Best White Cake from Scratch

Best White Cake from Scratch

Best White Cake from Scratch

Regular and High-Altitude Recipes

At this moment, I’m staying indoors and away from any nasty viruses out there, and with that spare time, I’m putting together several recipes I’ve had in my queue to investigate. The first is this Best White Cake from Scratch.

White cake from scratch can be a challenge. Manufacturers add all kinds of additives to make box mixes “moist”, but at Baking Naturally, that’s just not my thing. I think you can get a moist cake from balancing your ingredients, and using the correct technique to prevent dryness.

What makes a cake dry?

Over-baking is probably the number one reason for a dry cake. Recipes do provide a bake time and temp, but those depend entirely on your individual oven. I have another article on testing your oven temperature – it’s astonishing how far off the oven can be from your temperature setting! Invest now in an oven thermometer to ensure that you’re baking at the right temp.

The second reason for cake dryness is . . . well, just a bad recipe. I analyze every Baking Naturally recipe using baker’s formulas, and there are so many that are way out of whack. Often the weight of eggs is far below the weight of fat, or the weight of the liquid is below the weight of the sugar. Even if you avoid using emulsified shortening (as I do), your weight of eggs should at least equal the weight of fat.

And finally, I find many new bakers just don’t know how over-beating a cake can make it tough and dry. Agitating wet flour is going to create gluten, which is great in bread (hence the kneading), but it’s terrible for cake. You want some structure, but you don’t want to have to chew it that much.

This cake covers all the bases, plus it’s really an easy scratch cake! No creaming sugar and butter together cuts out a rather tedious step, and the results are fantastic. Give it a try.

Best White Cake from Scratch (below 3000 ft)

A delicious, yet simple, white cake you can make with ingredients you have at home. Fine crumb and great taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best White Cake from Scratch, white cake
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Don Herman

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Butter softened
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 lg Egg Whites
  • 1 lg Egg, Whole
  • 1 cup Yogurt or whole milk not low-fat
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking pans by greasing and flouring (2 8" X 2" X 9", 9" X 13" or 24 cupcakes)
  • Whisk together the yogurt or milk, vanilla and almond extract and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Place in the mixer. Cut the butter into 1" chunks and add to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed, adding the oil slowly until the oil and butter are incorporated and the mixture looks like wet sand.
  • Add egg whites and blend one at a time – then the whole egg. Scrape down the bowl at least twice during this process.
  • Add the yogurt or milk mixture in thirds, blend after each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes for the rounds and oblong, or 20 minutes for the cupcakes. Do not overbake, or the cake will dry out. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch of a finger. If using the toothpick test, you should see just a few moist, but defined crumbs on a toothpick inserted in the center, and the cake should be beginning to brown along the edges. If you see liquid batter, give the cake one more minute and test again.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, invert to remove, and cool on a rack. Frost when completely cool.

Here’s the high-altitude version for above 5,000 ft.

Best White Cake from Scratch (above 5000 ft)

A delicious, yet simple, white cake you can make with ingredients you have at home. Fine crumb and great taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best White Cake from Scratch, High Altitude White Cake
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Don Herman

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups PLUS 2 tbsp Cake Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups LESS 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 5 lg Egg Whites
  • 1 lg Egg, Whole
  • 1 cup PLUS 2 tbsp Yogurt or Whole Milk Not low-fat
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 365F. Prepare baking pans by greasing and flouring (2 8" X 2" X 9", 9" X 13" or 24 cupcakes)
  • Whisk together the yogurt or milk, vanilla and almond extract and set aside.
  • In a large bowl or mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Place in the mixer. Cut the butter into 1" chunks and add to the dry ingredients. While beating on low speed, add the oil slowly until the oil and butter are incorporated and the mixture looks like wet sand.
  • Add egg whites and blend one at a time – then the whole egg. Scrape down the bowl at least twice during this process.
  • Add the yogurt or milk mixture in thirds, blend after each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes for the rounds and oblong, or 18 minutes for the cupcakes. Do not overbake, or the cake will dry out! The cake should spring back to the touch of a finger when done. If you are using the toothpick test, you should see just a few moist, but defined crumbs on a toothpick inserted in the center, and the edges of the cake should begin to brown. If you see liquid batter, give the cake one more minute and test again.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a rack to cool completely.

Leave a note for any suggestions or comments.

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