White(ish) Layer Cake

For Mother’s Day with Kevin’s side of the family, I wanted to make a white cake with strawberry frosting.  However, I ended up turning this into a white(ish) cake because I couldn’t bring myself to only use the egg whites that the recipe called for and waste 6 egg yolks!  After a teeny adjustment, here is the recipe as adapted by Cook’s Illustrated:


  • 2 1/4 C cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 Cwhole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs** (3/4 C), at room temperature
  • 2 t almond extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 t table salt
  • 12 T unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

**Use 6 large egg whites (3/4 C) at room temp if you want a true WHITE cake.  The yolks are what gave this cake the light yellow hue.


  1. Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
  2. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

    Moist Crumbs!
    Moist Crumbs!
  3. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

    Don't Over Beat
    Don’t Over Beat
  4. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.)
  5. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours before frosting.

    White(ish) Layer Cake
    White(ish) Layer Cake

The strawberry frosting recipe will be coming soon, but here’s a peek at the finished product!

White(ish) Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting
White(ish) Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting

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