A vintage recipe that is a must try! White cold water cake with fluffy 7 minute frosting. Simple flavors, but so comforting and good.
This White Cold Water Cake is another. This simply sweet two layer white cake is an amazing flavor and soft texture. All thanks to the cold water you add to the cake batter. Let’s talk about this vintage cake recipe!
What you’ll love about this cake:
- 100% homemade
- Gorgeous white color
- Simple sweet vanilla flavor
- Easy two layer cake for decorating
- Fluffy 7 minute frosting…or choose your favorite frosting!
What does cold water do for cake?
This is considered a vintage cake recipe. I came across it in a recipe book that was over 50 years old. Many think that cold water was used in place of milk because milk was expensive and scarce.
But here’s my theory. My grandma’s pie crust recipe (and many pastry recipes in general) calls for ice cold water. The purpose is to keep the fats in the recipe as cold as possible so that when the recipe hits the oven the fat melts, leaving pockets of fluffiness.
The same goes for this cake! The ice cold water gives the cake a deliciously light crumb.
How to Make Cold Water Cake
- Prepare. Grease and flour 2 8″ round cake pans. Or better yet, use our cake release recipe which helps cakes fall out of pans easily. No sticking!Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
- Beat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites with baking powder until stiff peaks form.
- Mix. In a separate bowl, cream sugar with shortening until smooth. Add cold water, vanilla, flour, and pinch of salt. Mix well. Fold in whipped egg whites gently. Make sure they are completely incorporated.
- Bake. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake tests done.
Frosting for White Cake
We used a delicious 7 minute frosting for this cake. It’s simple vanilla flavor paired well with the vanilla cake flavor. There are detailed instructions in our 7 minute frosting recipe post if you need more details than what we give below.
Here are other great frosting options:
- Oreo frosting
- strawberry buttercream
- raspberry buttercream
- mascarpone frosting
- easy vanilla buttercream
- easy chocolate frosting
White Cold Water Cake
For the cake:
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (8 grams)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening*
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1 /2 cups all-purpose flour** (350 grams)
- dash of salt
For the frosting:
- 2 large egg whites (unbeaten)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cold water
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (or 1 teaspoon corn syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease and flour 2 8" round cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites with baking powder until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, cream sugar with shortening until smooth.
- Add cold water, vanilla, flour, and pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Fold in whipped egg whites gently. Make sure they are completely incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake tests done.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting:
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Or you can use a heat safe glass bowl.) Mix thoroughly.
- Boil water a couple inches of water in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat.
- Place the top pan over boiling water and beat constantly using a high powered hand mixer until mixture holds a peak. This will take at least 7 minutes. The mixture will get fluffy, bright white and thick.
- Remove the pan or bowl from the heat. Take the top double boiler (or bowl) off the bottom.
- Add vanilla and beat again until thick enough to spread.
- Makes 5-6 cups of frosting.
Assemble the cake:
- Place one cake layer on a cake plate.
- Frost with frosting.
- Place the second cake layer on top.
- Frost the top and outsides of the cake.
- Decorate as desired.
- Store this cake in the refrigerator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! We recommend using cake flour in this recipe, but realize that many don’t have it. Either will work, but cake flour will give you a more tender crumb.
You can use butter instead, but your cake will not be as white. The cake also might be slightly heavier if you use butter, but the flavor will be good.
Yes! Use whatever extract you’d like.
Yes. Just watch the baking time as it may take a little longer.
If you use the 7 minute frosting, then yes, this should be refrigerated. if you use a traditional buttercream, then it does not have to be refrigerated.
Yes! This cake freezes well in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.