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sliced white cake on cake stand (1)

White Cake Recipe

Outrageously light and fluffy, this white cake gets its signature softness by using egg whites as opposed to whole eggs. This recipe also features the addition of sour cream and cake & pastry flour for added moisture and tenderness! It's perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any and all celebrations!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 12 generous slices


For the white cake:

  • 3 cups cake & pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 & 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract * see notes
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9 inch) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Set aside.
  • Make the white cake: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, oil, and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has lightened in color and fluffed up (about 2 minutes on medium speed). The mixture will be slightly grainy - that's fine!
    * You can do this step by hand, but it is a workout!
  • Add the egg whites to the butter mixture. Beat until well incorporated (about 1 minute). Add in your sour cream and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  • Add about half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and stir to combine. Whisk in your buttermilk, followed by the remaining half of the dry ingredients until just combined. Take care not to over mix!
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between your 2 prepared cake pans, and smoothen the batter into an even layer. Bake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in the pans, and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature. I also like to wrap my cakes and pop them in the freezer for about 1 hour before frosting to make assembly easier!
  • Make the buttercream: Add your butter into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until lightened in color and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes).
    * Again, you can do this by hand.... but maybe skip arm day at the gym.
  • Add your powdered sugar to the butter and mix on low to incorporate (so you don't get a puff of sugar flying at you). Once you no longer see any dry sugar, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed for another 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar well.
  • Add your salt, 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream, and vanilla. Whip the mixture for another 1 to 2 minutes on high speed, or until it's light and fluffy. Take care not to over mix if using heavy cream as it can turn grainy. Mix in more milk/cream as needed to get your desired consistency.
  • Assemble your cake & decorate! Now comes the fun part! Place one of your white cakes onto your serving platter. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting over top. Top with the second cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
    Serve as is or decorate with some sprinkles and piped detailing!


* You can use clear vanilla extract or pure vanilla extract. Clear vanilla will not add any brown tint to the cake, which helps it keep as "white" as possible. If you don't mind the slight coloring, pure vanilla extract is perfectly fine to use as well.
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