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Classic white cake slice
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4.5 from 4 votes

Classic White Cake Made from Scratch

This was my grandmother's favorite recipe which she called a 1-2-3-4 cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 12 layer cake, classic white cake, vanilla buttercream, white layer cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Calories 435kcal
Author Lise Ode


For the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 384g
  • 3 cups cake flour 336g
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 16 ounces
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 2 (8-inch) round pans with melted butter and line with parchment paper. Brush with more butter. You could also use non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, measure out flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and mix. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk, plus the vanilla. Mix on medium low until combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Mix until combined, then continue mixing on medium low for 30 seconds. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 30-35 minutes. At 30 minutes, test one of the cakes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, continue to bake for just a few minutes more or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Let cool completely,

For the frosting

  • Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Note: If the frosting is too thick, you can add a little more cream. Just add one tablespoon at a time, then mix thoroughly until you get the consistency you like.
  • Fill and frost the cooled cake, reserving about 1 1/4 cups of frosting for the decoration (if desired). I used a 103 tip for the flowers and border. I used a 352 tip for the leaves. Add sprinkles.


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg