Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Prep Time
1 Hour
Bake Time
22 Mins
Cool Time
1 Hour 5 Mins
Freeze Time
1 Hour
Makes 12 servings

Make a classic white cake for Christmas or Easter this year. This cake starts with boxed mix, then adds a few key ingredients to make the end result light, fluffy, and totally delicious.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat together first 6 ingredients and, if desired, almond extract at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.

Step 2

Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze 1 hour or up to 1 month.

Step 3

Spread Vanilla Buttercream between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Step 4

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Premium Cake Mix.

Ratings & Reviews

ohouse's Review

December 24, 2013
I too, thought this cake was beautiful from the photo and wanted to try it. I first made it and decided to double the recipe. That was a big flop. The cake was very dense and almost looked undone on the bottom although my knife came out clean. I didn't know the cake was as bad as it was until I icing it and cut into it the next day. Thank goodness this was two days before my Christmas dinner. It looked awful on the inside. Ok, I went back to the store and bought all the ingredients again. So, this time I noticed that the Duncan Hines cake mix was suppose to measure (18.25-oz). However, all Duncan Hines' cake mixes measure (16. 5 oz), so that is a problem right there. I actually took out my scale and measured out the cake mix. It took one box and some from another. I am again following ALL the same directions. I'll post when this one comes out. I am beginning to wonder about Southern Living and their cake recipes. This is the second cake recipe I have attempted.

rockyhillgal's Review

December 26, 2011
I was taken aback at the batter's texture; it was like taffy or dough. Convinced it would be a flop, I asked someone coming to my home for Christmas dinner to bring a back up dessert. During baking, it rised in a way I didn't anticipate. I used the Vanilla Buttercream frosting cited in the recipe and topped the cake with a brown sugar, butter and pecan mixture. It was a big hit! The cake itself was delicious and moist. I'd definitely make this again.

cupcakejen's Review

December 15, 2011
Has anyone tried making cupcakes with this recipe? It usually simple to make cupcakes from any cake recipe, but I'm worried it won't work here because of the denseness of the batter. Has anyone had cupcake success?

doris226's Review

November 30, 2011
I made this cake and it was great. Very easy to make. I made the cream cheese(buttercream) frosting. Instead of milk, I used coffee. So good.

bakerwoman's Review

December 27, 2010
Made this cake for Christmas dinner 2010 according to instructions and it was fantastic, came out exactly as pictured. Batter was thick, but this was expected because the instructions did not call for the usual milk or other liquid. The denseness made for nice texture/mouth feel of the cake. I believe the recipe is correct.

coulduseaday's Review

December 15, 2010
This is the most amazing cake. The first time we made it we were taken back by the texture. We expected it to be a typical cake texture and it wasn't... It was very thick and a chewy texture. However, this is my all time favorite cake and the icing is to die for. Its addictive. You must try this cake! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!!

downinthesouth's Review

November 27, 2009
I can't understand why so many people have been disappointed by this cake, all 20 of my guests devoured it among 5 desserts. Yes, the batter is thick - but look at the picture, this is a dense 3-layer cake. I only have 9 inch pans, the recipe calls for 8 inch - maybe that was the problem for some of you? I also did not use all of the sugar in the frosting, probably about 24-26 oz or so, would suggest that you adjust to personal taste. We will make this again, it is a beautiful and festive cake, esp with the garnish.

phillip1555's Review

October 19, 2009
I've made this cake twice. I love it and everyone that's tasted it just raves about it. It is , without a doubt, the best tasting cake I've ever made. The batter is thick by design, but presents no proiblems. A couple of variations to make it even better: Separate approximately one third of the icing and mix with one cup of pecans that have been ground with a coffee grinder or proeessor. Use this part of the icing for the fill layers. Omit one box of confectioners sugar from the icing. This results in a less sweet, more cream cheesy taste.

KellysCakes's Review

August 31, 2009
Great recipe! Recently made this recipe for my niece's wedding cake. The cake turned out perfect and I received rave reviews from the 200+ guests. Due to the summer heat, I had to opt for buttercream frosting instead the cream cheese frosting but otherwise would recommend using the cream cheese version. For the record, there was nothing 'flat' about this recipe.

msgoldent's Review

June 29, 2009
I made this cake twice. Once for Thanksgiving 08 and for a friends birthday. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written. Both times it came out perfect. Everyone loves the recipe and I was asked to make it again for one of my daughter's friends.