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Perfect White Cake Recipe

A white cake is an all-American classic recipe. This white cake recipe will become your favorite for celebrations and holidays -- and it tastes just like the white cake you'd find in your local bakery. (Don't worry. We won't tell your guests how easy it is!)

  • servings: 12

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, stir together, milk, egg whites, and extracts. Into a second medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add the sugar. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

  4. Step 4

    Add one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the milk mixture, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add remaining flour and milk mixtures in 2 separate batches beating between additions to fully incorporate. Scrape down sides of bowl, and stir by hand to finish.

  5. Step 5

    Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until top of cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a small metal spatula around the sides of the pan, and invert cakes onto greased racks. Reinvert cakes onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.

  7. Step 7

    Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread 3/4 cup buttercream evenly over top of cake. Sprinkle with a few raspberries. Top with a second layer. Repeat with a second layer. Top with third cake layer. Insert a few skewers into cake to keep cake from sliding. Spread remaining buttercream evenly over surface of cake. Decorate cake with raspberries. Remove skewers before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, January 2004

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Reviews (15)

  • 6 Apr, 2014

    I've made this cake twice already. Good recipe, but had to tweak the amount of baking powder. The full two tablespoons of baking powder was too much and gave the cake a slight bitter aftertaste. I adjusted it to 1 1/2 and it was perfect second time around. And it is just a bit dry, would like a little more moisture. The almond extract gives it a great flavor, I use a cream cheese and strawberry frosting it pairs wonderfully. My family loves it.

  • 11 Mar, 2014

    I made this cake for my son’s birthday party and it was a huge hit. I omitted the almond extract and raspberries, and instead threw in about ½ cup of Rainbow Jimmies for a Funfetti variation – super cute. Also, to save a few eggs I used the egg whites in the carton and had fine results.
    Moist and flavorful, this is a great simple white cake recipe.

  • 9 Feb, 2013

    Isurus9 Thank you for mentioning the mixing aspect. I am a cake baking novice so I might have made the same mistake as you! I did go ahead and look up the term "incorporated" as a baking term. The definition I found was "Wholly incorporated means to mix or blend well together ~ so that the dry ingredients are mixed smoothly with the liquid ingredients."
    Technically the terminology was correct, but we didn't understand it. Isurus is right--mix that puppy until the lumps are gone, but no more!

  • 8 Aug, 2012

    Nice recipe but you have to mix THOROUGHLY at the end to distribute baking powder evenly, I found the notes misleading in that it said mix till just incorporated and then finish by hand DO NOT DO THIS, mix for 1-2 mins on medium speed or else you will waste 2 full cake batters like I did and have a heavy holey frisbee. I found the recipe and notes for this not organized well at all, a bit confusing. End result is a decent white cake if you mix correctly.

  • 8 May, 2012

    The taste of this recipe is AWESOME, but as listed, it's a little dry~ so find a trick that works for you

    ...the only thing I had to alter was my secret ingredient for added moisture. The almond extract gives it an elegant taste (if that makes sense).

  • 29 Nov, 2010

    This is an answer to some of your quantity questions. Check Wilton.com out at this address: http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.... In short, this recipe should make approximately 16.5 cups of batter. This will fill 2 (9" x 13") sheet pans with 2.5 cups left over. Or, you could make 2 (12" round) layers for a 2 layer cake leaving about 1.5 cups leftover. Also, this will make around 66 cupcakes. Hopes this helps!

  • 1 Jul, 2010

    Has anyone tried this as a 2-layer cake or a 13x9? I dont like 3-layer cakes because they are too hard to cut and serve and it's just wayyy too much cake for 2 people. What would be the equivalents in the recipe for a smaller cake?

  • 11 Oct, 2008

    What would be the equivalent if I wanted to make a 13x9-inch cake? Would this just make 1 layer?

  • 11 Oct, 2008

    I Love The perfect white cake ! becase I like butter ^^

  • 28 Sep, 2008

    The perfect white cake was good,but to much butter for my husband to eat. I wouldn't make it again.

  • 23 May, 2008

    I thought the almond flavor was a bit strong, but it was quite fluffy and moist. This is the best white cake recipe I have found so far.

  • 18 May, 2008

    Has anybody tried making cupcakes with this recipe?

  • 4 May, 2008

    I made this cake as a test for a graduation cake I have to make and it was perfect. It was easy and the taste I wanted is spot on. I have tried many white cake recipes and always go back to a box mix, but not anymore. I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who asks. Thank you!

  • 19 Mar, 2008

    Most of the cake recipes from this site have been really good, but this one was only "okay" to me. I live at high altitudes and the cakes did do well. I had no problems with them sinking. I just wanted a better flavor and have it be a little more moist. I didn't make the Italian meringue buttercream. I made a raspberry buttercream frosting to go with it, which was good. But together, it was the most unexciting, boring cake I've ever eaten.

  • 21 Dec, 2007

    Does anyone know how many cups of batter this recipe makes?