History of White Cake

White cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. From weddings to birthdays, this delicate cake has become a staple in American cuisine. In this article, we will explore the history of white cake, its variations, and the reason for its continued popularity.

The Origins of White Cake

White cake has been around for centuries. The earliest recipes date back to the 18th century, when white sugar became more widely available. The original recipe consisted of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but no leavening agent, resulting in a dense and heavy cake.

Over time, baking powder was added to the recipe, making the cake lighter and fluffier. White cake was also known as “silver cake” due to its light color and delicate texture. It was a popular dessert for special occasions, such as weddings and holidays.

White Cake Recipe Variations

Today, there are many variations of white cake, each with its unique twist. Some recipes call for sour cream or buttermilk, which add tanginess and moisture to the cake. Others include almond extract or vanilla beans, enhancing the cake’s flavor and aroma.

For those who prefer a richer flavor, white chocolate or cream cheese frosting can be added. There are even gluten-free and vegan white cake recipes for those with dietary restrictions.

The Popularity of White Cake

White cake remains a beloved dessert, and for a good reason. It is light, fluffy, and delicate, making it perfect for special occasions. Its neutral flavor also allows for versatility in pairing with different frostings and fillings.

White cake has also been popularized through media and pop culture. It has appeared in countless movies and TV shows, such as “Father of the Bride” and “The Great British Baking Show.” This exposure has helped cement white cake’s status as a classic American dessert.

White Cake and Celebrations

White cake has long been associated with celebrations, particularly weddings. The tradition of serving white cake at weddings dates back to the 19th century when Queen Victoria served a white cake at her wedding.

The white color symbolizes purity, making it a fitting dessert for weddings. White cake is also versatile, allowing for customization with different decorations and flavors.

The Role of White Cake in American Cuisine

White cake has played a significant role in American cuisine. It is a staple dessert for holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and is often served at birthday parties and other celebrations.

White cake has also been used in American politics. In 1900, William McKinley’s campaign slogan was “A Full Dinner Pail and a White Cake.” The slogan was a nod to the prosperity of the time, with the white cake symbolizing the abundance and success of the country.

White Cake and the Future

As trends in baking and dessert preferences evolve, white cake has adapted. New variations and flavor combinations continue to emerge, ensuring the cake’s continued popularity.

White cake may have a storied history, but it remains a timeless dessert that will always have a place on American tables.


What is the history behind serving white cake at weddings?

White cake has long been associated with weddings, and the tradition of serving it dates back to the 19th century. Queen Victoria is said to have popularized the practice when she served a white cake at her wedding. The white color symbolizes purity, making it a fitting dessert for weddings.

Can white cake be made without flour?

There are gluten-free white cake recipes that use alternative flours, such as almond flour or coconut flour. These recipes are perfect for those with dietary restrictions or who prefer a healthier option.

What is the difference between white cake and vanilla cake?

White cake is a type of cake that is traditionally made with egg whites, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Vanilla cake, on the other hand, is a cake that is flavored with vanilla extract. While vanilla cake can be white in color, it may also be yellow or beige.

Can white cake be frozen?

Yes, white cake can be frozen. It is recommended to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in an airtight container. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

What are some popular frosting options for white cake?

There are many frosting options for white cake, including traditional buttercream, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, or even a fruit-based glaze. The frosting you choose will depend on your personal taste and the occasion.


White cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins date back to the 18th century, and since then, it has become a staple in American cuisine. White cake is versatile, perfect for celebrations, and has even played a role in American politics.While the recipe has evolved over time, white cake remains a beloved dessert that will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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