This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

This beautiful white wine cake from The Silver Palate is the perfect combination of simple and special. It’s made in one bowl with minimal fuss and has a wonderful flavor and delicate crumb. Wine may seem like a surprising ingredient, but this recipe is as versatile as any yellow cake — only better.

a slice of white wine cake on a plate, with the rest of the cake on a stand in the background
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why we love this recipe

This recipe has long been on my top-five list of most perfect cakes. It threads the needle between incredibly unfussy and really special with exactly the kind of grace that you’d expect from the women of The Silver Palate.

White wine cake:

  • Is a one-bowl wonder
  • Comes together in two simple steps, with only 90 seconds of mixing time
  • Has the most wonderful, subtly sophisticated flavor and delicate crumb
  • Is just as flexible as any basic yellow cake, but unmistakably elevated, too

I first published this recipe here in 2016. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

For the layer cake

ingredients in bowls
  • The wine contributes beautiful, complex undertones to the flavor of this cake. No one will be able to place it, but everyone will know it’s special. Its acidity also creates an impeccably tender crumb. Use a nice, dry white wine that you like to drink. Any style is fine. I tend to default to one of my favorite bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Safflower oil is my neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.

For the chocolate frosting

If you’re making chocolate frosting, here’s what you’ll need. (Ingredients for coconut frosting are listed in the recipe card below.)

ingredients in bowls
  • Sour cream gives the frosting a gentle tang and complexity. Use a full-fat version.
  • I like to use a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows, for the superior flavor. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.
  • You can use semisweet chocolate from a bar or chocolate chips. If you’re using bar chocolate, give it a really good chop before melting.
a slice of white wine cake on a plate, with the rest of the cake on a stand in the background

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful white wine cake. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

For the layer cake

cake step by step
  1. Grease and flour two nine-inch round cake pans.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for one minute.
  4. Divide batter between pans and bake in the center of a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.

For the chocolate frosting

If you’re making chocolate frosting, here’s what you’ll do. (Super-simple instructions for the coconut frosting are in the recipe card below.)

frosting step by step
  1. In a double boiler or a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir frequently and stop as soon as chocolate is just melted.
  2. Add the sour cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  4. When cake and frosting are both completely cool, spread half of the frosting onto each layer and stack. Leave the sides unfrosted.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I bake this cake in a bundt pan?

Yes, you can bake this recipe in a 10-inch bundt pan. You can keep the oven temperature the same. It will need to bake for longer — start checking at 45 minutes. Cake is done when it is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a tester comes out clean.

Is this recipe dairy-free?

The cake itself is dairy-free, so it’s a great option for anyone who needs to avoid dairy. It’s delicious all by itself, especially when baked in a pretty bundt pan. Or you can bake layers and pair the cake with your favorite dairy-free frosting.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make and frost white wine cake in advance. It keeps very well for two to three days in an airtight container at room temperature.

More top-five cakes

a slice of white wine cake  on a plate, with the rest of the cake on a stand in the background

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

a slice of white wine cake on a plate, with the rest of the cake on a stand in the background
4.64 from 19 votes

White Wine Cake from The Silver Palate

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This cake is so unfussy that you won't believe how well it turns out. The wine gives it both a beautiful, tender crumb and a gently elevated flavor. I've included two frosting options, both of which complement this adaptable cake perfectly.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 1 9-inch layer cake (serves 12)
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients 

For the cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (237 ml) safflower oil
  • 1 cup (237 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 ½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For chocolate frosting

  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (114 grams) semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 1 cup (114 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For coconut frosting

  • 2 cups (480 grams) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (600 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (114 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted

Instructions 

For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar for 30 seconds.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for one minute more.
  • Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cake has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  • Cool in pans for five minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

For the chocolate frosting

  • Chop butter and chocolate into small pieces and place into a large, heatproof mixing bowl. You can set this bowl over a pot with an inch of simmering water to form a double boiler, or place it in the microwave.
  • Heat, stirring frequently, until just melted.
  • Add sour cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  • Beat with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to high once powdered sugar is incorporated, until perfectly smooth and fluffy.
  • Let cool completely before using. Frosting will stiffen up a bit as it sits.

For the coconut frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, vanilla, and coconut.
  • Sift in the powdered sugar and stir until well-mixed.

  • Spread half the frosting evenly over the top of each cake layer and stack. Leave sides unfrosted.

Notes

  1. You can make and frost white wine cake in advance. It keeps very well for two to three days in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. If you prefer, you can bake this recipe in a 10-inch bundt pan. You can keep the oven temperature the same. It will need to bake for longer — start checking at 45 minutes. Cake is done when it is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan and a tester comes out clean.

Nutrition

Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 66.5g, Protein: 6.2g, Fat: 27.9g, Fiber: 1.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

More Recipes

Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.64 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. I searched the three Silver Palate cookbooks and couldn’t find anything like white wine cake anywhere. They do have a chestnut cake with white wine. Is that what this is based on? I’m confused. Thanks.

    1. Hi Robert, they use the same yellow cake batter with white wine in a couple of the recipes in their iconic Silver Palate Cookbook — Chestnut Cake and Coconut Cake. It’s a great all-purpose batter that you can dress up however you like. Here I’ve shown it with a favorite chocolate frosting as well as an adaptation of their coconut frosting.