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Bakery Style White Cake {Perfect for Tiers!}

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A delicious homemade bakery style white cake that has a great texture and is sturdy enough for stacking tiers. It’s perfect for diy wedding cakes, fun birthday cakes or any special occasion!

Tiered semi-naked wedding cake decorated with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

A perfect white cake is hard to beat. Whether you are looking for a wedding cake, birthday cake or just because cake, cake has enough structure to stack tall. It is moist, has a great texture and can stand up to multiple layers.

If you are used to baking cakes from mixes, don’t run. If you think just because this cake is from scratch that it’s not worth the effort, you are wrong!

wedding cake with 1 large layer and 1 small layer. Rosettes on bottom and subtle ruffle on top layer in frosting

What makes this different than a standard cake recipe?

Homemade cakes do not have to be fussy or hard. This cake is really simple, uses straight forward ingredients and there’s no steps that involve gently folding or whipping to stiff peaks.

If you are used to traditional cake recipes, this one is going to look a little strange to you.  A lot of recipes start with creaming the butter and sugar.

Then you mix in the liquid. Lastly you add the flour and dry ingredients and mix as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten.

This recipe does it backwards. You mix together the dry ingredients first. Then you beat in the butter.

Coating the flour with the fat keeps the cake from getting tough. Then you can add the wet ingredients and really beat it up good.

This allows you to whip in some air without worry. Plus it results  in a soft cake with plenty of moisture and a nice crumb.

The best part is the mixer does most of the work.  All you have to do is add ingredients.

Stack of saran wrapped cake layers ready to be decorated and assembled into tiered cake.

Why we like this cake

After accepting the challenge (and honor) of making my brother’s wedding cake, I went on a mission to find the perfect cake recipe to make it.

I tried one that was loaded with sour cream and butter. I thought I was going to love it. Honestly, it was good but the texture wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

Then I stumbled upon this white cake. The instructions were backwards from most recipes I had tried, so I was hoping that would unlock the secret to the cake I had in my head.

It was darn close. I did add a bit of sour cream because I love the texture and flavor a bit of that, yogurt or buttermilk adds to baked goods. I also used a mix of flavoring to give it a subtle complexity.

tall layered cake with blue green and yellow watercolor decoration on the outside and piped border around the bottom

The results were what I was looking for! Despite making tester cakes and the actual wedding cake, I never got pictures of the inside of the cake to show with you. (Luckily my new sister-in-law managed to snap a few of the tester cakes and she was nice enough to share them with me.)

So when my sister asked if I’d make my nephew’s birthday cake and requested white cake, I knew exactly which recipe I’d make!

This recipe works great for both occasions because it’s the perfect amount of batter for two six inch cake layers and two eight inch cake layers. Great sizes for a two tier wedding cake or a smash cake and birthday cake.

If you don’t need tiers, you could definitely bake this as a nine inch cake instead. Just make two layers with a slightly longer bake time or three thinner layers and start checking them a few minutes early.

small round cake with white frosting, sprinkle decoration and piped top border.

Filling the cake

This cake is perfect for fun fillings as well. Homemade lemon curd and seedless raspberry preserves graced the inside of the wedding cake.

I torted, or cut the layers in half horizontally, the cake. That way there were two layers of lemon curd and one layer of raspberry in each cake. It also allowed for more of the perfect summer buttercream and a slightly taller cake with a big flavor punch.

Slice of bakery style white cake with strawberry buttercream filling.

For the birthday cake, I kept it simple. The smash cake was just frosting and cake. For the big cake, I made a cheater bavarian cream recipe.

The birthday boy’s mom is the most picky eater of my siblings and I didn’t want to accidentally pick a filling she doesn’t like.

small round layered cake with white icing and nonpareil sprinkle decorations

She tends to like things like spice cake, carrot cake and cinnamon rolls and I couldn’t think of a good way to incorporate that into a filling.  She doesn’t like berries and that is where my brain kept going.

I thought about trying a different kind of curd, but didn’t want to risk picking something that wouldn’t be popular.

So instead I made a really shortcut Bavarian cream for the filling.  The creamy vanilla goodness was the perfect compliment to the cake without being a distraction from the simplicity.

For decoration, I kept it simple on the smash cake. Just white frosting and sprinkles. I didn’t want to add too much food coloring to the frosting and end up dying my nephew all the colors of the rainbow if he did dive in face first!

For the big cake, I went with blue, green and yellow frosting. I did a quick watercolor treatment around the sides of the cake and did a number 1 on the top.

I used a 1 cookie cutter to give myself a guide, then piped some white frosting as a base. It gave the finished product more lift. Then just randomly piped on dollops of the colored frosting.

For the outside of the cake, I started with a white base then piped on random stripes of the colored frosting. Spin the cake using a offset spatula or bench scrape to smooth the frosting and remove the excess. I quickly piped on a bottom border because sometimes I just don’t know when to stop.

Tips and tricks

The key to nice layers is starting with an even cake. Use wet strips of towel or bake even strips to keep the cakes from doming while baking.

If your cakes do dome, carefully trim them so you can stack them into a nice level cake. Scraps can be the baker’s bonus treat or could be made into cake balls.

If you have a six quart mixer, that would be best. I have made it in my four and a half quart mixer and it is doable, but you’ll want to be careful to add the wet ingredients just a bit at a time to avoid to much sloshing over.

Start watching your cake a few minutes early as all ovens are a bit different.

first birthday cake with blue yellow and green frosting number 1 on top

If you do overbake your cake or it looks dry, brush it with simple syrup to give it a little moisture back. Syrup should not be necessary though.

You can make the cakes ahead of time if you know time will be tight getting ready for the party. Just wrap them tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and freeze. I usually put mine in the fridge to start defrosting then frost and decorate them the next day.

Just have fun with it! No cake is perfect and nobody will notice any imperfections but you.

Great frosting recipes for white layer cakes:

Yield: 20 Servings

Bakery Style White Cake

Tiered semi-naked wedding cake decorated with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

A perfect white cake is hard to beat. Whether you are looking for a wedding cake, birthday cake or just because cake, this is a perfect cake for stacking tall. It is moist, has great texture and can stand up to multiple layers.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons additional flavoring extract such as princess, creme boquet, lemon or almond
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup butter, softened


  1. In a large mixer bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together vegetable oil, milk, egg whites, sour cream and flavorings. Set aside.
  3. With the mixer running, drop a Tablespoon or two of butter into the flour mixture at a time. Keep mixing until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Add the wet ingredients a little bit at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides occasionally as you go.
  5. Once all of the liquid ingredients are added, beat on medium for 7 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 2 6-inch cake pans and 2 9-inch cake pans with grease and cake strips.
  7. Spread batter in prepared pans and bake until finished, about 45-50 minutes for the 6 inch pans and 50-55 minutes for the 8 inch pans.
  8. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then invert them onto baking racks to cool completely.
  9. Frost when cooled or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.


This recipe makes a 2 layer 8-inch cake PLUS a 2 layer 6-inch cake. Alternatively you can use it to make a 3 layer 9-inch cake.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This bakery style white cake recipe is perfect for tiered cakes. Use it to bake a wedding cake, special birthday cake or any special occasion dessert.

Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 11th of May 2023

Hello! I came across this recipe and am making a tiered wedding cake. Can I add Cocoa powder to the recipe for a chocolate twist? Thanks!!!


Thursday 11th of May 2023

You could substitute cocoa powder for some of the flour. That will be tasty!


Friday 14th of April 2023

How many servings does this recipe give?


Friday 14th of April 2023

That is a great question. It obviously depends on who is cutting the cake. But generally a 6 inch cake serves about 8 and a 9 inch cake serves closer to 12-16. So, I would say 20-24 servings. However, you can very easily stretch it to serve a few more if needed.


Sunday 25th of September 2022

Do you have a frosting recipe for this beautiful cake?


Sunday 25th of September 2022

I have sooooo many frosting recipes that would be great on it. I used American buttercream for the pics with the sunflowers, but really any flavor would be great because the cake is so neutral. Strawberry buttercream or mock swiss meringue buttercream would be great. Otherwise you can check out my collection of frosting recipes and choose just about any of them.


Saturday 24th of April 2021

How did you make the raspberry and lemon filling? It looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it :)


Saturday 24th of April 2021

The lemon is homemade lemon curd. It's a super simple recipe that can be made in the microwave. The raspberry is just a high quality raspberry jam.


Sunday 6th of September 2020

Hi Carlee, does this idea come in a metric version?


Monday 7th of September 2020

I don't have a metric version, but it should be possible to convert it with online calculators.

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