Basic White Layer Cake Recipe

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Every recipe file should contain a standard delicious cake like this. Topped with your favorite flavor of frosting, it's great for any occasion.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:10-12 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 10-12 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 cups frosting of your choice

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 508 calories, 18 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 376 mg sodium, 81 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Spread frosting between layers and over the top and sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as White Layer Cake in Complete Guide to Baking 2004, p95

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Reviewed Oct. 9, 2013

"This is a delicious and easy basic white cake recipe. I make it every year with chocolate buttercream frosting for my sweetie."

Reviewed Jul. 13, 2012

"Bake it right. Yes. I had the same issue but seeing as it is a layer cake, that's probably the point."

Reviewed Feb. 21, 2012

"I know that this cake was suppost to be in 2- 9" pans but, I made this recipe in a 9 x 13 cake pan and thought it would look like a regular cake but the finished result was about 1" high. It rose in the oven, then went down when cooled. Did anyone else have this problem? Does this cake really work in a 9 x 13 pan?"

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2011

"Very moist and delicious. I made the recipe 1-1/2 times and made a 3 layer cake. The layers came out very even and the frosted cake looked very pretty."

Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"so moist. yum.

I added a little almond flavor. I will also cut the sugar a little next time as it was almost too sweet when iced, but still so good."

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