White cake is essentially a vanilla cake comprised of only egg whites rather than complete eggs. The yolk from eggs is the main factor in a yellow cake’s color. Therefore, eliminating the yolks will produce a whiter result. White cakes tend to be fluffy and lighter than yellow cakes and sometimes are infused with a light almond flavor. They are ideal birthday cakes. They also happen to be excellent vehicles for color, sprinkles (confetti cake), and mini chocolate chips (chocolate chip cake).
This week I will be making white cake three ways: traditional white cake, confetti cake, and chocolate chip cake. The base white cake recipe is the same for all three. The confetti cake will require the addition of sprinkles (also known as jimmies) and the chocolate chip cake, mini chocolate chips. That’s it, so simple – one recipe yielding three amazing, individual and completely transformed cakes. This adaptable recipe is a must-have for all bakers.
Cake flour is ideal for making white cake. Cake flour is flour that contains less protein (around 7%) than all-purpose flour (10-14%). As a result, when used in baking, cake flour produces a lighter, less dense crumb, as compared to cakes made with all-purpose flour. Cake flour cakes are softer and almost seem to melt in your mouth. Since all-purpose flour seems to be a more common pantry item than cake flour, I’ve made this recipe using all-purpose flour with the addition of cornstarch. Cornstarch contains no protein, so when added to all-purpose flour, increases the total volume of the flour thereby decreasing the total protein content. This results in a fluffier, lighter, and tenderer result. In my Tips & Techniques page under Cake Flour, you can learn how to simply make your own cake flour and always have some on hand without having to pay extra at the grocery store for it.
For the frosting, this week, I chose a Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting. I opted for milk chocolate since anything darker would be too heavy for the light white cake. Milk chocolate is just right in this ganache and yields a fun, light cake, adored by all.
White Cake Three WaysRecipe by: Leelabean (Yield: 2 8″ round cakes or 22 cupcakes) 2 c all-purpose flour ¼ c cornstarch 1 c granulated sugar 2 t baking powder ½ t baking soda ½ t salt 6 T unsalted butter, room temperature 2 T oil (canola or vegetable) 4 large egg whites, room temperature 1 c buttermilk (or 2% or whole milk), room temperature 1 T vanilla ½ t almond extract (optional) Add-ins for Confetti Cake: 1 c sprinkles/jimmies Add-ins for Chocolate Chip Cake: 1 c chocolate chips (mini- or regular-sized, minis preferred)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line baking pans with parchment and lightly spray with a unflavored cooking spray or place liners in your cupcake tins.
In a bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour and cornstarch together with the baking powder and baking soda. Here, whisking is meant to fully incorporate the cornstarch into the flour. Dump the contents into the bowl of a stand mixer along with the sugar and salt and mix using a flat beater.
Add the butter and oil and mix until the flour looks crumbly.
Then add 1/2 c buttermilk, and slowly increase the power to medium and beat for about 30 seconds to incorporate well.
While this is beating, in a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the remaining buttermilk with the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and whisk together, lightly. Then pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and combine. Beat on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down your bowl a few times to incorporate all the ingredients.
At this time, add in the chocolate chips or jimmies (or both!) if you wish to use them.
If using sprinkles/jimmies, make sure to fold them very lightly into the batter. Too much mixing will cause the sprinkles to bleed their color into the batter, leaving a muddy mess.
I like to toss my chocolate chips in about 1 T of all-purpose flour so they are more likely to stay suspended in the batter rather than sink to the bottom during baking. Using mini chocolate chips helps as well, as they are not as heavy as the larger chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans or cupcake tins and bake as directed below or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean:Cupcakes: 16 – 20 minutes 8″ round cake: 26 – 30 minutes
Let the cakes or cupcakes cool to room temperature. Then frost as desired.
This cake can be stored in an airtight container, unfrosted at room temperature for up to 5 days or frosted in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This week, I’ve chosen a Milk Chocolate Ganache Frosting to pair with the mellow flavors of this white cake.
Have a very sweet Valentine’s Day!
Sweetly ♥ Yours,