Traditional White Wedding Cake Recipe
Delicious white cake with white buttercream icing. Tastes like an old-fashioned white wedding cake. Simple enough for beginners.
Traditional White Wedding Cake recipe with a simple white buttercream icing recipe is by far the most requested recipe that comes out of my kitchen.
Yes, this one starts with a box mix.
Generally, when I am baking I am totally cooking from scratch.
But this way is the only way I have been able to get even remotely close to the old-fashioned traditional white wedding cake that came from a bakery eons ago.
Starting with a cake mix has a larger margin for error.
I strongly suggest testing this recipe several times in the pans you plan to use for any formal purposes. Practice will prevent any last minute surprises when stress levels are already high.
I also suggest starting a week or so in advance and freezing the cakes prior to the event.
It may take longer to bake multiple layers than you anticipate.
The other exception my rule of scratch baking is whenever I am feeling a bit nostalgic and want chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.
One like my mom used to make.
It was just a chocolate fudge cake made from the box topped with peanut butter icing she made out of a can of white frosting. She was making that cake ages before that flavor combination became all the rage.
More Uses for White Wedding Cake Recipe
This recipe for White Wedding Cake can also be used as a white birthday cake recipe, anniversary cake recipe, or a treat your family kind of recipe.
Color it red and blue for Fourth of July, pink for a princess, blue for a gender reveal cake, you can do just about anything with coloring you choose.
The cake portion of this recipe is used as a base for our Cream of Coconut Cake because it holds up well and absorbs the creams.
I suppose, in my mind, this is a traditional white wedding cake. Carrot cakes, filled cakes, fondant covered cakes, and the likes are all more of a modern twist.
The recipe base has been around on the internet for quite some time now, WASC Cake, white almond sour cream cake.
Some folks also call old-fashioned white wedding cake a white almond cake. We are currently working on a white almond cake recipe and will provide it as soon as it is available!
There is some debate out there about who had the first one and which one is best.
One poster swears it was hers first, and then someone else swears the other poster was first.
Either way, the debate, and differences can be seen here. I use the Rebecca Sutterby white almond sour cream cake version.
I can’t really call my version WASC cake though since it does not have sour cream in it.
I had a container of plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator that I had opened for chicken gyros and didn’t want to waste it, so I thought why not use it instead?
The texture of this cake will not be the same as if you had baked a cake using the manufacturer’s directions.
It will have a tighter crumb and perhaps seems denser.
It can be sliced into thinner slices without it crumbling and falling apart before it can be moved to a plate. This one is not overly fluffy.
Cake Pan Sizes for Making Your Own White Wedding Cake
After doing some serious research I have found that the most common pan sizes for layered cakes are 6″, 8″, and 10″.
You’ll want 3 inch deep pans for a filling layer in the middle of each layer. 2″ deep pans will work if you do not want to slice and fill each layer.
Wilton makes an entire set of pans for a very small tiered cake.
These are 2″ deep pans in 4″. 6″, and 8″ round pans and would be perfect for practicing your skills at layering and decorating cakes.
If this is the route you want to try, then you should only need to make one recipe for this cake, as the package says it only needs one cake mix.
They make a different set that is 3″ deep and comes with 6″ round, 8″ round, and 10″ round pans.
These are the size you would want for filled layers, as they need to be tall enough to split.
The amount of batter needed for these 3″ deep pans are:
6″ = 3 cups batter
8″ = 5 cups of batter
10″ = 8 cups of batter
You will need to triple the cake batter recipe for all of these layers. You will need at least 1 1/2 times the amount of icing listed in the recipe. Remember, you will want to crumb coat it first.
Baking Temperature for White Wedding Cake
This cake is truly baked at 325 degrees F, it is not a mistake in the recipe. It cooks slowly and prevents the cake from getting a huge dome in the middle.
I usually use a 9 X 13 pan because I am lazy and the looks of the finished product do not affect the taste.
I try my best to avoid over baking cakes. It dries them out and makes the edges crispy (yes, this is from personal experience).
Baking Times for Wedding Cake
9 X 13 Pan
I start checking this white cake after around 35 minutes if I can’t smell it yet. It will start to lightly brown on the top about 10 minutes before it is done.
If it takes a little longer that’s OK. Keep reading for some recommended baking times different pan sizes.
Different days require different baking times for me, even using the same pan I always use and a calibrated oven.
I start checking the cakes for doneness as soon as I can smell them or 35 minutes into baking a 9 X 13, whichever comes first.
Once a toothpick inserted into the very center of a cake comes back clean or with a few crumbs, I know it is time to take it out of the oven.
The baking times for these pans will all be approximate, as weather, actual oven temperatures and the exact amount of batter in each pan. I would leave the baking temperature at 325 Degrees F.
Stacked and Layered Pans
6″ = 35 to 40 minutes, test for doneness and add time in 5 minutes increments until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes back clean.
8″ = 55 to 60 minutes, testing for doneness as above.
10″ = 65 to 75 minutes, testing for doneness as above.
Allow all cakes to cool completely before attempting to split or ice. By completely, I mean leave them alone on a wire cooling rack for at least 2 hours!
White Wedding Cake Buttercream Icing
There are also buttercream recipes all over the internet and I have tried to make several.
In the end, I wind up going back to my own way, which was inspired by so many I would need a whole post devoted just to the white wedding cake icing recipes I have tried in my 35 years of baking.
Some were good, some were not. One thing is for sure among all of them, they have some form of fat and some powdered sugar in varying ratios.
The white wedding cake icing recipe included in this post is no more than the way that I make it. Feel free to use any version you want.
Our recipe makes a lot of icing, more than you would need for a 9 X 13 pan. But if you choose to layer this cake, you will appreciate having the extra icing.
Freeze the leftovers for another use or do like I do, use the icing to coat the cut edges of the cake. One, it will keep the cut cake sides from drying out, and two it makes more corner like pieces, you know, the ones you wanted as a kid because it had more icing.
The icing is also great sandwiched between some graham crackers. As the icing cookies sit, they will become softer. They can be addictive.
Butter flavoring is added to the icing for extra butter flavoring. This can be omitted, but it will not be the same flavor as an icing that uses all butter.
I do not recommend all butter icing because it will melt in warm environments.
If making the buttercream icing for an outdoor event, I would recommend using all shortening and another teaspoon of butter extract.
I find that using my stand mixer makes a smoother icing than a handheld mixer. It also reduces the amount of time I need to beat the icing to get it as fluffy as I want.
If you are making a lot of cake layers, you may need to make several batches of icing. You can double this recipe using a 6 or 7-quart stand mixer, but any more than doubled and the icing will overflow the bowl.
The Cake Mix
Pillsbury Traditional Vanilla Cake has become hard to locate. It used to be the cheapest boxed cake mix on the shelves. It is available in 12 packs at Amazon.
Unless you intend to make a whole lot of cakes and want to have that many boxes, substitute with any white cake mix that does not contain pudding in the mix.
Honestly, the cheaper the cake mix the better the cake will turn out.
Lately, I have been buying Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix. It has been readily available at the store and it has been the cheapest of the white or vanilla cake mixes that do not say moist or contain pudding.
If I cannot find either of these cake mixes, I have used generic cake mixes that say “moist” on the box. Those seem to take a bit more time in the oven. but the taste will be the same.
Tips for Decorating Your White Wedding Cake
You can split the layers with a long serrated knife, like a bread knife, but I find that it is easier to split with a cake leveler.
A cake leveler can cut a cake up to 10″ wide. It is also good for taking off any crowns that formed during baking.
After you crumb coat the cake layers, place them into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up the icing. Then ice the cakes.
The easiest way to get smooth sides and tops are to use a tool designed for icing cakes.
I use an offset spatula, icing smoother, and even have a wide drywall taping tool I use.
The taping tool is high enough that it allows me to get the entire side of the cake all at once.
A cake turntable makes it easier to get smooth sides. This tool is not necessary but sure makes the job easier.
Make a stiffer icing, by adding a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to some icing, mixing it on high, for piped borders and decorations.
Chocolate Wedding Cake or Groom’s Cake
After many requests, we have spent some time experimenting with a chocolate version of our cake.
Just like with the white wedding cake recipe, we have found that we get a sturdier cake suitable for stacking when starting with a boxed mix.
There are enough differences in the ingredients it has its own recipe. That recipe is now available in our Chocolate Wedding Cake post.
MORE DIY WEDDING RECEPTION RECIPE IDEAS
White Wedding Cake
- Cake Pans
- Preheat oven to 325 degree F.
- Spray 9 X 13 baking pan with baking spray. Set aside.
- Place cake mix, flour, and sugar into the bowl of stand mixer. Mix just until combined.
- Add water, yogurt, egg whites, oil, and extracts.
- Mix on low speed until combined.
- Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes.
- Pour into prepared pan and place in preheated 325 degree F oven.
- Set timer for 35 minutes. If you begin to smell the cake before the timer goes off, check the cake by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs but no wet batter, the cake is done and it needs to be removed from the oven.
- Once the timer goes off, and you have not removed the cake already because it was done, check the cake for doneness by using the toothpick method.
- If the cake is not done after 35 minutes, continue cooking the cake and checking for doneness every 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how wet the toothpick was when testing the cake.
- When cake is done, remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
- Place butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the blade attachment, mix on medium-high for 5 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar 2 cups at a time and mix on slow until all sugar is incorporated.
- Mix milk, extracts, and salt in a small bowl.
- With mixer turned off, add milk mixture to icing.
- Turn mixer to slow and mix until incorporated.
- Turn mixer to high and allow to run for 5 minutes.
- Test icing for consistency. If you want a thinner icing, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time and mix for 1 minute.
- If using this pan for an important event, please do a test run with this recipe and cake pan sizes you intend to use before the big event.
- Cake recipe can be doubled for larger pans, adjust the baking time.
- Cupcakes can be made with this recipe, again, adjust the baking time.
- Can be made in smaller pans for layering, adjust the baking time.
- This cake needs to be supported if stacking greater than 2 layers high.
- Icing recipe will easily cover a 2 layer 9-inch cake, amounts can be halved if the cake is being served in a 9 X 13 pan.
- Cook time listed does not include the cooling time between baking and icing.
- You will get 6 1/2 cups to 7 cups of batter when using this recipe as stated. ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a rating!
This White Wedding Cake Recipe can also be used as White Wedding Cake Cupcakes, Birthday Cupcakes, or just everyday white cupcakes. It will make about 36 cupcakes. Also baked at 325 Degrees F. But only 18 to 20 minutes for those.
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