You guys… I did it! I finally did it! I made a bakery quality white cake with buttercream frosting! With a little testing and recipe adjustments, I found my go-to recipe.
I love cake. I mean LOVE cake. I look forward to birthday cake. I hate to leave a wedding before the cake is served (which almost always happens because wedding receptions are so freakin long these days!). I loveeeee cake.
In the past I’ve tasted delicious, homemade white cake and asked my friend for the recipe so I could make homemade cake for my daughters birthday. She basically said “no way.” 😐 So that’s how my search began. I just wanted to make a white cake like I would normally buy from a bakery or eat at a wedding. It took two years of attempts, but I’m finally happy with this recipe. And because I’m awesome, I share my recipes with you!
I love cake, but don’t really love white frosting. I DO love homemade buttercream. I love this Foodnetwork.com buttercream frosting recipe. First I read the recipe reviews; always a good idea before launching into a recipe. There were some negative reviews that this buttercream was “too buttery.” Excuse me… what?! I personally am usually wishing buttercream actually tasted more like… BUTTER.
This buttercream is “too buttery?” Dude… that’s weird.
Anyhow… yes, this buttercream actually tastes like sweet, creamy, whipped, buttery frosting. Since I’m not really a sickeningly sweet frosting girl, this stuff is a w e s o m e.
I have zero cake decorating skills. Not yet anyhow. So after icing my cake, I just coated it in coconut, which I highly recommend. I’ve been informed that this is not technically a “coconut cake” since it does not have the traditional frosting. But whatever. It’s yummy. That is all that should matter.
I’ve also decorated this cake in candy, which is easy and totally adorable! There is a picture at the end of this post.
Making a Bakery Quality White Cake with Buttercream Frosting
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 6 egg whites, room temperature (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (I use vegetable shortening to grease the pans and then all-purpose flour to coat.)
2. In a medium bowl, mix the room temperature milk and egg whites along with the vanilla and almond extracts until blended.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the bowl then cut in the by hand (a pastry blender works well!) until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.
4. Add the milk mixture and beat on medium speed just until combined. Remember, over mixing the cake batter results in a dense cake.
5. Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
6. Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cakes.
7. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto plates and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cool the cakes to room temperature before icing.
- Cake doesn’t rise – Check your baking powder. If it’s expired or even close to the expiration date it is likely the problem.
- Cake over flows while cooking – Never fill the cake pans above halfway full. If you have extra batter, discard it or try making a mini cake or whatever. 🙂
- The almond flavor is too strong – use less. But seriously, just use less! I like the flavor balance between the vanilla and almond in this recipe, but if you don’t, then use less. I am from the northeast-ish midwest-ish area and wedding cakes seem to often have a wonderful almond flavor. LOVE it! But if you don’t then okay. No need to leave a nasty comment, just use less almond extract. 🙂
- Cake sticks to the pan – I’ve had this happen and it’s the worst feeling! Now I’ve begun to cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan. I still grease and flour the whole pan as usual, but then I place the parchment paper in the bottom. This ensures that the cake WILL come out of the pan perfectly.
Other Cake Baking Tips:
- Do not over mix the batter
- Use only very fresh ingredients
- Use an oven thermometer to make sure your temperature is just right
- Consider the altitude of where you live and adjust baking instructions accordingly
- Don’t open the oven while the cake is baking
- Cool the cakes for a few minutes in the pan, then flip them onto plates and cover with plastic wrap to finish cooling. I do this and my cakes are always perfectly moist.
Have a great cake baking tip? Tell us in the comments!
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Beat together the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well blended then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of cream and beat for another minute, adding more cream to reach your desired consistency.
I created this Pinterest inspired candy decorated cake for a church event:
It was a big hit! And yes, I know the candies are a bit crooked in the picture. I did fix them later. I just wish I had a better picture! Still, it was the first cake claimed in the cake walk… so I was proud 🙂
A note about comments: Wow! Thank you everyone for all the comments on this post! It seems this recipe has worked beautifully for many, and not so well for others. It’s okay! No recipe is for everyone. I am working on this recipe to figure out why it comes out dry and dense for some people (my suspicion is over mixing when incorporating the butter and/or when adding the wet ingredients) and will update you all when I can.
I am a busy full-time working mom with a full life and as this is only one of many posts I receive daily feedback on, I just cannot keep up with comments. Hey, I’m only human! 🙂 You should be able to find comments from others in the thread that will answer any questions you have.
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