Classic White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Tomorrow is my mother-in-law, Connie’s, birthday. I won’t tell you how old she will be, but I will tell you that I love her more and more every year that passes by. When I asked her what flavor she wanted, Connie requested a white cake. I used the classic white cake recipe from Baking Illustrated, filled the middle with a blackberry buttercream, and iced the cake in a vanilla buttercream. Robert and I were unable to make it back to Walnut Creek to celebrate her birthday this past weekend because my sister was in town from Virginia, so I sent the cake along home with my brother-in-law on Friday.

I hope you enjoyed the cake, Connie. We love you! :)

Classic White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


Classic White Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups plain cake flour
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I was out of almond extract so I used 2 tsp vanilla instead)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


For the Cake

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 11X15 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Generously grease and flour it. Dust with flour.
2. Pour the milk, egg whites, and extracts into a bowl and whisk until blended.

3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix together briefly. Add the butter and continue beating at low speed until the mixture consists of moist crumbs.

4. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the butter/flour mixture and mix at medium speed for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining milk and beat for about 30 seconds longer. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to make sure the batter is fully blended.

5. Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a center gently springs back when you touch it.

6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a baking rack for about 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife along the edges to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Allow to cool completely.

7. When you are ready to decorate the cake, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter and carefully flip the cake over onto it. It should remove easily from the pan. Use a ruler to ensure equal portions and cut the cake in half (5.5 inches wide for each).

For the Frosting

1. Place the butter in a bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2. Add in the marshmallow creme, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well combined.

3. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Scrape down the sides to ensure the mixture is well combined.

4. Add the cream, 1 Tbsp at a time and whip until light and fluffy.

(For the blackberry buttercream- I took about 2/3 cup of the vanilla buttercream and added 2 Tbsp blackberry jam and an additional 2 Tbsp heavy cream)

6. Decorate the cake as desired :)

Source: Cake-Baking Illustrated, Frosting- Lolly’s Sweet Treats

32 thoughts on “Classic White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Do you know what the purpose of the almond extract is? Does it give the cake an almond-flavor? I am not a fan of the taste of almond extract at all. 😖 But I am looking for a white cake recipe that resembles what comes from the box mix (truly white) without being the box mix…

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Katie- the almond extract just adds extra flavor to the cake. My husband doesn’t like almond extract either, but he loves this cake. The flavor is very mild in my opinion, but you could definitely leave it out of the recipe without any problems.

      • Thank you so much for getting back to me! I am trying to make a genuinely white cake from scratch and the first three recipes I have tried have been a flop. The first one was good, but none of the three have been genuinely white in color. And the the second two had the texture and taste of a sugar cookie! The batter was super thick, and I could not get it to bake through in my 11×15 pan! I have never had cake give me so much trouble!!! I am going to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing and wish me luck!!! 😱😊

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  3. I would love to make this cake; however, you have left out how much baking powder to use. Can you please provide that information? Thanks!

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  5. You have such a great hand…your cake looks tender,sweet, delicate and beautiful all at once!

    What a lovely gift!

    Your such a sweet daughter in law!

  6. Love the cake very delicious. I’m so blessed to have a special daughter-in-law like you. Love you with all my heart. Thank you so much for the cake.

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