Fluffy, perfectly moist White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. Perfect for a crowd & so much better than the bakery!
I don’t know about you – but my summers are always filled with celebrations, BBQs and endless opportunities to eat dessert. It seems like there’s a birthday, house warming, bridal shower or family reunion virtually every weekend – and I’m always searching for a way to write happy birthday/congratulations/warm wishes in frosting.
And this White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream is the perfect dessert for just that. It’s delicious, feeds a crowd, not too fussy & way better than any sheet cake from the bakery.
The cake itself is fluffy, moist, perfectly buttery & substantial enough to stand up to copious amounts of frosting. Then because we’re making it in a large 9×13 inch pan, we’re avoiding all the kerfuffle of making a layer cake.No one’s disappointed when they see delicious cake covered in fully vanilla buttercream.
Ok – so let’s talk about ingredients.
For the perfect taste – we’re using real butter, vanilla & a little almond extract for a delicate flavor that’s not too sweet but never bland.
First, you’ll notice that in addition to using butter for our fat – we’re adding a little oil. Oil creates a soft and tender cake crumb because it’s liquid at room temperature unlike butter. However, it lacks the delicious flavor that we get from using butter. Adding just a little oil to the batter therefore assists in a tender cake crumb without compromising flavor.
Then for a light consistency (and the signature white color of white cake), this is an egg white only recipe.
And for that perfectly moist texture and super soft crumb?? Sour cream & buttermilk. Since we aren’t using the yolks of the eggs, it’s important to add tenderness and moisture back into the batter – which sour cream accomplishes perfectly. Then buttermilk creates the softest crumb.
Talk about a winning combo.
The cake has a delicate crumb, is perfectly moist & dense enough for easy decorating.The whole thing is frosted with creamy, fluffy vanilla buttercream. There’s definitely enough extra buttercream to frost the sides of the cake, or add a few decorations – but I went for a minimalist theme and placed a few berries to the top of each piece.
It’s easy, perfect for your summer celebrations, and most importantly – delicious. Seriously, this White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream doesn’t disappoint.
Perfect White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
- 2 and ¾ cup cake flour , sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 and ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons oil , canola or vegetable
- 5 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup sour cream room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
For the Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 4-5 cups icing/powdered sugar , sifted
- ¼ to ⅓ cup whipping cream or half and half cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt , to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add in the oil, egg whites, vanilla extract and almond extract until combined (about 30 seconds). Turn off the mixer and stir in the sour cream using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- With the mixer on low, beat in about ½ of the flour mixture followed by about ½ of the buttermilk. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Turn the mixer back onto low and beat in the rest of the flour mixture followed by the rest of the buttermilk.
- Carefully pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 28-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few cake crumbs.
- Allow to cool fully before frosting.
- To make the buttercream, in a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the icing sugar about ¾ cup at a time followed by the cream, vanilla & salt until the desired consistency is reached. Either invert the cake onto a large service platter or board, or frost in its pan.
Sasha @ Eat Love Eat
What a beautiful cake! The recipe sounds perfect. I’ve never had white cake before (I’m guessing it’s a typical US cake?) but this definitely makes me want to try!
Thanks so much Sasha! To be honest, I’m not sure of the origins of a White Cake – but the key characteristic is using only egg whites so that the cake is white in color. It’s a simple cake – I’d definitely recommend trying it! Let me know what you think 🙂
Will this stand up to being a four layer ombré?
I haven’t made this recipe as a layer cake – but it is cake is sturdy so it stands up to frosting quite well. I’d recommend freezing the layers first so its easier to frost if you’re making it into a layer cake though. Let me know how it goes!
Hi!! Would this work ok as cupcakes?? It looks delightful!
Yes – the recipe would work for cupcakes. You’d want to fill each about 2/3 full and I think you’d get about about 30 cupcakes total. I think the bake time would be about 16-20 minutes (at the same temperature) – but I’d probably start checking at 15 minutes just to be safe
Thanks so much!!
This looks yummy! Does this recipe double well? I am planning on making a large sheet cake with this. 🙂
The recipe makes one 9×13 inch cake which can serve about 15-18 people. I haven’t tried doubling it, but I think it would be fine. You’d definitely need a very large bowl however, and would just need to be careful not to over mix the batter (otherwise it can get tough)
Can this be made in a glass 9×13 pan? I dont have a metal one…
That would be fine – just make sure to grease and flour the pan well. Glass tends to transfer more heat than a metal pan, so I’d recommend lowering the oven temperature by 25F degrees. The baking time will be about the same, but I’d start checking it a little earlier just in case.
Is the vanilla in the recipe, vanilla extract?
cynthia A Brubaker
I have been looking for a white cake recipe for my adult daughter’s birthday, I do a pretty good chocolate cake baker but never found a good white cake recipe. I made this today as a test cake and honestly is the best tasting white cake recipe ever, was also moist and kind of fluffy. My problem is the edges got rubbery, and after searching why I think it comes down to over mixing. I will try again (no worries, cut the test cake into pieces figure it will make a nice trifle). My question is when adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter/sugar mixture how much mixing do you do? I think I truly overthink things because I want it to be perfect.
My 9×13 sheet cake pan sides are 3” tall. How tall is the finished cake once baked?
It’s been a while since I last made this – so I’m not 100% sure on the exact height. But that pan size will definitely be fine 🙂