White Velvet Cake

Recipe by PJ Hamel

A cousin of Red Velvet Cake (minus the food coloring and cocoa), white velvet cake is a tender buttermilk cake with a fine crumb, and a moist-but-not-dense texture. The combination of vanilla, almond, and lemon is a classic cake trio; while none dominates, together they impart nostalgic "bakery-style" flavor in this cake. Its layers are ideal for frosting and stacking, making it the perfect celebratory confection for birthdays or other occasions. Stir sprinkles into the batter for the full “funfetti” effect.

20 mins
35 to 40 mins
1 hr 10 mins
two 8” layers
White Velvet Cake  - select to zoom
White Velvet Cake  - select to zoom
White Velvet Cake  - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8" round pans that are at least 2" deep, and line them with parchment or silicone liners; grease the parchment or liners. If you’ll be using cake strips to ensure an even rise, soak 2 strips in cold water. 

  2. To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon juice powder. 

  3. Use the flat beater attachment to mix the butter into the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until the mixture is like coarse sand, 1 to 2 minutes. 

  4. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Stir in the buttermilk, oil, extracts, and vinegar. 

  5. With the mixer running, gradually add the liquid ingredients to the butter/flour mixture. Once all the liquid has been added, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat the batter for 2 minutes at medium speed (speed 4 on a KitchenAid mixer); scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again and mix briefly to incorporate any sticky residue, if necessary. 

  6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans (about 720g per pan); wrap the soaked cake strips around the sides of the pans, if you’re using them.  

  7. To bake the cakes: Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan; a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center should come out clean, or with only a few crumbs clinging, and the internal temperature at the center should be about 204°F when tested with a digital thermometer

  8. Remove the cakes from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen their edges with a small offset spatula or a dull knife. After another 5 minutes, turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.  

  9. Fill and frost the white velvet cake layers with Cream Cheese Frosting, Ermine Icing, or the frosting of your choice. (See our video, how to assemble and decorate a layer cake, for details.) For extra-moist cake layers, apply a soak as you assemble. 

  10. Storage information: Store the unfrosted white velvet cake layers, well covered, for up to 3 days at room temperature. Depending on which frosting you use, store the cake at room temperature or securely wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  

Tips from our Bakers

  • Substitute 1 tablespoon (14g) freshly squeezed lemon juice for the lemon juice powder, if desired. 

  • Don’t want to separate 5 large eggs and be left with the yolks? Substitute packaged refrigerated egg whites, found near the eggs in your supermarket’s dairy section.