The Birthday Rush

I perfected this study and moist white cake, the other day for my daughter’s fifth birthday. She had requested a birthday princess castle cake for a couple of years now, and once my mother sent me Wilton’s Romantic Castle cake kit, I lost all excuses not to make it. I had planned to use fondant on this cake to give it a nice, clean look, but I make my fondant using marshmallows and, unfortunately, I didn’t start the cake until the day of her party. Sturdy white cake with strawberry buttercream it is.

Atlas Tiered?

I love my wee diva, so I got myself up at 6 a.m., threw some cereal in the kids’ general direction along with the approved flatware, got my apron & headphones, and went to work on this cake. I knew it had to be sturdy since it was going to be two tiers. I don’t care much for fluffy, airy cake, so I wanted to make something with some oomph…a sturdy cake. Think of its density and ability to hold up its fellow tiers as you would Atlas holding up the world. Not only is this cake the strong silent type, but it also has a tender side. As a tear dropped down from Atlas’ cheek, it must have landed in the cake batter, because this cake is moist too.

Maybe I should call it the Atlas-Teared cake. Get it? Tiered = Teared, Atlas Shrugged? Ok, if I need to explain my puns…I should just keep them to myself, but then I’ll laugh for no reason and look a little crazier.

This particular cake incorporates a thin strawberry filling (in between a three-inch and two-inch layer). It held up a second tier made up by a double layer 6-inch cake on top of it without breaking a sweat.

Study and Moist White Cake | Twisted Tastes

Sturdy & Moist White Cake

Holly McCarthy
Use this recipe for a moist cake which can hold up to several tiered layers including fondant. The texture leaves a nice crumb which is easy to work with. It’s perfect for decorating!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 396 kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter very cold
  • 1/2 tbsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tbsp butter extract if available
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease/flour your cake pans (I usually cut a piece of parchment paper the same shape as the bottom of my pan and add that on top of the grease/flour as a further precaution against the cake bottom sticking to the pan).
  • In your mixer, add your chilled butter, shortening, and sugar. Mix until creamy…the sugar will be fully incorporated.
  • Add in your extracts.
  • Combine in a separate bowl, your dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder.
  • Alternating: add some of your dry ingredients, then a bit of the milk, then one egg. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be thick.
  • Place batter into the cake pan/pans and bake in the preheated oven for 40-60 minutes.


  • Keep an eye on it. The lower temperature means longer baking time and each cake size requires different bake times. My 10” round cake 3” in height took over an hour, and my 6” round cake 2” in height took around 40 minutes.
  • If you do not have butter extract, try replacing it with a different flavor extract of your choice. Vanilla is always a fail-safe choice.
  • Makes 7-9 cups of batter

If you like this dessert, consider one of the others below!

Chile Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger Pear Sorbet

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

p.s. Despite how awesome I might appear online, mistakes happen. If you happen to spot one on this recipe, save your fellow cooks a disaster and let me know by using the contact form.