Monday, September 14, 2015

White Cake

A few days ago, I shared my vanilla cake recipe, and this white cake is next in my series of basic from-scratch cakes.  Airy and cloud-like, white cake is lighter than vanilla cake but not quite as delicate and spongy as an angel food cake.

White cake has always been one of my dad's favorites, and this cake was such a success, that I think I might have to make it when they visit for Christmas this year, maybe frosted with chocolate buttercream.

There are similarities between this cake and my vanilla cake recipe, but some important differences to note.  Cake flour, which contains less protein than all-purpose flour yields the beautifully tender crumb one expects in a white cake.  Sour cream instead of oil keeps the cake moist but adds a beautiful tang, not to mention contributes to the pure white color of the cake.  But most importantly is the airyness achieved by folding whipped egg whites into the batter.

The cake layers bake tall and slightly domed, which settle down ever so slightly while cooling so that the cakes don't even require leveling.

I frosted the cake with buttercream, flavored with almond extract and tinted a lovely blush color.  The piped rosettes and swirls all over the cake look ever so fancy.

Inspired by the dreamy light streaming in our dining room window Sunday afternoon, I photographed the cake in front of the window, letting the backlight illuminate the cake in its soft glow.

Every day, I fall in love with our home even more.  My husband and I have put so much time and work into it in the 8 months we've lived here, and it has truly become ours.  Someday, maybe this fall, I'll share some of our renovation projects.

But for today, let me just tell you about that black and white striped candle.  Have you seen those outrageously overpriced striped boutique candles available online?  After briefly entertaining the idea of buying a few since I do love how they look, I made my own with 50-cent plain white tapered candles and a roll of black duck tape from a craft store.  And with the seam of the tape facing the wall, no one will ever know.  Of course, I don't intend to burn them with the tape on them, but sitting on our mantle just for decoration, they look stunning.  Such a pretty contrast next to this feminine cake.

Also Try: White Velvet Cake
Previous Post in this Series: Vanilla Cake
Next Post in this Series:  Chocolate Cake

Please note that if I don't respond to all new comments posted, it is either because your question will be answered by your reading my recipe and instructions themselves, or I have already answered it in a previous comment.  In addition, I've posted some FAQs regarding some of your questions below in a new blog post, as well as developed an alternate white cake recipe, my White Velvet Cake.  Please check that out here!

White Cake
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray three 8-inch pans with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl (clean and grease-free), whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Whip for another minute or two until the whites are not quite stiff, but stay on the beaters when you lift them up.  The whites should still be quite wet, not dry.

Add the milk, sour cream, vinegar and vanilla to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously for about two minutes until well combined.  Gently fold in the whipped egg whites in three additions for a light and airy batter.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Bake for about 18-22 minutes, until risen and a toothpick comes out clean.  Set the pans on wire racks, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely before frosting with your favorite buttercream.

For my perfect buttercream recipe, click here.  I frosted this cake with vanilla buttercream, slightly flavored with almond extract, and tinted a subtle blush color.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen