This recipe has been slowly modified by me until I reached something I was quite happy with. Perfect for wedding cakes, birthday cakes and cupcakes, this recipe is very easy to adjust into any flavor you want. I’ve added: orange juice (subbed for some liquid), instant chai tea powder, peanut butter – you name it! Always a very moist, fine texture, but sturdy enough for wedding and sculpted cakes.

A Better White Scratch Cake


  • 5 c cake flour
  • 3 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 1 1/3 c shortening
  • 16oz sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 10 egg whites (or 10oz carton egg whites)


  1. Preheat oven. Prepare your pans as you normally would.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together into mixer bowl.
  3. Add everything but egg whites and mix just until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes, turn down mixer and add egg whites, return to high and beat for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into pans and bake.
  5. This recipe makes 10 cups of batter, but can be halved or doubled (if your mixer can handle it).


cakes_rule Says... 2009-09-29 14:54:40

could u please mention the oven temp and bake time. thanks

motherofgrace Says... 2009-10-09 17:40:14

bake time please??? Im trying the recipe right now!

msulli10 Says... 2009-10-21 06:55:13

What type of shortening? Do you use crisco, or oil or butter??

Sweet_Treats_1 Says... 2009-11-19 11:56:53

The OP didn't state a bake temp, but I have been baking at 350 with great results. Also, when I am not looking for a pure white cake I just use 5 whole eggs instead of 10 egg whites, and have had no problems doing so.THANK YOU edencakes for this amazing recipe!

Sweet_Treats_1 Says... 2009-11-19 12:02:29

This was as a quote I found on a forum topic relating to this recipe by LorienSkye

loopilu Says... 2009-12-12 06:04:53

this mite sound a bit dumb, but is shortening vegetable fat?

kiwigal81 Says... 2010-01-08 20:38:56

I subbed butter (we don't have much white veg fat here, NZ is butter country) and greek yoghurt (no sour cream) and it was fannnntastic. Seriously great cake. Everyone loved it, so easy to torte too. One of my faves.

MIcakelady Says... 2010-01-17 19:58:59

can all purpose flour be used instead of cake flour?

kiwigal81 Says... 2010-01-19 14:50:12

I made this again today, and use the surplus for cupcakes. I iced with IMBC and they are still great the next day too.

BalancedOnLove Says... 2010-01-31 22:51:57

How many cups of batter does this yield?

ivymeister Says... 2010-03-12 23:10:00

regular flour and cake flour are not the same...goggle cake flour and you will find how to convert regular flower to cake flour..

Cakes_n_Cookies Says... 2010-03-24 17:13:45

Thanks ...looking forward to trying out this recipe ;}

CoutureCakeCreations Says... 2010-04-12 06:48:49

Tried this recipe yesterday and I love it. I love the taste and texture and it is perfect for any kind of cake (wedding, special occassion) Cant wait to try different liquids for different flavors! Thanks! Couture Cake Creations

neelycharmed Says... 2010-04-18 08:15:37

sounds great!!

Suzisweet Says... 2010-04-30 10:30:58

This recipe is super! 24 cupcakes with beautiful domes and 2 - 6" x 3" cake rounds.... I use 350 and 5 eggs unless I need white, white cake then I go back to the egg whites only. I also sub vanilla bean paste for the vanilla in equal quantity for lovely speckles and a vanilla punch! Thanks so much for this great recipe

chouxchoux Says... 2010-05-04 15:19:37

do you have a chocolate version?

Spectra Says... 2010-05-09 19:59:20

I too would love a chocolate version?

sanasim Says... 2010-05-15 17:06:01

should we beat egg white separately till peaks and fold.. like chiffon cake... Or just add in batter and beat well


2SchnauzerLady Says... 2010-05-18 10:57:53

I've been trying to switch to scratch so I made this. I could taste the baking powder in this. I kept checking the amount listed on the recipe since I've never used a couple of tablespoons in anything before. It had a very fine, beautiful texture, a little less moist, and less sweet than the WASC I've been using. I thought it was a bit too crumbly for carving, but since I didn't need to carve it, it was fine for a simple 2 layer cake. The girls at work are not shy about critiquing, prefer the WASC.

joann905bv Says... 2010-06-14 08:04:53

I baked this cake. It turned out spongy, almost like an angel food. I was going to use it for a wedding cake, but can't image that they would be able to slice it. Did I do something wrong?

buggus Says... 2010-07-24 17:04:46

I tried this tonight, and it didn't turn out very well. The texture was a bit spongy as well, almost like pancake batter. I'd love to know what you other ladies are doing that I'm not to get the results you're getting.

pmarks0 Says... 2010-07-29 22:37:57

I tried this for the second time and I have to say I'm not happy with the results. It appears to be done, but the top is sticky when it's cooled and very dense. I can't say I'll use this one again. It's spongy as some others have said.

zespri Says... 2010-08-07 15:22:36

kiwigal81, in NZ cake flour is the same thing as 'standard' flour. In most supermarkets here, you can get 'standard', or 'high grade'. 'Standard' has the less gluten than high-grade, so is better for cakes etc, as gluten makes cakes tough.

Cannie004 Says... 2010-08-23 07:32:29

This is how to "make" cake flour out of all-purpose flour!! Sift* a batch of all-purpose flour. 2. Measure out the amount needed for your recipe. (left-over flour can go back in the bag) 3. For every 1 cup of flour remove 2 Tbsp. 4. Now add 2 Tbsp of Cornstarch for every 1 cup of flour. (replacing the tablespoons of flour taken out) 5. Sift 5 times and it's ready-to-use cake flour. *To sift flour without a sifter just use a wire mesh type strainer by filling it with flour and tapping against the palm of your hand over a bowl.

BrownSugarTreats Says... 2010-10-20 11:54:52

Has anyone tried butter in place of shortnening? If so, How did it turn out? Thanks

zespri Says... 2010-10-20 11:57:56

Yes, I tried butter. The cakes were a failure, but I don't know if that was the reason. I also used whole eggs and cooked at a low temperature as Sweet_Treats_1 suggested up above. She said hers turned out great, so I don't know what I was doing wrong.

rosamatsas Says... 2010-11-11 14:51:24

i love this recipe. It comes out great every time i use it.

somethinsweet2eat Says... 2010-11-11 17:47:47

Made this today I have been trying to find a replacement for my doctored mixes. This was very good. I am so glad I can stop trying white cake recipes. I used the shortening and all purpose flour with cornstarch for the substitute of cake flour and used whole eggs because I didn't need a true white cake. There is a 20+ page thread on this recipe in the forums section that is worth reading if anyone has questions or is interested in making this reacipe.

cheatize Says... 2011-01-25 17:54:12

I made this today and used egg whites in a carton for the eggs. The top tastes very eggy, but not the rest of the cake. Is this normal, because of the carton egg whites, or because of something else?

sweetbcakes Says... 2011-01-27 12:59:56

Didn't like this cake. Way too spongy. Texture is way off. I did like the density but the texture and flavor was off.

Fabia Says... 2011-03-11 01:25:35

I want to make a WASC from scratch but from all the comments above I am not sure how good it is…could anyone tell me please if this cake is as good or better than that WASC from cake mix box?…or you may know another recipe? thanks for the advise.

nhbakingmom Says... 2011-04-14 18:45:43

I also did not like this cake. The flavor was off. Still trying to find that yummy, from scratch cake!

aeila_marie Says... 2011-05-04 06:43:07

I just made this recipe, sad to say, didn't came out very well was too dense like a bread pudding...thanks to the mocha flavoring i put in place of vanilla, it tasted yummy though... sad that i ignored all the other "unsuccessful" baking comments on this recipe... i wonder what could i have really done wrong?...sigh:(

VinaBaby75 Says... 2011-05-07 18:59:58

What kind of shortening please.The eggs are separately? sorry my english,I hope you understand me.

HappyCake10609 Says... 2011-06-17 10:03:58

I just tried this recipe for the first time, like others, I am trying to find scratch recipes to use in place of my WASC recipes. I only scrolled down part way on the comments so I didn't notice the comments from the people who didn't like it! I agree, the texture were off...

splymale Says... 2011-07-05 05:04:21

I'm trying to find the variations to this recipe, I thought they were posted here. For example, I thought I saw a strawberry variation. Any idea where it is?

cakesmart Says... 2011-07-08 06:52:50

I made this yesterday, and absolutely loved it! The texture was soft and velvety. I was searching for a truly awesome vanilla-based scratch cake and this is a keeper. I will definitely make this again.

SweetcakesCT Says... 2011-09-09 19:34:52

I made this last night (halved the recipe) and thought it came out awesome. It was nice and moist, and of a good density. I used a flavored creamer in place of the milk, and that added an extra oomph of flavor. I am very pleased with this recipe and will use it again. Thanks to edencakes.

Noey Says... 2011-11-01 13:54:13

This cake is so spongy! I also have problems with it shrinking. I made cupcakes out of the batter and they domed so nicely, then about 10 minutes later, they shrunk flat and pulled away from the sides of the liners. Maybe it's better as a layer cake, but I do not recommend for cupcakes.

dukeswalker Says... 2012-02-09 19:53:23

spongy and the centers fell on the cupcakes I baked. bummer.

Krista512 Says... 2012-02-10 09:40:34

i made this cake for superbowl and only difference was i put half vanilla and half butter flavoring. the texture was good and seams would be great for stacking but it did seam like the taste was off. im not a super big baker so i dont know for sure if it was flour or baking powder like other posters said but something seamed like it was too much of one or the other. other than that it was good. though next time i will add more flavoring. i think it is a very good start to a recipe but maybe play with cutting down a slught on something just not sure what.

Krista512 Says... 2012-02-17 22:41:58

i have mixed reviews about this cake. the taste seams good BUT and BIG BUT i have made it 3 times. the first time i followed the directions and the batter was super watery with nothing but white chunks of shortning then i realized it is missing steps. i had followed the directions that are written and then realized thast step 1 that is missing is probably cream shortning and sugar and i didnt do that since the recipe didnt say to, still cooked it and it was horrible all soggy. the 2nd time and 3rd time i tried it i followed the directions to a T just putting both vanilla and almond flavoring. both times my cupcakes would not rise and once take from the oven and started to cool they pulled away from the cupcake liner. both for mini cupcakes and regular. i put the rest of the batter in a 6 inch round pan and cooked it and it too didnt rise much and the 2nd round one cracked down the center, the recipe tastes ok but really needs to find what is wrong why it wont rise. and i agree it coulf possibly taste the baking powder

CakeManRan Says... 2012-03-17 12:39:43

thanks for your comments everyone. I am a cake sculptor and decided I needed to up my game and learn to bake cake from scratch. I don't bake. I climb telephone poles for a living. I was looking for something simple to try after my "peanut butter cup" cake was a big flop. Too dense, don't know how to make it not so thick and dry. tasted like cocoa instead of chocolate, I figure I need to add more sugar for that.

Now I am thinking this may not be the best recipe for my second attempt. thought white might be simplest. But learned alot for your comments. Thanks.

TheSweetTreat Says... 2012-04-19 08:59:48

Just made this recipe and I definitely did not get good results. One thing that I knew was going to probably mess things up was the butter. I had room temp butter, but when I added it in it just turned into tiny little lumps. I tried to smooth them out, but it didn't work well so I had to just run with it. I didn't want to overbeat the mix so I just went ahead and made 6 cupcakes. (the rest of the batter is in the freezer). The cupcakes did rise a little bit, but the cake was very very dense and spongy like others have said. The taste was definitely off as well. I guess it tasted eggy also. Didn't taste like vanilla.

I just made the original WASC yesterday using a mix and I must say it was very nice. The flavor was strong and the texture was very nice as well, however I don't really want to buy mixes. I thought this recipe was supposed to be just like the original WASC, but it was not for me. Back to the butter. I imagine that was the cause of my troubles, but the others who had spongy, eggy, cake did you use butter or stick with shortening??

kimmcannally Says... 2012-05-22 08:52:29

I made this as cupcakes today and agree - not too good for those. It tastes great, and domed in the oven, but as they sat to cool, the cupcakes shrank and flattened. For my use, they are still fine, because I'm using them to make cupcake bouquets with gumpaste flowers on top. But they do lack that pretty dome you expect in a cupcake.

luckyblueeye Says... 2012-05-31 15:19:28

Made just like the recipe says, the exact measurements worked even at high altitude. Wonderful crumb, and what a pretty cake! Nothing to level, the batter started rising from the edges first but by the end, everything was on the same level and there was nothing to "fix". It didn't increase in size very much. I put the layers in the freezer over night and they were so easy to handle in the morning for torting etc.

fowlsinglefile Says... 2012-07-03 18:50:57

Taste was VERY disappointing! The texture was great for carving, but it tasted a lot like corn bread :(

cakesmart Says... 2012-07-09 10:42:36

My first test of this recipe was a layer cake and it was awesome. I decided to make the flavor, but the cups didn't dome and pulled away from the liner as they cooled.

ycknits Says... 2012-08-03 06:48:35

I made this recipe a month ago without reading the directions thoroughly. So I creamed the butter and sugar, addeded 'the egg whites, and then alternately added the flour and milk. It turned out awesome! And I decided that this would be my new favorite white cake. But I made it yesterday, for a special friend's granddaughter's birthday cake, and was very disappointed :( I used buttermilk instead of the milk and followed the author's mixing directions. The result was a cake with a very coarse crumb and an 'eggy' taste. In both cakes, It was soft in the center even though the cake was clearly done and pulled away from the edges. I used all butter and aluminum-free baking powder... and baking strips on the pans. I may give it one more try, but if I get another disappointing result, I'm moving on to something else!

ycknits Says... 2012-08-04 11:12:54

Addendum to my previous message: I just made a triple batch of this recipe, figuring I'd give it one more try since I liked it so much one out of two times. I used butter/shortening as specified in the recipe and used 1/2 milk, 1/2 buttermilk for the liquid. I baked at 325F using baking strips on my pans. As I did in my first trial, I changed the mixing process..... creamed butter/shortening with sugar, beat in a few egg whites at a time, stirred in the sour cream. Then added dry ingredients alternately with the liquid. Folded in flavorings. My filled 8" square pans weighed 44 oz when filled. I made some cake pops and one cupcake (for testing, of course :) with the small amount of leftover batter. After baking, the pans were pretty much, but not quite filled. Next time, I will evenly split all of the batter between the three pans. One thing I don't like is that when I poke the center of the cake to test for doneness near the end of the baking process, the cake sinks in that area. Next time, I will carefully monitor the baking time so that I don't have to poke the cakes. Conclusion: I will use this recipe frequently - but using my modified mixing process.

siuingme Says... 2012-10-07 07:36:33

Too bad, I didn't work for me. I don't like the taste and texture, spongy but rubbery.

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