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Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream on a white cake plate with a slice removed

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

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This dense, delicious Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream topped with White Chocolate Curls made a dreamy, one layer birthday cake!

With a variety of picky palates in our household, I went to our favorite white chocolate cupcake recipe and baked it up in an 8-inch cake pan. There were absolutely no complaints or leftovers!

Overhead view of Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Bill’s birthday was approaching, and even though I know he’d prefer the most decadent dark chocolate dessert I could create, he always selects a birthday cake that Katie would enjoy. This year, instead of the yellow cake with chocolate icing we’ve had the past 3 or so birthdays, he asked for a white chocolate cake.

I decided to convert our favorite white chocolate cupcakes recipe into an 8-inch cake and use the same exquisite Swiss buttercream for icing.  And voila…Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream. The cake turned out denser than I expected, but still really tasty…though the true star of the show was the white chocolate icing and jumbo white chocolate curl garnish.

 

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream on a white cake plate with one slice in the foreground

Converting a Cupcake Recipe into a Cake

I decided to convert our favorite white chocolate cupcakes recipe into an 8-inch cake and use the same exquisite Swiss buttercream for icing.  And voila…Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream. The cake turned out denser than I expected, but still really tasty…though the true star of the show was the white chocolate icing and jumbo white chocolate curl garnish.

To convert a recipe for 12 cupcakes into a cake, this method works for most recipes. 

  • Make the cupcake batter as directed in the recipe.
  • Once it’s mixed, scrape it into a greased 8-inch cake pan.
  • If you’re worried about sticking, line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment, then grease the top of the parchment.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • Frost as desired.
Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream on a white cake plate with a slice removed

White Chocolate Curls

And in case you haven’t mastered the chocolate curl, read on. I’ve abandoned the vegetable peeler and started using the Pioneer Woman’s method, first shared in this blog post for my Fluffy Chocolate Dessert. A white chocolate version made a beautiful topper for this Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Curls!

More Cake Recipes:

Yield: 10

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

A tender, one layer vanilla cake topped with a luscious white chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and white chocolate curls!

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 eggs whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (if you use unsalted just add a pinch of salt)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 8 inch cake pan with a parchment round, then grease the pan

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed till light. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Mix together milk, lemon, and vanilla. Add half this mixture to the batter. Mix until just blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add half the dry ingredients and mix in well, followed by the remaining milk mixture, then the rest of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven about 50 minutes or till a tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then remove to rack to finish cooling.

Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, gently in the microwave…use 15-30 second intervals, stirring till melted. Cool to room temperature.

Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of the mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water so that the water comes a third of the way up the bowl. Whisk the egg whites till just hot to the touch, about 1-2 minutes.

Use mixer on high to whip the eggs till thick and cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer speed to medium and add butter by tablespoon, making sure butter is mixed in before adding the next tablespoon. Add the chocolate and vanilla and mix till smooth. If the icing is too runny, refrigerate briefly till it thickens. Ice the cake...there will be plenty of frosting for a generous layer!

Notes

Adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
Cake

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 178mg Sodium: 291mg Carbohydrates: 45g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 44g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g
Yield: 24 curls

White Chocolate Curls

White Chocolate Curls

A beautiful topping for white chocolate or vanilla desserts!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of shortening

Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate with shortening (I use the microwave). Spread the warm chocolate out on the back of a sheet pan with an offset spatula….nearly covering the whole surface. The layer should be thin, but not translucent.
  2. Place it in the freezer for 2-3 minutes. My chocolate was a little too hard when I pulled it out, but it was curling consistency after a minute or so at room temperature.
  3. Using a metal bench scraper (but you could use a metal spatula with a very straight/sharped edged scooping end), scrape off chocolate curls. Not every piece was perfect, but the leftover shards could still be used for garnishing. These curls will get soft as they warm up to room temperature, so refrigerate till needed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 10mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g

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88 comments on “Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream”

  1. That thick layer of buttercream looks amazing!

  2. This cake is so pretty! Love the flavors. 🙂

  3. I love the decoration and presentation of this cake — looks so beautiful! Have a wonderful week, Liz! 🙂

  4. This sounds great and all and I’m super excited to make it (!!), but I have to know, first and foremost, how do you spread your icing so perfectly??

  5. Impeccably decorated!!! You are a baking genius! =)

  6. looks beautiful and sounds delish!

  7. Your cake looks absolutely divine! Thanks so much for the white chocolate curls tutorial too, can’t wait to try this!

  8. I love how thick the icing looks on top. I bet this was amazing!

  9. Beautiful photos! I’m ready for a piece right now, please!

  10. I would have loved to have a slice of this. I guess the only solution is to make one. White chocolate seals the deal for me everytime.

  11. You have such a knack for making elegant desserts! This cake looks so good and I love all that frosting!

  12. This is a gorgeous cake!! I love white chocolate buttercream.

  13. I’ve seen this cake everywhere and I had to come to check it out. OH MY…. Stunning cake, Lizzy! The white chocolate curl garnish adds classy elegant factor. Beautiful job!

  14. I love a simple white cake. Great alternative to chocolate!

  15. Ummmm…my birthday is 4/27…just sayin. lol I love how thick the icing is on this cake, and your curls are def gorgeous! So jelaous of Bill! 🙂

  16. Marvelous, Lizzy!!! 😀 And that buttercream sounds divine! 🙂

    xoxo,
    Tammy<3

  17. this looks spectacular!! yum, yum

  18. Just slice me up a large hunk of this cake with a cold glass of milk… and I’m done. 🙂 Looks perfect. 🙂

  19. Oh wow that butter cream icing looks so decadent, I have to try it.

  20. Oh my Liz! If there are any naysayers about vanilla cake not being decadent, you will change their mind. That layer of buttercream is outstanding!

  21. OMGoodness, Liz! This cake is gorgeous! Give me a good white cake any day of the week…with that really thick buttercream even better!!! Thanks for linking to the chocolate curls, too! Darn, I try and try and can never do it!

  22. The picture had me. I’m a chocolate lover but this frosting looks sinful!

  23. Totally spectacular! I can see this on any shower table. Just so stunning.

  24. I always save desserts for last when I’m going through the Sunday Supper post and this week’s sweets don’t disappoint! This is gorgeous, Liz – I love those perfect chocolate curls. I’ve never made a good looking curl using any method so I’ll definitely have to try this. Every now and then, a good, dense cake is exactly what’s needed so I think this cake looks delicious, especially with that luscious, creamy frosting. Happy birthday to Bill!

  25. Can I put my order in now? My birthday is in September! It looks fabulous & I’m sure it was delicious!

  26. This looks delicious. A nice thick layer of frosting, my fave! Visiting today from Mop it up Monday.

  27. I love your pictures and recipes. I would like to invite you to come and join us and share your wonderful pictures with us. We are simply foodies and we are not photography snobs, so picture perfection is not important, all we care about is delicious food.

  28. Oh my! This cake is amazing! We saw it on I Should Be Mopping and came right over. Incredible. Please come by and visit us Tuesday + for Brag About It Link Party! Bye bye and best of days! ~Sharon and Denise @BeBetsy

  29. Liz,
    Your cake looks delicious. Your husband must have been thrilled with this cake.
    Annamaria

  30. Hi Liz,
    Just stopped by to say thanks for being a part of the YBR this month.:) I hope your husband and family are doing well. Hugs

  31. I came across your blog whilst trying to look for a similar recipe. My question is can you use meringue powder instead of egg whites for this recipe and what do you think about cream cheese as some other recipes on the web use that. Your feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. BDW beautiful cake!!!

    • I’ve only tried meringue powder in royal icing and I’m not sure it would give you the results you’re looking for. I think a cream cheese frosting with white chocolate would be a better bet. I have a recipe coming up on Thursday that uses that frosting flavor profile on a red velvet cake…it was delicious!

  32. Thank you so much for your help:)

  33. You always make me want to break my diet!

  34. It’s gorgeous:@)

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