White Almond Sour Cream Cake
White almond sour cream cake, from scratch! An easy white cake recipe that’s so moist. Soft & delicate, yet sturdy enough for layering.
I’m so happy to be bringing you this white cake recipe today! It’s one of my very favorites.
I love making layer cakes and I’ve got plenty of recipes to prove it. Be sure to check out my favorite vanilla cake recipe, the chocolate cake recipe that so many readers have RAVED about, and the red velvet cake that my friends and family beg for.
I make all of these regularly, but sometimes you want something that is simple, beautiful, and elegant. This is when an amazing white cake recipe can truly be your best friend.
This one is so simple to make, with just a handful of pantry staples, and the flavor is so delicate.
And it’s gorgeous! I love how even the crumb is, and it’s white as snow on the inside. Perfect at any time of year, but especially for a spring celebration.
Table of Contents
- What is white cake?
- What’s great about this white cake recipe
- What does white cake taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make this white cake recipe
- How to serve white cake
- Expert tips
- A few more of my favorite cake recipes
What is white cake?
The most notable difference between this and vanilla cake or yellow cake is the color. These other cakes have a pale, sunny color from the egg yolks and butter, whereas this cake bakes up snowy white.
It’s also an oil-based cake, which really allows the sweet almond perfume to really shine.
What’s great about this white cake recipe
- Tastes amazing: The subtly sweet flavor of almond and the creamy tang of sour cream really come through.
- Wonderful texture: This cake bakes up so moist, with a fine, even crumb and a delicate mouthfeel.
- Few ingredients: You’ll only need a handful of pantry staples to make it.
- Easy to make: It comes together in just a few minutes, with minimal effort.
- Versatile: You can make this in just about any size you can imagine!
What does white cake taste like?
This white wedding cake has a very subtle delicate flavor. It’s just sweet enough, and it has just a kiss of fruity almond flavor. There’s also a subtle yet rich tang from sour cream.
I prefer all-purpose flour for this recipe. It provides a little more stability than cake flour would.
A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make a gluten-free wedding cake recipe.
Sugar adds sweetness (obvs!) but it also keeps things moist, since it’s hydrophilic (this means it loves water, in other words, it draws moisture in).
Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like (bearing in mind that color will be a factor). As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
This white wedding cake utilizes baking soda to leaven (or “lift”) it.
Baking soda is a chemical raising agent. When it combines with the natural acids in the sour cream, a chemical reaction occurs that causes air bubbles to release.
Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.
Sour cream keeps the cake moist, adds a richer flavor, and works together with the baking soda to help the cake to rise.
If you don’t have sour cream, you can use the same amount of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (preferably full-fat) or buttermilk.
Oil adds moisture and richness to the cake.
This recipe uses only the whites of the eggs. They provide structure to the cake, so it doesn’t collapse or fall apart.
Almond extract provides the signature flavor of this WASC cake.
- Cake pan(s): For what you see here, I’ve used three 6-inch round cake pans. But two 8-inch round cake pans or two 9-inch round cake pans would also work, as would a 9×13-inch sheet pan. You could also bake 24 cupcakes, or double the recipe and bake it in a 12-cup bundt pan.
- Non-stick spray: To prep the pans so nothing sticks.
- Parchment: Same as above.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Precise measurement is critical here! Follow this guide: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.
- Large mixing bowl: In which to mix the batter.
- Whisk: Helps to combine the ingredients.
- Smaller bowl or large measuring cup: For the liquid ingredients.
- Mixer: A stand mixer or handheld electric mixer will work. Or you can whisk it by hand if you have strong biceps.
How to make this white cake recipe
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients
Flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt go into the larger mixing bowl.
Just give them a quick whisk to get them combined.
Step 2: Add the liquid ingredients
Now, in the smaller bowl, combine the sour cream, oil, egg whites, and almond extract.
Whisk them together as best you can (the mixture may look a little lumpy), and pour that into the dry ingredients.
Give everything a good mix.
Step 3: Bake
Then transfer the batter to greased, lined cake pans, and bake!
You’ll know your cake is done when it’s set and it feels springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
How to serve white cake
For the white cake you see pictured here, I used a half-batch of my favorite American-style Buttercream. It’s a snap to make and I like how fluffy yet stable it is.
But if that’s not your thing, here are a few other suggestions that would work really well too:
Any of these would be fabulous paired with this versatile white cake recipe.
Get creative: If you want to put a unique spin on this cake, here are a few suggestions:
- Substitute orange flower water or elderflower liqueur for the almond extract.
- Add fresh citrus zest and juice to the batter.
- Spread lemon curd or blackberry preserves between the layers.
- Flavor the cake with a teaspoon or so of coconut extract, and garnish with shredded coconut.
- Fill and frost with chocolate buttercream. Here is a great recipe: Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Don’t overmix: While you do want to build the structure of the cake and aerate it a bit, it is possible to over-work the batter. If you do, the cake could come out tough.
Keep the door closed: You’ll want to keep the oven door closed as much as possible during the baking process. If you open it too soon, all the hot air will whoosh out and your cake could collapse because the structure isn’t strong enough yet. Turn on the oven light so you can follow visual cues as to when to check the cake. It should no longer look wet or overly shiny.
Don’t under-bake: Every oven is different, so the bake times given are only a rough guideline. If your cake is underbaked, it could collapse. Make sure it’s (at least) close to being done before you start checking it. If it no longer looks wet or shiny, crack the oven door open just the tiniest bit and feel. It should spring back when gently pressed. If it feels at all gooey, shut the door right away and give it a few more minutes. If it bounces right back up, test: insert a skewer into the center. It should come out clean. If the skewer comes out with batter or a lot of crumbs on it, give your cake a few more minutes in the oven.
Don’t over-bake: If you overbake your cake, it could come out dry. Start checking it about 5 minutes before you expect it to be done. If it doesn’t look shiny or wet, follow the instructions above.
Cool completely: Cool the cake (in the pan) until there is no hint of warmth. This keeps it more moist and makes it easier to unmold without the cake falling apart. It’s very tender while still warm!
Chill the cake layers: I find it so much easier to fill and frost a cake if the cake layers are cold. Wrap them up tightly with plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the fridge, and they’ll feel so much sturdier as you’re working with them!
Crumb coat it: If you notice a lot of crumbs pulling up as you frost your cake, you might want to put on a crumb coat first. A crumb coat is a very thin coat of frosting that catches and seals in all the crumbs. Chill the cake after applying the crumb coat. Once it’s crusted over, add another, thicker layer of frosting. It will be smooth as satin and free of any pesky crumbs!
I love the look of a tall cake, so I baked this white cake recipe in three 6-inch diameter pans.
But you could also do it in two 8-inch or 9-inch diameter pans, in a 9×13-inch rectangular pan, or as 24 cupcakes (just divide the batter equally between all 24 wells of the pan).
You could even double the recipe and bake it in a 12-cup capacity bundt pan.
Just be aware that when you use a different-sized pan, you may need to adjust the bake time. You’ll know your cake is done baking when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
For the cupcake version of this recipe, click here: White Cupcakes.
While not as firm and dense as a pound cake, I think this recipe would work well as a larger, tiered cake.
I would just suggest that you place each cake layer on a cardboard cake round, and dowel the cake well to help it support its own weight.
And it’s definitely a good base for covering with fondant. Just give it a smooth coating in buttercream and chill, before draping the fondant over.
You can absolutely make this cake ahead. In fact, I think most cakes are better when they’ve been made at least a day ahead.
Wrap the layers tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
You’ll find the cake becomes stronger, more moist, and easier to frost when it’s been chilled in this way.
If you have any leftovers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and they should last for around a week in the fridge.
For the triple-layer, 6-inch diameter cake seen here, I thought 10 slices looked and felt like an appropriate serving size.
So, the nutritional info in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/10th the whole cake.
This does not include any kind of topping, filling, or frosting.
A few more of my favorite cake recipes
As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
White Cake Recipe
- Place the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Place the sour cream, oil, egg whites, and almond extract in another bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture, and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
- Divide the batter equally between the 3 prepared pans, and rap each one sharply on the counter to eliminate any large air bubbles.
- Bake the cakes for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.