Perfect White Cake

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My perfect white cake is light, fluffy and incredibly delicious.

With a hint of almond, this sweet cake pairs well with so many flavors and is the perfect texture for stacking.  I love it with my cream cheese frosting and a surprise filling for a really impressive cake.  Lemon curd or jams are always a big hit!  With a few quick tricks, this cake turns out with perfectly flat layers every time, so there is no need to trim the tops before stacking!

Perfect white cake 8

What you need:

Perfect white cake ingredients

AP Flour – To mimic cake flour, start with All Purpose Flour (+ corn starch)

Corn Starch – This is added to the flour to lighten the flour, similar to cake flour.

Baking Powder – For a light an fluffy crumb.

Baking Soda – This will react with the buttermilk and help leaven the cake.

Salt – Kosher salt to help balance out the sweetness

Buttermilk – This reacts with the baking soda to make a light fluffy cake.

Sourcream – This gives the cake a tender texture.

Almond Extract – This is the key flavor to this cake, if you prefer, you can swap out another flavoring (like lemon)

Butter – Room temperature, I always bake with European style butter.

Sugar – granulated sugar

Egg Whites – To get a bright white cake, this recipe only uses the egg whites.  Save the holds for another recipe-like my Creamy Lemon Curd (it is a perfect filling for the cake!)

 

How to make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Soak four cake strips in water while you prepare the batter.  This is one of the keys to ensuring the cakes have flat layers!  Butter and flour four 6” cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.  Sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together then set aside.  Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and almond extract together then set aside.  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for two minutes-until light and fluffy.

Perfect white cake 1

Add the sugar and mix together until it is fluffy and turns pale yellow (about 5 minutes).  Add the egg whites in batches, scraping down the bowl in between.

Perfect white cake 2

Perfect white cake 3

With the mixer running on low, add a third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Pour in half of the wet ingredients and mix to combine.  Repeat this process, ending with the final third of the dry ingredients.  Stop the mixer as soon as the last bits of flour are incorporated.

Perfect white cake 4

Scrape down the sides of the mixer and give it one good stir.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and even out the tops with an offset spatula.

Perfect white cake 5

Pro Tip:

I keep a note of how much my stand mixer bowl weighs when it is empty (I have a label on the back of my mixer so I remember!).  This way I can measure the batter and deduct the bowl to know exactly how much batter I have.  This makes dividing it into the cake pans easy!

Squeeze the cake strips dry and wrap around the cake pans.  Bake at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.

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For best results, I refrigerate the cakes before decorating.  It is so much easier to stack and handle the cakes when chilled.  Once completely cooled, wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

How to make a layered cake:

To make a three layer cake, start by making a batch of frosting, pick an optional filling, and have three chilled perfect white cake layers.  Place a 6” cardboard cake board on a turntable and secure the first layer of cake with a small dab of frosting.  Pipe on a thin layer of frosting with a ring around the parameter.  Spoon or pipe the filling into the center and place the next piece of cake on top.  Make sure it is centered and level, then press down to secure.

Perfect white cake decorating

Repeat with the next layer, then top with the final piece of cake.  Pipe or coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting and smooth with an offset spatula or cake scraper-this is the crumb coat.  Place the cake in the refrigerator and let the frosting chill 30 minutes to an hour before applying the final layer.  To get a perfectly smooth finish,  apply an even layer of frosting and hold a cake scraper up to the edge (perfectly vertical) while resting on the turntable.  Rotate it while holding the scraper as evenly as possible.  Clean the scraper often and use the extra icing to fill any gaps or bubbles.

Perfect white cake decorating 2

Level off the top, then decorate as desired.  A large star piping tip is an easy way to add an impressive swirl of frosting to the top!  Add a few macarons and you have an impressive cake, perfect for any occasion!

 

Perfect White Cake

My perfect white cake is light, fluffy and incredibly delicious. With a hint of almond, this sweet cake pairs well with so many flavors and is the perfect texture for stacking. This recipe makes (4) 6 inch layers, perfect for one tall cake or two shorter cakes.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake
Makes: 4 6 inch cake layers
Author: Corey Grimsley

Equipment

  • (4) 6 inch cake pans
  • (4) cake strips

Ingredients

  • 480 grams AP flour
  • 60 grams corn starch
  • 8 grams baking powder
  • 6 grams baking soda
  • 10 grams salt Mortons Kosher, coarse
  • 490 grams buttermilk
  • 120 grams sour cream
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 227 grams butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 400 grams granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Soak four cake strips in water while you prepare the batter.
  •  Butter and flour four 6” cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
  • Sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together then set aside.  Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and almond extract together then set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for two minutes-until light and fluffy.
  • Add the sugar and mix together until it is fluffy and turns pale yellow (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the egg whites in batches, scraping down the bowl in between. 
  • With the mixer running on low, add a third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Pour in half of the wet ingredients and mix to combine.  Repeat this process, ending with the final third of the dry ingredients.  Stop the mixer as soon as the last bits of flour are incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the mixer and give it one good stir.  
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and even out the tops with an offset spatula. Squeeze the cake strips dry and wrap around the cake pans.  Bake at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
  • For best results, I refrigerate the cakes before decorating.  It is so much easier to stack and handle the cakes when chilled.  Once completely cooled, wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • Alternatively, you can divide the batter into two prepared 9” round cake pans and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350ºF.  
  • To make two half sheet cakes, divide the cake into the prepared half sheet pans and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350ºF.  
  • These cakes refrigerate and freeze beautifully, perfect for making ahead!  Just be sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap and close in a ziplock bag.  
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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