Easy White Cake

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m still on the hunt for “the” white cake recipe.  I’m still searching for the perfect from-scratch one, but in the mean time this one is pretty darn good.  My sister sent me the recipe, and while it’s similar to other doctored cake mix recipes you’ve seen here on Our Best Bites, it stands out because you’re actually adding more bulk and flavor like flour, sugar, salt and extracts to the mix as well.  This significantly cuts the “from a box” flavor and makes them taste more home made.  This recipe makes plenty for two 8″ round pans.  I’m making cupcakes with my batch today, and the nice thing about this recipe is that it increases the standard box yield of 24 up to 36.  I often need more than the 24 cupcakes a box will make, but less than the 48 from 2 boxes so this works perfectly.  The cake overall is more dense than a boxed mix so it holds up nicely if you’re using it for the base of a decorated cake.

The prep is about as easy as it comes.  With a standard from-scratch cake it’s important to do things like alternate wet and dry ingredients, but not with our half-home-made cake.  Just whisk all of the dry ingredients together (I just use the whisk attachment on my kitchenaid and give it a whirl) and then add in all of the wet stuff.   Beat it all up and you’re set!

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and then pop them in the oven.

Use a toothpick to test for doneness

One thing I really like is that you get really uniform raised tops on them.  Perfectly smooth and round.

And then you can do what you please with them!  Try our favorite White Vanilla Frosting or this amazing Chocolate one.  Next week I’ll show you what I did with this batch…


Thanks Sis!

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I recently used this recipe to make a 5 tier wedding cake. It got RAVE reviews from all. Thank you SO much for a delicious and user-friendly recipe!

  2. I was so impressed and thankful for your Breadstick recipe, that I wanted to share my most fav Vanilla cupcakes and Vanilla Layer Cake recipe:
    Very Vanilla Cupcakes:
    2 1/4 cup flour
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    3 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup veg. oil
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs
    3 tsp vanilla (artificial)use less if using pure extract
    Bake 350 for approx. 16 min. using Lg cupcake wrappers

    White Layer Cake: For 2 9"rounds
    (I have been playing around with the ingredient amts because I like a sweeter cake, and a bit denser so easier to icing)
    3 cups sugar
    3/4 cup veg oil
    4 eggs
    3 tsp vanilla (artificial)
    1 cup milk (I use skim)
    1 cup sourcream
    2 3/4 cup flour (approx)
    2 1/4 tsp baking powder
    Bake 350 for 30-40 min (usually 34 min)
    Enjoy, and thanks again! I am so glad I stumbled upon your site 🙂

  3. I know I'm late in the line-up of comments, but I wanted to tell you that I made this cake and it was really, really marvelous. It was so light and fluffy. I made it in 2 8-in. pans and put one layer in the freezer. I thawed it about two weeks later and it was still light, fluffy and delicious. I did change a couple of things–I used cake flour instead of all purpose because I had it and needed to use it up and I left out the almond flavoring because I didn't have any. I know it would have been just as good exactly as written.
    I'll keep watching your blog to see if you come up with a chocolate version. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I'm not sure Allie, but a lot of times it's the brand of cake mix. If you're testing things out, I might test it with a different brand and see how that works.

  5. I tried this with a chocolate cake mix and put it in a 6"X3" pan and a 10"x3" pan (i'm testing it for a wedding cake i'm doing) but the middle keeps sinking in. Is there something i'm doing wrong or any way to prevent that?

  6. Future Mrs. Heim–I'm so glad they were yummy! I'd definitely freeze them until you need them.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. YUM!! I just made these – they are delicious! The vanilla and almond extracts really make the flavor. I am using them to make your Tres Leches cupcakes…but I don't need them until Friday. I want to store the plain cupcakes and add the "tres leches" on Thursday night. Is it best to freeze them for a few days, or store them in a container on the counter at room temp?

  8. Thanks for this great recipe. I made this over the weekend for birthday and the cake turned out great! Nice & moist and without that "out of the box" flavor.

    Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  9. Krista- unless you have time to test it out first, I definitely wouldn't try a new recipe for a paying client. But that's just me!

  10. hmm… now i'm not sure whether to try this recipe or go with a recipe i've been tweaking for the 3 tiered 50th wedding anniversary cake i'm making this weekend… i'm a little nervous cause this one's a 'paying' client… what to do, what to do…

  11. Simply.Food- They just get barely brown around the edges. The top of the cake stays perfectly white so make sure to keep an eye on them when they are nearing the end of baking time!

    Southworths- thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Silver White Cake [from Betty Crocker]
    * 2 1/4 cups flour (or 2 1/2 cups cake flour)
    * 1 2/3 cups sugar
    * 2/3 cup shortening
    * 1 1/4 cups milk
    * 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    * 1 tsp. salt
    * 1 tsp. vanilla (or almond extract)
    * 5 large egg whites

    1. Heat oven to 350 deg. Grease bottom/sides of 13×9 pan or 2 9in round pans w/ shortening and lightly flour.
    2. Beat all ingredients except egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
    3. Beat in egg whites on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
    4. Bake rectangle 40-45 minutes and rounds 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    5. Frost w/ your favorite frosting!

    1. Hi
      i just tried your recipe and the cupcakes came out of the oven looking great but they are very fragile. and soft is that normal?
      Thanks x

  13. Lovely cakes and I like the sound of white cakes.But do they not brown when you bake them or do you remove from oven before they brown???

  14. Coleen- yes you can substitute any flavoring you want. I actually used lemon and vanilla in the batch pictured. Just replace the almond with vanilla and you're set. 🙂

  15. I love this idea and I am going to try it.
    but one question.
    when I send anything to school with my kids it has to be "nut free"…….so that would include no almond extract (which I personally love).

    Can I substitute extra vanilla extract?? will they still turn out??

    Coleene – in Canada (where the nut free thing in schools has gotten out of control/excessive in my opinion)

  16. Grrr… My sister (Elisabeth) was still signed in. The above comment was from me (Jennifer)!

  17. Ok, I just might have to actually give this a try! I am SO anti-cake-mix it's not even funny! But, you've given me hope. 🙂

    Also, I'm with Katie (above comment)… we love, love, LOVE the Betty Crocker silver white cake!! I make it for my little boy every year. It's my go-to for white cake. Give it a try.

  18. This looks great! Just wanted to mention that the hands-down best from-scratch recipe I've ever tried is the Betty Crocker Silver White Cake recipe that is in their 1969 cookbook. 🙂


  19. Wow, you got that up fast 🙂
    A note on flavors: ANY flavor cake mix turns out great with this. The almond is a must, even if it seems weird (like in carrot cake). The great thing is that even with the chocolate mix, you don't need to add any extra chocolate flavor.
    This is my favorite way to start a cake and I don't consider it a doctored cake mix… I just consider the cake mix one of the ingredients 😀

  20. Cheri- that's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Alexis- I use a standard cookie scoop (ya know, the kind with the spring-loaded handle) to make it both clean and even. Works like a charm!

  21. Looks dee-licious. I have a question, how do you get your cupcake batter plopped in without making a ginormous mess?

  22. My daughter puts her cakes in the freezer too.. I think she will like your recipe. deb

  23. Kayci- my sister has made this same recipe with chocolate and it's great. Even with the almond extract too! The egg whites are just for keeping the cake white, so you could also use 2 whole eggs instead of 4 whites for chocolate.

    Double Dipped Life- yup. Strangely enough the cooking time seems to be the same 🙂

  24. This sounds great! 1 question though- the cooking time is the same, even though you've added more ingredients?


  25. Aren't you a lifesaver! I have to make rainbow cupcakes tomorrow, which, with the dividing of the batter, makes less cupcakes than 24, and I need at least that many. I was going to cheat with the cake mix, since it's for kids, who will care more about the frosting and the rainbow effect 😉 But now they'll have better tasting cupcakes too! I'm excited to try this – thank you!

  26. This is a great idea of add-ins.
    As much as possible, I try to bake from scratch. But, if ever I'm stuck…this would be a great solution.
    You said you were looking for a good white cake recipe from scratch? If, I'm not mistaken…the one I have used in the past with excellent results was from Cook's Illustrated.
    Hope this was helpful ;o)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia