Use a cake mix + these tips for the best white cake you’ll ever make (and the best buttercream frosting to go with it).
People love this white cake.
Whenever I make this cake, everyone would rave about it. Since most of the time we are at a party or holiday gathering, there are plenty of people to “taste test.” Almost every time I make this, people get curious about the recipe and what bakery the cake is from. No one has a clue it starts with a cake mix unless I tell them.
What flavor does it have?
Most white cakes are flavored with vanilla extract. This recipe calls for almond extract, which is KEY to its deliciousness and its bakery taste. Some recipes call for both vanilla and almond extracts, but I prefer the almond by itself. Almond flavor imparts a richness and depth that can’t be achieved with any other flavor.
Are white cake and vanilla cake the same thing?
Not quite! While white cake and vanilla cake are similar, there are some differences that make this white cake so unique. This recipe in particular calls for almond extract, sour cream, and jello instant pudding mix. Typically, a vanilla cake is going to stick with the basics and some vanilla extract.
Does a cake with buttercream frosting have to be refrigerated?
Because of the large amount of sugar, cakes with buttercream frosting made with small amounts of milk are safe to leave out at room temperature for two to three days. However, buttercream made with cream cheese should be refrigerated for best results and food safety measures.
What size cake pans are best for white layer cake?
8″ cake pans are the most common size for layer cakes, but use whatever size you choose. For the cake pictured in this post, I use 6″ cake pans to achieve a tall, slender-sized cake. Cupcakes can be made from this mix as well. When changing the size of the pans, adjust the baking time accordingly.
What box mix works best for this white cake?
Personally, my favorite mix to add to this recipe is Duncan Hines. This cake mix is delicious and is very affordable. It isn’t required that you use Duncan Hines, as almost any boxed white cake mix will work. But trust me, this one is SO delicious and reliable.
Why the sour cream?
Sour cream does such a wonderful job of adding some extra moisture to the cake. Oftentimes, the common worry is that using a box mix will dry out your cake. But for this recipe, you rest assured that this cake will be delicious and moist, not dry and crumbly!
This recipe makes a great wedding cake.
Since the original posting of this recipe, I have heard from several readers who have used this recipe for a wedding cake. I received great feedback about the outcome of the recipe and the savings on buying a bakery cake. Since layers can be made ahead and frozen, you have time to hone your decorating skills or enlist the help of a friend who can decorate.
Can this white cake be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! The cake layers can be made a few weeks ahead and frozen. After baking the layers, flash freeze them for at least an hour. Then place each layer in a separate freezer bag. The buttercream frosting can be made a few days ahead and kept in the fridge. It can also be made a month ahead and frozen. When ready to assemble and frost the cakes, thaw the buttercream first, as it is easiest to frost the layers while they are partially frozen.
- 1 box white cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
- 1 (3 oz) jello instant pudding mix (cheesecake or vanilla)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 eggs (at room temp)
- 8-oz sour cream (may use reduced-fat but not fat-free)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix cake mix, pudding, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add oil and water, mixing with a hand mixer until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, blending for about 2 minutes.
- Add sour cream and almond extract; blend well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Pour into 3 (8-inch) cake pans sprayed with Baker's Joy.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until cake is set in the center and no longer jiggles (do not over-bake).
- Cool layers before turning out of the pan.
- Freeze layers for half an hour or up to one week, well wrapped.
- Thaw slightly before frosting cake with buttercream frosting (recipe in the blog post).
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 305Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 79mgSodium 242mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 0gSugar 19gProtein 4g
Perfect Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/3 cup water (if using milk, the cake must be refrigerated)
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Beat butter and shortening until creamy.
- Add water and extract, mixing until incorporated.
- Add sugar slowly, mixing until well blended.
- Beat with a stand mixer until consistency is smooth, light & fluffy (roughly 8 minutes).
If you make this white cake, please leave your thoughts or review in the comments of the post. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!