A (Not So) White Cake

This was our anniversary cake. I wanted to make something truly elegant. Something white.

So I embarked on an ambitious project. New recipe. New decorating technique. A very tight deadline.

Lesson learnt. Never attempt something new when you dont have time and/or you’re baking for a special occasion. Stick to what you do best. Leave the experimenting for another time. I think I should turn this into a poster and stick it above my oven.

But I digress. While the perfectionist in me can find a million flaws which are purely cosmetic, the cake itself is pretty good. It has a nice crumb and stacks well. I paired it with a vanilla custard filling and frosted it with vanilla buttercream. And the new technique I was talking about? A white chocolate lace collar.

Husband said “Very pretty!” and proceeded to demolish half the cake. I call that successful 🙂 The buttercream is baby approved too!


I used this recipe and modified it just a teeny tiny bit. It yielded a 6 inch wide and 4 inch tall cake. Perfect for two people when one of them considers half a cake as a serving size.

I have not included the instructions for a chocolate collar here as I was not very successful with it. There are quite a few tutorials available online which could be useful if you want to attempt it.

This cake will pair well with any kind of filling and frosting. What I have described here is just one of the many combinations that you could try.

  • Salted butter – 1/4 cup (if using unsalted butter add 1/4 tsp salt to the dry ingredients)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Egg whites – 2
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Buttermilk – 1/2 cup

Custard Filling


  • Salted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Whipping cream or milk – 2 tbsp
  • Icing sugar – 4 cups (approx.)
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp



  • Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius
  • Grease and flour a 6 inch round cake tin
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt (if using) and set it aside
  • In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together till very pale and fluffy. This takes 5 to 7 minutes in my stand mixer
  • Add the egg whites one at a time to this mixture and beat well after each addition
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined
  • Add the flour mixture and buttermilk to this creamed mixture alternately – beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat briefly after each addition just till it is combined
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Make sure it is not more than two thirds full
  • Bake until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out dry. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven
  • Rotate the tin once in between to ensure even heating. If you find that the top of the cake is turning too brown cover the top with aluminium foil and continue to bake
  • Once done, let the cake cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then carefully release it from the tin. Cover it in cling film and let it cool on a wire rack.


  • Beat both the butters in a large bowl until very pale and fluffy. This takes about 7 to 10 minutes
  • Add whipping cream or milk and beat again for a couple of minutes
  • Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined
  • Add the icing sugar one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed
  • After the addition of 3 cups of icing sugar check the consistency and taste of the buttercream
  • If it’s runny then add more sugar. If it’s too stiff then add milk one tablespoon at a time.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar and milk to suit your preferences


  • Once the cake has cooled completely slice it carefully into two discs
  • Apply some buttercream to a cake board and place one disc on it
  • Pipe a buttercream dam using a round nozzle around the circumference of the cake to ensure that the custard doesn’t flow out when stacking and frosting the cake


  • Evenly spread the custard over the bottom layer and carefully stack the other half of the cake over the bottom layer
  • Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream

This cake tastes better the next day!


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