes. Use this one to make a tester or for a tasting with clients. 

Makes two layers each 8 or 9 inch round cakes

Prepare your pans with a layer of shortening , a dusting of flour and a piece of waxed or parchment paper cut to fit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks at room temperature)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup milk ( orange juice if making the orange cake)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For lemon cake add-zest of 2 lemons
  • For the orange version add zest of 2 oranges


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft and smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters several times.

With the mixer on low speed , alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in the vanilla. At this point you may add flavoring touches if desired. (orange zest, lemon zest, almond extract))

In another bowl, with a clean beater, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Stir about 1/2 cup of whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining whites in several additions.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Smooth the batter level, then spread it slightly from the center to the edges.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or just until the tops are springy or a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto racks.

Tips for the best white cake:

  1. Use room temperature buttermilk and egg whites.
    Don't skip this. It makes a huge difference!! Just set your buttermilk and whites on the counter a few hours before you intend to start.
  2. Using shortening keeps your cake white in color.
    But don't be afraid to use butter! The flavor is better. Just be sure your butter is softened a bit.
  3. Spray & flour your pans.
    There is nothing worse than cake that sticks to the pan. Especially when making layer cakes. Of course, if you are making a 9 by 13 cake there is no need to worry about this step as much as if you are attempting a layer cake. You can even pick up cooking spray that is made just for baking and has flour right in it. easy peasy!
  4. Use clear vanilla concentrate, if possible.
    Again, this does nothing for the flavor. only the color. And don't be afraid to try almond extract. yum!
  5. Use good flour. We used Bob's Red Mill. It's organic and incredibly versatile. And it is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods.
  6. Make your own buttermilk, easy-peasy.
    1 cup of regular milk
    1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
    Stir together and let sit 10 minutes. buttermilk!

I'm a big fan of tried and true recipes, and this white cake is one of them. I can imagine a family back in "the day" sitting about talking and laughing around this very same cake. That makes me feel like I have a small touch of the "way it was" in my kitchen. Granted, I am making this cake with my fantastic oven, mixer, and fancy pants tools. But still. I still have a bit of nostalgia for recipes like this.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x9 pan or line muffin pan with paper liners. In medium bowl, cream togehter the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in preheated oven. For cupcakes bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

cupcakes with messy frosting

Take out bowls and divide batter and each bowl get 1/2 teaspoon of each of food dye of your choice


View line-by-line Nutrition Insights&trade: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.

Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.

Calories per serving: 202

Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.

How to bake a cake for your own wedding:

This recipe makes a three layer cake. You’ll use three 9-inch pans. And you’ll frost it just as you would frost a two-layer cake, with frosting in between layers. If you’d like, you can put the remaining frosting in a piping bag and use it to create a simple border around the top and bottom edges. I like to grate some white chocolate shavings onto the top of the cake because that helps make it look a little more fancy. I’ve also used this recipe to make a 14-inch round cake too for other kinds of celebrations.

Obviously this recipe won’t be enough to feed everyone at your wedding. You’ll get 14 servings out of it. So what I suggest is baking this cake for display and tasting. Then use this same recipe to make White Wedding Cake Cupcakes for your guests. That’s what I did for my son’s Kindergarten teacher, and it made for very pretty display at her small wedding. I wrote a long post about How to Make Wedding Cupcakes, so that’s worth reading too!


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