Try this delicious white cake recipe made using only egg whites for a softer and tender texture that we love to go with our favorite vanilla frosting like vanilla whipped buttercream or a mascarpone frosting and fresh berries, perfect for a birthday cake, wedding cake, and more.
Why you'll love this recipe?
White cake is a type of sponge cake characterized by its white color and light, fluffy texture. Depending on the way it is made and its composition, it can be either lighter or denser and more moist.
It's mainly its egg-white composition that gives it such a white color and its light, fluffy texture, similar to angel food cake but with extra butter to give it a more structured crumb.
Difference between white and yellow cake?
White cake, as its name suggests, contains egg whites only, while yellow cake recipe is made with egg yolks only.
Also made using buttermilk, just like my buttermilk sponge cake recipe (coming soon). Its slightly acidic content contributes to a perfect balance of flavors and a more soft, tender fine crumb.
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Different processing methods
There are 3 ways to make a homemade white cake recipe: the classic one, where you cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg whites, followed by the dry and liquid ingredients.
But in some recipes, the egg whites are beaten until stiff and incorporated at the end of the preparation. Or the reverse creaming method, in which the dry ingredients are combined with the butter, and the liquid and egg whites are incorporated at the end.
The last method is the most technical, but although it gives an incredible result, I preferred the more classic preparation, which I find very easy and satisfying.
Ingredients you need
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, which should be well softened. Take it out of the fridge in advance, or soften it a little in the microwave.
- Sugar: Use extra-fine white granulated sugar if possible, no powdered sugar.
- Egg whites: Whites only, use a separator to separate them easily from the yolks, and they must be at room temperature.
- Flour: I recommend using cake flour, which gives better results. When I only have all-purpose flour, I mix it with a tablespoon of cornstarch or potato starch.
- Yeast: A mixture of baking powder and baking soda, the latter especially when there is buttermilk or sour cream in the recipe gives better results.
- Buttermilk: Indispensable for this recipe, but I don't always have buttermilk in my fridge, so I'll give you my substitution tips in the recipe notes.
- Vanilla and salt: Pure vanilla extract and table salt are essential to bring out the flavors.
⚠️ You'll find quantities and full instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.
Step-by-Step Homemade White Cake
Cream butter and sugar
- Place the diced unsalted butter softened and white sugar in the bowl of a mixer or in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until creamy and smooth.
Add Egg Whites
- Add vanilla extract and room-temperature egg whites one by one in the butter mixture, keeping the mixer running at medium speed.
- Then continue mixing at high speed for around 5 minutes, until the texture is white and voluminous.
Add dry flour mixture
- Mix and sift together the dry ingredients, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately and in batches, mixing after each addition with a rubber spatula until the cake batter is smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 329°F/165°C and prepare ⅔ round cake pans 6 inches/ 15 cm in diameter, lining them with parchment paper only on the bottoms.
- Divide the cake batter between the prepared cake pans, tapping them lightly on the work surface to spread the cake batter.
- Bake the cake pans together in the oven at half-height for about 30 minutes, without opening the oven door, until golden brown on top.
- Check for proper baking by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cakes; it should come out clean, with no crumbs or runny batter. If not, extend the baking time by 5 minutes.
- Leave the cakes to cool slightly, then carefully remove from the pan and cool completely, upside down, on a cake rack.
Storage and freezing
In the fridge: You can store them in the fridge under plastic wrap or in a storage box for up to 5 days.
At room temperature: Wrapped in contact with plastic wrap or in a storage box for up to 5 days.
In the freezer: When cold, in an airtight container for up to 3 months, let them thaw gently at room temperature.
Tips for this recipe
- Use butter that is softened but not melted, and take it out of the fridge 30 minutes beforehand, or warm it slightly in the microwave.
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks when cold, then store them at room temperature for at least 1 hour before making the recipe.
- Beat the egg whites for 5 minutes before adding the dry ingredients with a spatula.
- Don't overcook the cakes, but check that they are done beforehand, otherwise, your cakes will be too dry.
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FAQ - Frequently asked questions
You didn't whip the egg whites enough, or you over-mixed the cake batter after adding the dry ingredients.
With fruit purées, like strawberry purée, and raspberry puree, and natural extracts, like almond extract, lemon juice, etc..
Yes, you can use this recipe to make cupcakes.
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