Monday, October 26, 2009

Vanilla Butternut Sour Cream Cake

Within the next week I will begin a new chapter of my life. I am leaving my 20s and entering a new decade of life- yup, you guessed it- I'm turning 30!  In honor of this wonderful event, I have decided to make my own birthday cake. Although most people think I'm crazy for wanting to make my own cake, I want to explain my madness here :)

My birthday falls 2 days after the annual event- Halloween. For as long as I can recall, my birthday has been closely associated with this fun-filled day.  This year my parents helping me celebrate my 30th birthday part with my family's annual Halloween party (for old time's sake).  At this festive event every family member typically brings some Halloween-themed goodie to be shared with many. My recent enjoyment of cake making and decorating experimentation inspired me to make my own cake.

The next week will document my attempt at decorating a simple round cake with a graveyard scene.  This post gives you a look at the first part of the project- the unfinished and unchanged round cake layers.

This particular recipe is extremely easy to make, and provides a firm cake that is great for carving or layering to make wedding, birthday and other shaped cakes.

2 boxes of White cake (any type- I buy whatever is the least expensive)
2 C granulated Sugar
1 C all-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
8 Egg Whites
2 1/2 C Water
4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (I use homemade Vanilla beans soaked with Vodka, but store-bought is fine)
6-8 drops Vanilla Butternut Concentrated Extract (*If you use regular extract, use 2 tsp- try different flavors like Almond, Butter, etc.)
16 oz Sour Cream OR 12 oz whipped Cream Cheese

*Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fareneheit
**This recipe can be easily halved

1) Mix all dry ingredients (Cake mixes, flour, sugar, salt).
2) Mix in the dry ingredients (Egg whites, water, vegetable oil, extracts and sour cream / cream cheese).
3) Mix by hand or with a hand mixer until the lumps of dry ingredients are out of the mixture.
4) Grease pans with shortening or cake release (I prefer cake release).
5) Baking time will vary depending on the size of the cake pan used. This recipe typically makes any of the following sizes:
    • One 16" round cake
    • One 14" round cake + One 6" round cake
    • One 12" round cake + One 10" round cake
    • One 10" round cake + One 8" round cake + One 6" round cake
    • One 12"x18" sheet cake
I've found that baking times typically follow this pattern (give or take a few minutes).
    • 6" = 20 minutes
    • 8" = 25 minutes
    • 10" = 35 minutes
    • 12" = 40 minutes
    • 14" = 45 minutes
    • 16" = 50 minutes
I would suggest adding 5 minutes if the middle of the cake seems to wiggle as you begin to move the oven rack that supports the cake. You can also check the cake's completeness by inserting a clean toothpick into the center of the cake. If the cake is not yet done but the outer layer is darkening too quickly, you can place tin foil over the top or move the cake to the bottom rack.

This recipe was adapted from the White Almond Sour Cream Cake from

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