We use a recipe almost identical to this in our catering service, it's best to use half & half instead of the milk, but you MUST beat the whites separately until the peak, and fold them in slowly. The more air you trap inside the egg whites, the lighter your cake will be. Use a finer grained sugar and CAKE flour (not all purpose) and you'll get rid of the grainy texture. Extra sifting helps with this as well. Adding citrus zest or a little bit of sprite helps sweeten it without making it taste like sugar. This is one of the most versatile and useful basic cake recipes I've used.
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We use a recipe almost identical to this in our catering service, it's best to use half & half...