A light and fluffy white cake topped with a velvety Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This easy dessert is the perfect combination of simple and pretty!
For the Cake:
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup (236ml) whole milk at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups (333g) granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ cups (252g) cake flour (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Frosting:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon (10ml) pure vanilla extract
- Food gel colors (optional)
For the Cake:
- Separate the egg white from the yolk, ensure that no part of the yolks makes it into the eggs white. Allow the egg whites, butter, and milk to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides, lightly dust with flour.
- In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Then combine the milk and vanilla extract in the measuring cup. Gradually alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the bowl until all the ingredients have been added and are well mixed. Mix the batter with a spatula, ensuring all the ingredients on the bottom of the bowl are incorporating.
- In a separate bowl, whip the eggs whites with a hand mixer until they are foamy and stiff peaks form (about 2-3 minutes).
- Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites into the batter. Ensure all ingredients are well incorporated but don’t overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, about 2 ¼ cups per pan. Bake for approximately 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Wipe down the inside of your stainless-steel bowl with vinegar to remove any grease. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl with a candy thermometer attached.
- Set the bowl over the top of a pot with 1 ¼ cups water covering the bottom. Place over medium heat.
- Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture reaches 140°-160° The sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your fingertips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
- Immediately place the mixing bowl on your stand. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the eggs white on low for 2 minutes then increase to medium-high.
- Beat for another 5 minutes. At this point, your frosting should have turned white and the body of the meringue starts to form. Increase the mixing speed to high. It will start to look glossy as the peaks begin to form. Beat for another 3-5 minutes until the bottom of your bowl is cool to the touch and your meringue has stiff peaks.
- Turn your mixer down to medium-low. Slowly add your butter, 1 tbsp at a time. As you add more butter, the frosting might appear to have curdled and lost its body, that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Switch to the paddle attachment, add the vanilla extract and any food coloring you’d like, and continue beating on medium-high speed until your frosting starts to have stiff peaks. Beat for about 3-5 minutes.
- Use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
- Place about 2 cups of frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the cake, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place the next layer on top.
- Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between your layers and to create a crumb coat. Using an offset spatula or icing smoother, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving you just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
- Proceed to frost the top and sides of the cake using your offset spatula. Once the sides of the cake are covered, use your icing smoother to remove any excess frosting. Decorate with remaining frosting.
How to measure the cake flour: For the cake flour, go to the brand’s website or packaging and look up the weight in grams for 1 cup of cake flour to determine the final weight you need for the flour, versus using what is listed in the recipe. In my research, there isn’t a straightforward weight for cake flour, and it differs by brand.
This cake is 2 ½ inches tall frosted, each layer is about 1 inch in height
Read the full tutorial for Swiss meringue buttercream
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: white cake, simple cake, Swiss meringue buttercream