José Picayo
Hands-On Time
40 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Serves 12

Our recipe for a white cake goes way beyond the expected (and sometimes boring) dessert. Four layers! Homemade frosting, ready in seven minutes! Shredded coconut-coated exterior! This version’s deliciously moist, just sweet enough, and looks pretty darn impressive, if we do say so ourselves. Plus, no need to stock special pans: You’ll actually use a 11x17-inch rimmed baking sheet to create one low, thin cake, which bakes and cools quickly, before using a serrated knife to cut four equal-sized rounds from the pan and stacking them up. The finished product looks plain lovely on a cake stand—but even more stunning when you cut the first slice.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment; butter the parchment and dust lightly with flour. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and vanilla.

Step 2

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3

Reduce mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and milk mixture in alternate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Step 4

Transfer the batter to the prepared sheet. Bake until the cake springs back lightly when pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool, then transfer to a cutting board.

Step 5

Using a long, serrated knife, cut the cake into 4 pieces of equal size, slicing crosswise and lengthwise through the center.

Step 6

Place one layer of the cake on a serving platter and frost the top with ⅔ cup of the frosting. Repeat with 2 of the remaining layers. Top with the final layer. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining 2 cups of frosting. Press the coconut into the top and sides of the cake.

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