White Cake Taste Test

Embark on a quest for the ultimate white cake! Cake Central aficionados launched an exhilarating challenge known as the Great Scratch Off-White Cake Taste Test, targeting the pinnacle of white cake excellence. Whether you're a devout cake aficionado on a similar journey or simply love experimenting with cake recipes, this adventure is guaranteed to captivate your imagination and possibly motivate you to bake.

Eight distinct recipes were put to the test, featuring ingredients ranging from buttermilk and sour cream to various butters. Despite limited time, I dove into testing four of them. Each presented a unique twist, making for an absolutely pleasant baking adventure! Curious to discover which cake reigned supreme and how to recreate it in your own kitchen? Read on for the details!

The Winning Cook's Illustrated White Cake Recipe

Below, you'll find the champion recipe for an irresistible white cake, a standout among its peers in a thorough and entertaining taste test. If you're aiming to dazzle with a cake that's as fluffy as a cloud, here's your blueprint to culinary success:


  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups of cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 cup of milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites (room temperature)


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugar: Beat the butter in a large bowl on high until it's light and fluffy. Gradually mix in the sugar until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Add the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Beat Egg Whites: Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold them into the batter to keep the cake light and fluffy.
  6. Bake the Cake: Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  7. Cool and Frost: Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost with your preferred white frosting.

This recipe triumphed in a family-led taste test that saw 11 enthusiastic participants evaluating the cakes based on taste, texture, moisture, and recipe simplicity. It not only won with its moist, fluffy texture but also proved to be versatile enough for turning into scrumptious cupcakes!

Amidst the challenge to pinpoint the quintessential white cake, this Cook's Illustrated recipe emerged victorious with its unparalleled flavor and impeccable texture. So, why not introduce a dash of award-winning excellence to your forthcoming grand celebration or quaint afternoon tea? Bake, savor, and watch as the accolades pour in!