12 April, 2019
The Best Homemade White Cake Recipe of Your Life
HALLELUJAH! Finally a moist white cake from scratch that doesn’t taste like cardboard. I promise, this will be the best homemade white cake recipe of your life! It is soft and fluffy, while still being super moist. The balance of fluffy and moist is exactly perfect for how cake ought to be! It’s full of buttery rich flavor. I’m so excited. You are going to love it too!
Over the past few years, especially after I hit the 30 mark (and had my 3rd kid), I’ve become a lot more stingy with the carbs in my life. 10 years ago, a sandwich for lunch was standard, and there were zero feelings of indulgence. Pasta for dinner? Of course! It’s cheap.
These days, I tend to view all carbs as equal. Pasta is basically cookies. Bread is kind of the same as cake. You can choose to eat a dinner roll, but just know that it’s basically dessert.
This is a bit extreme and ridiculous I know, but I think it’s my weird brain’s way of putting limits on the carbs in my life. The unfortunate development after all this brainwashing is that these days, I sometimes skip out on regular mealtime foods, because I know I’m going to eat brownies later, whether or not I eat the real food.
Should I eat a healthy lunch at 11:30, after skipping breakfast? (I dabble in intermittent fasting) Or shall I just start off with a few bites of this gorgeous homemade white cake? I mean, I did skip breakfast. So this is just kind of like the breakfast that I would have had…But now I ate the whole slice, and who really needs lunch anyway?
Do you see the slippery slope??
I have a quarter of this white cake left. It’s sitting on my counter right now, on the white cake stand you see in these photos, with an ugly metal bowl inverted on top, because I don’t have a pretty cake dome thing. Eric is hosting his book club tonight and he told me that they can take care of the cake if I want.
He meant it as an offering, a service. You see, I’ve been testing white cake recipes for weeks now, and I’ve been shoving off white cake to every single human who passes the threshold of this house, and even those who don’t. I beg Eric to take the rest to work. I yell at my mail lady as she fills our box. I call over my neighbors. I chase down my friends who are doing carpool drop off. “WAIT, DO YOU WANT SOME CAKE?”
But now it’s just me. Alone in my house, with a quarter of a homemade white cake sitting next to me, trying to write a blog post about said white cake.
You might be thinking, who even likes white cake? I mean isn’t chocolate always better? WRONG SIR. White cake from a box destroyed my opinion of white cake, but I’m telling you guys, one bite of this from scratch version will have you shouting hallelujah. It is moist, tender, and perfectly fluffy. The vanilla flavor really comes through. It’s a winner!
So let’s get started making this tall, glorious, carby, moist, delectable homemade white cake to end all white cakes.
First we’re going to beat the heck out of some butter and sugar (left). Then we’re going to add a bit of oil. I love using oil in my cakes. You need the butter for flavor, but you’re not going to get that soft moist texture without a bit of oil. You cake will be dry if you use all butter. I like to use light olive oil (see notes), but any vegetable oil will work.
Then grab two other medium bowls, one for dry and one for wet ingredients. On the left we have 5 whole eggs, buttermilk (cheater buttermilk works fine! See notes) a bit of vanilla, and sour cream. Sour cream and I are like THIS when it comes to cake. I just love the tender moistness it adds. (When I do make box cakes, I always add sour cream. It works wonders.)
On the right, sift some flour, salt, and baking powder.
A note on eggs: some homemade white cake recipe purists might be shaking their fists at me for adding the yolks to my white cake. TECHNICALLY a traditional white cake uses no egg yolks, and you are supposed to even beat the egg whites to get it SUPER DUPER fluffy. (Think angel food cake). But guys, I tried it. It’s just not as flavorful.
Let me ask you this: would you rather have a regular omelette made with whole eggs, or an egg white omelette? Obviously no one wants to eat plain egg whites unless they’re on a diet, because guess what, most of the yummy egg flavor is found in the yolk. And this cake, my friends, is NOT on a diet, to say the least. So I just couldn’t handle leaving them out. I’m not alone here, in my research I found plenty of white cake recipes that use the egg yolk. I think it’s just a matter of preference!
Here’s how I always prepare cake pans before putting batter in. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray the heck out of it. I can’t tell you how many cakes I’ve destroyed by forgetting parchment paper. I think it’s especially helpful if you have cheap cake pans, which apparently I do.
See the notes below the recipe for the new cake pans I just bought. You can see the the bottom two cakes in this photo got pretty torn up coming out of the pan, and I think this is entirely because I was using poor quality pans. (The top layer was a new cake pan that I randomly grabbed at the grocery store, and you can see how much better it released the cake.) But no matter; it still worked fine. I just lost a little bit of the edge.
I haven’t even talked about the amazing frosting yet. I love to frost my cakes with American buttercream, which is just butter, powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, and some salt. For this 3 layer cake, I used a full pound of butter just for the frosting. This is a bit excessive, which is exactly how I like it. I put measurements in the notes for a more reasonable amount that will do the job just fine if you are not a frosting fanatic like me. (If you plan to do a crust coat, make the full amount.
And there you have it! The best white cake recipe that is moist, tall, fluffy, and flavorful all at once. I am a huge chocolate person (see The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had), but I actually love frosting this cake with vanilla frosting. It really let’s the vanilla and butter flavor shine.
I think this homemade white cake recipe would be stunning to serve after your Easter festivities! Dress up the top and edges with some fresh berries for a stunning presentation. Everyone will love you!!
P.S. Update: Eric’s book club did not see any of this cake. I made them brownies instead. 😉
HALLELUJAH! Finally a moist white cake from scratch that doesn’t taste like cardboard. I promise, this will be the best homemade white cake recipe of your life! It is soft and fluffy, while still being super moist. I got the balance of fluffy and moist exactly perfect for how cake ought to be! It’s fluffy yet full of buttery rich flavor. I’m so excited. You are going to love it too!
by The Food Charlatan
*Cheater buttermilk will do just fine! I tried it. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill it to the 1 cup mark with milk. Use the highest fat content milk you have, whole milk is best. Stir it together and let sit a couple minutes to thicken up.
**I just bought these cake pans that I linked to. If you look at the photo of the layered cakes before I frosted them, you will see how torn up the outside edges are on the bottom two. This is because my cake pans are garbage apparently. I grabbed a new $6 one at the grocery store the 3rd time I made this cake, because I was tired of having to wait to bake my third cake (I only had 2 pans.) And that $6 cake pan did a way better job releasing my cake intact. You can see the top cake in that photo is perfectly intact. So the point is that high quality cake pans are actually important. (Or at least $6 grocery store ones are?? ha. That’s going to be a gamble.) I just bought these ones that are the USA brand, my mother-in-law Kris swears by USA pans. And well, if Kris trusts it, then you all know that we should too 😉
***I ALWAYS take the time to do this annoying step of lining my pans with parchment paper. I’ve destroyed too many cakes trying to release them from the pan! I don’t trust the grease-and-then-dust-with-flour method. It’s failed me too many times. Although now I’m thinking maybe this was because I had crappy cake pans. HMM.
If you do not want a ton of frosting but still want to be able to comfortably frost a 3 layer cake, use:
Follow directions above for making the frosting.
Brown Sugar Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting << this is a yellow cake but with brown sugar in it. It’s my FAV.
The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had << Okay never mind. This one is actually my fav.
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting << This would be perfect for Easter coming up!