Go Back
+ servings
A close-up of a slice of white cake with a birthday candle and sprinkles, with a blue background.

Perfect White Birthday Cake

This White Cake is a classic cake with a velvet texture and buttery vanilla flavor. The cake is moist and light, and frosted with a creamy vanilla frosting. Follow all my success tips in the post and recipe for perfect results every time. This cake is perfect for a birthday party or any other celebration!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Keyword White Cake, Birthday Cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 24 minutes
Cakes Cooling 2 hours
Servings 16 slices
Author Stephanie Simmons


For the Cake:

  • 3 and 2/3 cup cake flour spooned & leveled 406 grams
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp salted butter, softened at room temperature (10 tbsp, grams)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 and 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature I used 2% milk

For the Frosting

  • 12 ounces full fat block-style cream cheese, softened at room temperature Note that cream cheese doesn't need as much time to soften as butter does
  • 2 cups salted butter, softened at room temperature 4 sticks, 452 grams
  • 6 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  • Prep: Make sure all cold ingredients have come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans. Use a paper towel to rub shortening all over the inside of each pan, coating them evenly and completely. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit inside each (tracing is the easiest way). Place this on top of the greased pan bottom, then grease over the parchment paper as well. Add a handful of flour, and tap the pan around to evenly coat the entire inside with flour, tapping out the excess.
  • Make the Cake Batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter for about 30 seconds, until creamy. Add the vegetable oil and cream together with the butter for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 full minutes. The mixture will be fluffy. Add the egg whites, two at a time and then the last one on it's own, beating on medium low speed between each addition, until just combined. Don't over mix! Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix in on medium low speed until just combined.
    Slowly pour in the dry ingredients while the mixer runs on low speed. Mix just until the last streaks of flour are disappearing into the batter, then turn off the mixer and use a spatula to make sure everything is folded in. Finally, slowly pour in the milk while the mixer runs on low speed. Mix until just combined - don't over mix!
  • Bake: Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. (You can eyeball this or use a kitchen scale to help with precision.)
    Bake the cakes, the first two pans together, and then the 3rd pan on its own after the first two are done. This will ensure the most even bake. Bake the cakes for 22-26 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will pull out moist crumbs and the cakes shouldn't jiggle in the center when you move the pan.
    Let cakes cool in the pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Then, invert onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting and assembling.
  • Make the Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese on high for 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar in 3 additions, mixing until smooth between each. Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt and mix.
  • Assemble & Frost the Cake: Place the first cake layer on a cake stand protected with wax paper strips, or a turntable. (A turntable is the easiest!) Use 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting to top the layer, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula. Repeat with the second layer. Add the final layer and give the cake a thin layer of frosting on top and on the sides. Use a cake scraper to smooth out and remove excess frosting. This is your crumb coat, so don't fret if it isn't perfect. Pop the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set. Then, use the remaining frosting to frost the cake, using the cake scraper to smooth the top and sides.
    Chill the entire cake in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until the frosting is set before covering it (with plastic wrap or a cake lid) or serving it.
    Tip: If your frosting is getting too soft at any point from sitting out, pop it back in the fridge for a bit to firm back up.
  • Serve + Store: Serve the cake once it's chilled as directed above. Slice into as many slices as desired! Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days. The cake will naturally start to dry out a bit once it's been cut and put back in the fridge, so just be sure to seal and store it tightly.
  • Make Ahead Tips: The cake layers can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Let cool completely then place each layer on a large dinner plate or a cookie sheet and plastic wrap tightly to seal. Store at room temp, then frost the next day. The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before slicing and serving.