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6-Inch White Cake Recipe

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Our 6-inch white cake is an elegant, three-layer cake that will make a statement! This pure white almond-flavored cake tastes just as sophisticated as it looks, with a soft and tender crumb and a fluffy white almond ermine frosting.

It’s a lovely choice for a small birthday gathering, celebratory dessert, or any occasion that calls for cake!

6-inch white cake on a pedestal

Similar to our six-inch yellow cake recipe, this smaller-sized white cake is just as dreamy. I don’t know what it is but there’s something about a six-inch cake that feels a bit more special, perhaps more personal?

Whatever it is, this small white cake is simultaneously elegant and cute, sophisticated and adorable, as mostly all mini desserts tend to be. (For proof, check out our No Bake Cheesecake with a Surprise Inside and these mini blueberry tarts).

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using only egg whites keeps the batter and cake white (you can make lemon curd with the yolks).
  • Our 6-inch white cake is anything but vanilla! To keep this a pure white cake (vanilla will add a tinge of color), almond is the prominent flavor.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar helps aerate the batter and gives the cake a tender texture.
  • Using room temperature ingredients contribute to a soft, tender texture.
  • Cake flour gives the cake a softer, more tender texture.

The light and moist, three-layer cake features a tender crumb and a delicious almond ermine frosting. If you’re not familiar with ermine frosting, it’s an old-fashioned frosting recipe that is silky and cloud-like and less sweet than traditional American buttercream. A splash of almond extract gives the frosting a soft nutty flavor.

Bottom line: this 6-inch cake recipe is birthday cake perfection!

A serving of a 3-layer 6-inch cake

The Ingredient List

The ingredients for this 6-inch white cake are pretty basic. Here are a few ingredient notes:

You will only need egg whites for the cake (save the yolks and make our flourless chocolate truffle cake or eggs Benedict!).

  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Egg whites
  • Vegetable oil
  • Almond extract
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk

If you want to fill the layers with a cake filling instead of the ermine frosting, try our vanilla cake filling. white chocolate mousse, or a fluffy raspberry mousse cake filling.

Ingredients for a 6-inch white cake

To make this 6-inch layer cake, you will also need three, 6-inch cake pans, a cooling rack, and an electric mixer.

How to Make a 6-inch White Birthday Cake

This smaller layer cake is easy to make! Here are the steps (scroll to the bottom of the page for all of the details in our printable recipe card):

  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven and prep the cake pans.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: Sift the dry ingredients to make sure there are no lumps.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar: Cream the butter and sugar then gradually add the egg whites, extract, and sour cream.
  4. Combine: With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined. Slowly pour in the milk with the mixer on low.
  5. Bake: Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frost: Make the ermine frosting and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Three 6-inch cakes in pans on a cooling rack

Tips for the Best Results

  • We mentioned it above but it’s worth noting again… ingredients should be at room temperature! Room temperature butter is only 65°F to 68°F. It should feel slightly firm but you can still press your finger into the cube and make an indent.
  • Make sure you’re using cake flour for the best results. Cake flour is what will create a moist and light mini white cake and you just won’t get the same results with all-purpose flour.
  • We used almond flavoring for a pure white cake since vanilla extract will add a slight tinge to the cake. Other flavor add-ins for a pure white cake are rose water or culinary lavender flavoring.
  • Do not overmix the batter, mix only until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • To keep the cakes extra moist, wrap them in plastic wrap when they are completely cooled. Place them in the freezer and remove them when you are ready to frost the cakes.
  • One easy trick to removing the brown edges on the layer cakes is to first freeze the cake layers, then use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to shave off the brown from the bottom and sides of each cake. This will help ensure the inside of your white cake is pure white.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many will a 6-inch cake feed?

Our 6-inch white birthday cake is a three-layer cake that will give you up to 10 servings. A single layer 6-inch cake will only give you 5 servings.

How long do you cook a 6-inch cake?

Cook the three cake layers in the center of the oven for 18-21 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. White cakes are prone to overcooking which will make them dry. Bake just until the toothpick is clean or has a couple of small crumbs on it.

How many cups of batter are in a 6 inch pan?

A 6-inch cake pan can hold between 2-1/2 to 4 cups of batter

There’s so much to love about this mini white birthday cake! The recipe is easy and the cake itself is a dream.

A slice of cake on a serving plate with cup of coffee in background

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Rich and not overpoweringly sweet, this Lemon Ricotta Cake is part cheesecake and part butter cake. It is creamy, lemony and delicious.

We cut a baked sponge cake into heart shapes for these individual Pistachio Rose Mascarpone Cakes. They are filled with a rosewater and mascarpone cream, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar and finely-chopped pistachios and organic dried rosebuds.

White chocolate galore! White chocolate mouse, Italian meringue buttercream and white chocolate ganache! If you are a lover of white chocolate, this exquisite White Chocolate Cake is for you.

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A slice of cake on a serving plate with cup of coffee in background

6-Inch White Cake

An elegant, three layer, 6-inch white cake that is perfect for a small birthday celebration. This pure white almond flavored cake is soft and moist with a tender crumb. We covered the cake with a fluffy white almond ermine frosting.
4.75 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 429kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


For the Cake:

  • 1-¾ cups 207 grams cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter softened (113 grams)
  • 1 cup 200 grams sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-½ teaspoons pure almond extract or vanilla
  • ½ cup sour cream 113 grams
  • ½ cup whole milk 113 grams

Ermine Frosting

  • ½ cup 60 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ cups 300 grams granulated sugar 300
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1-½ cups whole milk 340 grams
  • 1-½ cups 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat three 6×2-inch cake pans with oil-spray.  Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, then coat with oil spray.
  • Measure the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.  Whisk to combine, then reserve until needed.
  • Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  With the motor running on medium speed, gradually add the sugar then increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes until creamed.
  • Stop the motor and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the egg whites, oil and the almond extract.  Beat on medium-high until combined then beat in the sour cream.  Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.  
  • With the mixer set on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients then 1/3 of the milk. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour and milk then add the last bit of flour and milk. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix and be sure to scrape the sides and bottom.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.  Transfer to the middle of the oven and bake about 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a crumb or two.  Set the cake pans on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing from the pans.

For the Ermine Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together.
  • Add the milk, stirring to combine.  Cook over medium heat, stirring continually until the mixture becomes thick and pudding-like.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap, set on the countertop or the fridge, and allow to cool to room temperature (or to about 65°F).  
  • Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the cooled cooked mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition until all of the cooked mixture is incorporated into the butter. 
  • Add the almond extract and continue beating the frosting until it is creamy and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  


  • Ingredients should be at room temperature
  • We used almond flavoring for a pure white cake. Vanilla extract will add a slight tinge to the cake. Other options for a pure white cake would be rose water or culinary lavender flavoring.
  • Do not overmix the batter, mix only until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated
  • To keep the cakes moist, after they have cooled to room temperature, wrap them in plastic and freeze. Remove the cakes from the freezer when ready to frost.
  • To remove the brown edges and make pretty white slices on the inside of the cake you can remove the brown on the bottom and sides by shaving the (frozen) sides with a vegetable peeler.   I use a small handheld mandoline to shave off the brown from the bottom of the layers. You can also use a sharp knife.
  • A small addition of oil will add extra moistness to the cake.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 285mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Wednesday 30th of November 2022

Barbara, Is it ok to add whole eggs instead of just the whites? Reduce to 2 whole eggs instead of 3 eggs whites?

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 30th of November 2022

You will have a slightly higher proportion of eggs if you use two whole eggs instead of three egg whites. We haven't tested the recipe using two whole eggs.

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