White Velvet Cake

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If you're in search of the perfect homemade white cake recipe, you must try this White Velvet Cake!

It has become our new go-to. This cake is light, velvety soft, flavorful, and super moist.

White Velvet Cake

What Makes this White Cake Special?

There are lots of reasons to love this homemade white cake recipe!

We've made several "velvet cakes" lately, including our Lemon Velvet Cake, Vanilla Velvet Cake, and Chocolate Velvet recipes- they all have a common "secret ingredient" of softened cream cheese which gives the cakes a soft, velvety texture.

Our Homemade Strawberry Cake ,Almond Cream Cake, and Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipes contain cream cheese in the batter as well. (Make sure to add these to your list for another time!)

We find that the cream cheese in the cake batter results in cake layers that are softer, creamier, and have added richness while still maintaining a fluffy texture.

As an added bonus, the extra acidity from the buttermilk in today's White Velvet Cake recipe softens the strands of gluten, resulting in an even more tender cake.

Since we're making a White Cake recipe today, we used egg whites in order to keep the color nice and light. The egg whites also result in a lighter more delicate crumb.

*Don't miss our full collection of Velvet Cake recipes!

White Velvet Cake

How to Make White Velvet Cake

This white velvet cake is very simple to make, and it yields about 7.5 cups of batter- enough for three fluffy 8 inch cake layers.

You can find the full printable cake recipe further down in this post, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We like to add a circle of parchment to the bottom of each pan to ensure that nothing sticks!
  2. Separate Egg Whites Go ahead and separate your eggs and place the six egg whites in a bowl to the side. (You won't be using the yolks.)
Separating Egg
  1. Flour Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
  2. Buttermilk Mixture: In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. Butter & Cream Cheese: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the Sugar: Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Egg Whites: Mixing on low speed, add the 6 egg whites one at a time (it's fine to estimate), mixing to incorporate after each addition.
  6. Adding Dry and Wet Ingredients Alternately: With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet)
  7. Fill the Pans: Mix the batter just until well combined- be careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter between the three prepared 8 inch cake pans.
White Velvet Cake Batter
White Velvet Cake Batter in Pans
  1. Time to Bake! Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out. *Baking times may vary slightly
White Velvet Cake Layers, freshly baked!

Whipped Cream Filling

We've been going through a homemade whipped cream filling phase lately- we just love it! So, we whipped up a quick batch of sweetened whipped cream for our White Velvet Cake. It is really simple to make and tastes sooo good.

However, there are many fillings that you could use with this recipe- from fruit fillings to buttercream fillings and more. Everything pairs well with white cake!

If you've never made whipped cream filling before, here is a quick rundown of our steps. It has a bit of added sweetness from the confectioners sugar and a hint of vanilla.

Whipped Cream
  1. First, chill the mixing bowl and beaters/ whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into the chilled mixing bowl. Begin mixing on low speed gradually increasing to medium high speed.  
  3. Mix until the cream begins to thicken and stiff peaks form- be careful not to over-mix. At "stiff peak" stage, peaks form and hold their shape when beaters are lifted. This is when it's ready.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

We kept things very simple for our vanilla frosting. This is our go-to recipe for American Buttercream. It is a simple combination of butter, powdered sugar, milk (or cream), salt, and vanilla.

You can use this Vanilla Buttercream as a filling or frosting, and it pipes great too!

It is a crusting vanilla buttercream recipe. It develops just a very light, thin "crust"- something that you would only notice if you are a fan of the Viva Paper Towel method of smoothing, which allows you to lightly smooth over the frosting once it has set.

We most often use the Hot Knife Method of smoothing buttercream these days, when we need a smooth finish. However, lately we are doing lots of textured techniques instead (like our ridged buttercream cake video). Really, anything goes! Have fun with it.

The BEST Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe by MyCakeSchool.com! A crusting buttercream recipe. So delicious and easy to make!
  1. In the bowl of your mixer, mix the softened butter until smooth. Blend in the vanilla extract.
  2. Add half of the powdered sugar and most of the milk. Mix at medium speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  3. Next, add the remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix at medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then, I slow down the mixer (#2 on the Kitchenaid) and mix for 1 to 2 minutes. This slower mixing will help eliminate air pockets in the buttercream. The texture will become very smooth.
  4. This vanilla frosting recipe can be doubled or halved.
  5. If the consistency of your buttercream is too thin, add more sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit more milk!

A Note About the Brand of Confectioners Sugar

**Buttercream should never be grainy. Some brands of confectioners sugar work better for buttercream frosting than others.

The difference can be a matter of the type of anti-caking agent the brand uses, pure cane sugar vs. beet sugar (cane is preferred), and more. We have always had great results when using Dominos and US Sugar (from Costco) brands for our frostings.

Assembling the White Velvet Cake

  • Now it's time to put this beautiful white velvet cake cake together! If you are assembling the cake on the same day that the layers were baked, make sure that your cakes have completely cooled before assembling and frosting.
  • Place the first cake layer on your cake plate or pedestal. Pipe a dam of buttercream about ¼ -½ inch from the edge of the cake using a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped away).
  • The purpose of the dam is to prevent the filling from escaping when the layers are stacked.
White Velvet Cake- Dam
  • Spread the whipped cream within the dam and repeat for the second layer. Then top with the third cake layer. Fill in any gaps between the cake layers with buttercream.
Whipped Cream Filling
  • Next, I like to apply a crumb coat (thin coat) of frosting and chill for 15-20 minutes in the freezer (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm things up. Chilling is an optional step but it makes it easier to apply the final coat of frosting without the layers shifting.

Decorating the White Velvet Cake

  • I applied the final coat of frosting and added texture with an offset spatula. I piped a bead border using a round tip 3 to the base of the cake, and then made a simple piped daisy design around the top edge.
Decorating the White Velvet Cake

Here's the finished cake! Don't you just want to dive in? We hope that you enjoy this popular cake recipe as much as we have.

White Velvet Cake
White Velvet Cake Slice

Make sure to check out our full collection of cake recipes and cake decorating tutorials! You. may even like to create a more rustic, naked cake design. The decorating options are endless.

More Vanilla Cakes

In addition to today's delicious White Velvet Cake, we have several delicious vanilla cakes for you to try! Just a few of our favorites are Vanilla Buttermilk Cake, Homemade White Cake, and Yellow Cake!

White Velvet Cake

White Velvet Cake

This white cake is moist, flavorful, and velvety soft! It's the only white cake recipe you'll ever need.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15 servings
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened (we used one 8 oz package, full fat.)
  • 1 ½ sticks (168g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 6 egg whites room temperature
  • 3 cups (342g) cake flour See notes if substitution is needed.
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 cup (242g) buttermilk (See Notes for substitution)
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil (We use canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) Clear Vanilla Extract (You can use real vanilla extract if you would rather but the cake will not be quite as light in color)

Whipped Cream Filling

  • 1 cup (240g) heavy cream
  • ¼ (29g) cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (4g) teaspoon vanilla extract

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened. slightly softened but cool to the touch and holding it's shape
  • 6 cups (690 grams) powdered sugar You can adjust the sugar amount up or down based on your consistency preferences.
  • 2 tsp. (8g) vanilla extract (use clear imitation vanilla if you like a whiter frosting)
  • cup (72g) milk or cream, more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans, adding a circle of parchment or wax paper to the bottom of each pan.
  • Go ahead and separate your eggs, saving only the 6 egg whites for this recipe. Set them in a bowl to the side.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Mixing on low speed, add the 6 egg whites one at a time (it's fine to estimate), mixing to incorporate after each addition.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet)
  • Mix the batter just until well combined- be careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter between the three pans.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out. *Baking times may vary slightly.
  • This recipe makes 7 ½ cups of batter.
  • Can be used for cupcakes but they have no dome. Our recipe for Homemade White Cake or Vanilla Cupcakes will bake up slightly fuller (with small dome).

For the Whipped Cream Filling

  • Chill the mixing bowl and beaters/ whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into the chilled mixing bowl, begin beating on low speed gradually increasing to medium high speed.  
  • The cream begins to thicken (approx. 1 ½ minutes) and stiff peaks form- be careful not to overmix. This happens fairly quickly! At "stiff peak" stage, peaks form and hold their shape when beaters are lifted. This is when it's ready.

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  • Cream the (slightly softened) butter until smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar and most of the milk. Beat at medium speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  • Add remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix at medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. I slow down the mixer to very slow. (#2 on the Kitchenaid) for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help eliminate air pockets in the buttercream. The texture will become very smooth.
  • This recipe can be doubled or halved.
  • Yields approximately 4 ½ cups of frosting.
  • If your buttercream is too thin, add more sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit more milk.

To Assemble the Cake

  • Place the first cake layer on your cake plate or pedestal. Pipe a dam of buttercream about ¼ -½ inch from the edge of the cake using a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped away).
  • Spread the whipped cream within the dam and repeat for the second layer. Then top with the third cake layer. Fill in any gaps between the cake layers with buttercream.
  • Next, I like to apply a crumb coat (thin coat) of frosting and chill for 15-20 minutes in the freezer (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm things up. This makes it easier to apply the final coat of frosting without the layers shifting.
  • I applied the final coat of frosting and added texture with an offset spatula. I piped a bead border using a round tip 3 to the base of the cake, and then made a simple piped daisy design around the top edge.

Notes

Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
Substitution for Buttermilk: Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Add milk to the 1 cup mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
Refrigeration: Because of the whipped cream filling, this cake should be refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving so that it has plenty of time to warm to room temperature for best texture and flavor.

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109 Comments

  1. Hi, can I reduce the amount of sugar and if so by how much. I don't mind the sweetness but some family members prefer less sweetness. Thank you.

    1. Hi Angela, I can't say how the cake itself would turn out if you reduce the sugar without experimenting with it. Sugar adds moisture to the cake and also softens the texture, etc. I'm not sure that you would be happy with the results. That said, I don't find this to be an overly sweet cake at all.

      The easiest place to reduce sugar would be in the frosting. Just start with less, maybe 4 cups (use less liquid as well) and adjust to your liking. Cream cheese frosting is also a less sweet option, as is Swiss meringue buttercream.

  2. can I half the recipe for the white velvet cake? I would like to make a test cake. I have been so disappointed in white cakes made from recipes on the internet that claim to be good and are not.

    1. Hi Carol, I haven't tried making a half recipe for this cake. I would think it would work! You will love the recipe ;0)

        1. We love this cake.But three layers makes more cake than we need.So I ice one layer and freeze the other two for later.This cake freezes really well.I also add almond flavoring taste just like a bakery cake.

    1. Hi Maddie! Yes, I'm sure sprinkles would be fine! For cupcakes, we've had mixed reviews because they don't bake up quite as full as our other cupcake recipes (vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, etc.). It isn't just the lack of dome, but they are actually smaller (but still taste great!)

  3. I made the white velvet cake for New Years and it was so soft and moist and so white. This is a delicious cake and everyone loved it, many compliments. I’m doing the White chocolate velvet next.

    1. Hi there- The recipe calls for 3 cups of cake flour. You may have seen 2 cups sugar in the recipe card. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this cake for a client of mine (I am a home baker on the side). Love the tender layers and lightness of the layers. I filled and covered with only buttercream
    Do I need to refrigerate?

    1. Hi Jean! I'm so glad that you love the recipe. If it is just buttercream, it will be fine at room temperature- we normally would leave it out 1-2 days in an airtight container or under a cake dome before moving to the refrigerator for freshness. (If you do refrigerate, allow to warm up a couple of hours before serving for best flavor and texture.)

    1. Hi Darcy- This recipe can work for cupcakes but they don't bake up quite as full as say our vanilla cupcake recipe. I've heard from readers that love them as cupcakes while others wish they were a little taller. We use about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake and so this recipe would make about 28-30 cupcakes. (Start checking for doneness around 16-18 minutes).

  5. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I had never made a white cake thinking it would be boring. This was anything but. This will definitely be my “to go to” white cake.

  6. 5 stars
    My search for a good Vanilla Cake recipe is now done. This was incredible!! Thank you. So so so good!!

  7. Hello, do you think this cake recipe could be used in a Bund pan? Or is this cake recipe too light for that type of pan

  8. 5 stars
    This is now my go-to recipe for vanilla and white cake. It's a family favourite and I've made it so many times.

    I have a question - can this recipe be doubled in order to make a larger cake?