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Rich and Dense White Cake (Sam Houston’s Family Recipe)

Elegant, rich, and definitely fit for a special occasion: This recipe was passed down through the Sam and Margaret Houston family.  It has been published many times – the first thought to be in the 1941 Blue Bird Circle Cookbook.  The Texas Imperial Sugar Company also featured it in several of its publications.

A layer cake can really create the “WOW” factor to end a special meal.  Time-wise, it takes little more than a sheet cake and once you set it on a pedestal cake stand – well, it’s a knock out.  I served it at a family gathering a few weeks ago and received “ooh’s and aah’s!

You can fill it with either the Margaret Lea Houston chocolate icing or a lemon curd.  The Shiny Chocolate Icing completes the yummy desert.  I literally just spooned it on the top and let it run down the sides for a natural look.

Give it a try, and go for the adventure!  After all, that is what cooking is all about!

View the “how-to” video here:

Sam Houston's White Cake

A thick layer cake passed down through the generations
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
  • 6 egg whites


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter until soft and bright. Gradually add sugar and continue creaming in order to incorporate as much air as possible.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift together 3 times, or stir until blended.
  • Add flavorings to milk and water. Alternate adding flour and liquid mixtures to butter mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into batter. Blend well but do not beat. Pour into three greased and floured 9 inch layer cake pans and bake for 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then turn onto cake racks and remove pans. Wait until cake is cool to frost with Shiny Chocolate Frosting.


You may fill between the layers with Lemon curd.