Just about everyone enjoys a good chocolate cake now and then. When you picture a chocolate cake, you probably think of a deep cocoa-colored cake that has a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. A dark chocolate cake is delicious, but dark chocolate isn’t the only type of chocolate that makes a great cake. This Vanilla & White Chocolate Cake is not your run-of-the-mill chocolate cake because it is made with white chocolate in the batter. It has a tender crumb and a rich chocolate flavor – just not the same chocolate flavor that you usually expect to find in a chocolate cake!
The cake batter is flavored with vanilla, buttermilk, butter and white chocolate. You can taste each and every one of these ingredients in the finished cake, which is quite unusual. In most cake recipes, one flavor tends to dominate the others, but these four flavors play together very nicely. I used only egg whites in this cake, rather than using whole eggs. Excluding the yolks gives the cake a very white color, which really helps highlight the fact that white chocolate is used in the cake itself. As always, use a high quality white chocolate made with real cocoa butter and vanilla (no other vegetable fats!!). Real white chocolate has delicious notes of milk/dairy and vanilla that are really showcased in this cake and you won’t get the same results with imitation white “chocolate.”
This cake has a soft, velvety crumb to it and that makes the cake feel quite luxurious when you are eating it. Like a pound cake, it is almost too rich for frosting, though a cream cheese frosting that has a nice tang to it could be added if you want to dress it up. I prefer to serve this cake plain or top it off with fresh berries. A side of my Quick Berry Compote contrasts beautifully with the flavors of the cake.
I baked my cake in a 10-inch ring pan, the type that is normally used for angel food cakes. The finished cake is not particularly tall – it is not really tall enough to fill a bundt pan, for instance – but the cake is quite rich and the slices are a nice size when baked in this type of pan. The batter could also be baked in a loaf pan for a longer time, if you do not have a ring pan available. If you are serving your cake with berries, you can pile them up in the center of the ring for a very attractive presentation. The cake should be stored an an airtight container and will keep for several days after baking.
Vanilla & White Chocolate Cake
4-oz white chocolate, chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10-inch ring pan (angel food cake pan).
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped white chocolate by heating it in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Stir well with a fork between each interval and cook only until the chocolate is smooth when stirred. Allow to cool to almost room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg whites one at a time. The batter may separate slightly when the eggs are added, but that is ok. Beat in melted white chocolate and vanilla extract.
Working in two or three additions, alternate adding in some of the buttermilk and some of the flour mixture, ending with a final addition of flour. Mix until just incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer using a spatula.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
Allow cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a knife around the edges and turn cake out of the pan. Re-invert onto a serving platter before serving.