Baking White Buttermilk Cake from Scratch
What Makes a White Cake White?
Some white cake recipes call for solid vegetable shortening, in place of the butter. It will certainly work and make a creamy snow white batter, if you're inclined to go that route. However, I have found that the butter doesn't affect the color of the batter that dramatically and the flavor is so darn good, that I can't bring myself to leave it out. It also gives that golden crust that makes it so mouthwatering. A more profound effect on the color would be using egg yolks and regular vanilla.
Other Ingredients That Make a White Cake White
Using egg whites and clear vanilla are a must when making a white cake. This cake can be finished with any flavor of frosting that you like. It can be cut into shapes and made into petit fours, strawberry shortcake or coconut cake, the list could go on and on. I love it, it's flavorful, tender and versatile.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
White Buttermilk Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 ½ cups whole buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch cake pan or spray with baking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together softened butter, sugar, vanilla and almond flavorings. Beat for 5 minutes until creamy and pale yellow in color.
- Add the egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until fluffy.
- Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Stop and scrape the beater and sides of the bowl periodically so all of the ingredients fully combine.
- After all ingredients have been added, increase the mixer speed and beat for 1 minute longer.
- Spread the batter evenly in pan. Bounce the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
- Cool completely. Frost as desired.
I'm not a seasoned baker at all. In fact, I was desperate for a cake recipe when I found this one. It's absolutely foolproof, I've made it in every shape possible. I don't change a thing about it, followed to a "T." It's my go to now, thanks Melissa!
I love this recipe too, I'm so happy you do!
Could this white buttermilk cake be made with gluten free flour?
I haven't tested it but I bet it could adapted. If you try it let us know how it goes.
Can you adjust this recipe so I can use2 12" cake pans, round?
You could adapt this sure. You'll need to adjust the amount to have ample batter for 2 large layers and the baking time, as well.
Can you adapt this recipe to go into two 8in round pans?
You can make this in two 8 inch rounds depending on depth. Otherwise, it's not always an easy thing to cut back the ingredients when making a cake batter like this. Fill the pans 2/3 full and if you still have batter, bake it in a muffin pan or small loaf pan. The right pans, and that won't be necessary.
How many cupcakes do you think this recipe would yield? Looking for a go to vanilla cake and this one looks soooo good!!
You should be able to yield 16-18 cupcakes, depending on how you divide the batter.
Love this cake!! I was searching for a white cake that uses buttermilk because I can’t ever find a use for leftover buttermilk. Delicious! Will definitely be using for my husband’s birthday cake 🙂
Our family all agree....this has now become the official birthday cake from now on!a
I consider thst high praise. It's my family's favorite, too. Thank you!
I love this cake have made it several times am planning on making it as a wedding cake this weekend. Can I double it for my larger pans?
Yes you can. It sounds as if you're an experienced baker so just make sure you adjust the baking time. I love this cake, I'm delighted you do, too.
This is just an outstanding cake recipe. I add huckleberries and a streusel topping. It is one of my family's favorites.
Thanks Megan, we love this one, too. I love how you chose to serve it, well done!
GIRL, why is it I'm just stumbling upon this recipe in the last 3 years? I'm a baker...longing to find the perfect vanilla cake recipe (who knew it could be so hard), to use for cupcakes and sheet cakes. I found your recipe last night, made the sheet cake today, and voila! It's perfect! The smell of butter permeated my kitchen as it baked, and I set aside a small bit of batter to put in a 6-inch round just to test it, and OMG, it was AMAZING! Used 5 other people in my house as test subjects and they all agreed it was the best cake I'd ever made! Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. I now have a go-to recipe for vanilla cupcakes and cakes, from scratch, that I'm sure my clients will LOVE!
P.S. Instead of using 6 egg whites, I used 3 whole large eggs and it's still very light in color...like off-white 🙂
I'm gonna try the batter in cupcake tins next time, and if they work, I'm a "shoe in"
Hi Sharon, I'm so happy you loved this one, it's my favorite buttermilk cake and I was happy to share it with you. Whole eggs are perfectly fine, if the color suits you go for it! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and visit.
Everything looks great. Anxious to try them all.
What is your frosting recipe?
Vanilla Buttercream here
Can't click on here button. Need a recipe and how much to use pink food color for white buttermilk cake?
Please scroll to the bottom of the page for the full recipe. There's no food coloring in the White Buttermilk Cake recipe.
I just realized that I didn’t ask for frosting recipe. That’s why I asked about food coloring for frosting. I just wanted a frosting recipe. Sorry for misunderstanding.
Add a few drops of red or pink food coloring to Vanilla Buttercream frosting here.
I love to bake and look forward to making the Coconut Cream Cake for a gathering next weekend.
However, WHOLE buttermilk is NO where to be found in my area. Only low-fat.
What to do?
The whole fat buttermilk gives it a richness in texture and flavor however, the recipe will work with low fat buttermilk, too.
Use low fat if that's all you can find.
Hi Melissa, Will I be able to use this receipe for a 11x15 sheet pan if I doubled the receipe?
It would surely fill it, Tia. I haven't made it in a jelly roll pan. A single recipe would work but, it would be thin.
I love in the UK what is cake flour? We have plain or self raising. I'm guessing self raising!
I would think your self-raising flour has leavening agents in it. You can use plain or all-purpose flour.
Hi Joy! It is a perfect cake for Mothers Day. Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Happy Mothers Day to you as well. ~ Melissa
Absolutely beautiful, and perfect for this Mother's Day weekend! Thanks for a great tutorial, too! Pinned! 🙂
Happy Mother's Day!