Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake

Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Sour Cream Frosting, Cake Decorating Ideas, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Cake with Macarons, Cake PhotographyWhat is a more classic flavor combination than chocolate and vanilla?  To be honest, a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is a bit too much chocolate for me, but I absolutely love dark chocolate cake paired with other flavors like strawberry, coffee, peanut butter, and of course, vanilla.  And a chocolate cake with fluffy vanilla buttercream served at a birthday party is sure to please just about everyone, both kids and adults.

This cake gets its dark, rich color from using Hershey's special dark cocoa powder, which, until recently, has been a blend of both Dutched cocoa and natural cocoa, but Hershey's has changed the formula to just Dutched cocoa.  The new formula is more reddish in color than black, which I'm very disappointed in it, to say the least.  I've been recommending this cocoa powder on my blog for years, and it's incredibly frustrating to have a product I've used for so long change to something that I no longer love.  I made the cake photographed here with one last container of their old blend that I've been saving. I'm afraid that after this reserved container is gone, I'm going to have to search for a new dark cocoa to use and recommend.

This chocolate cake is not fudgey or dense, but rather very light, fluffy and incredibly moist.  It's an easy batter to mix up using just a bowl and a whisk, and it's made with both oil and sour cream, which keeps it moist for days afterwards.  In fact, after my husband took this cake to work, there was one piece left in the cake carrier that he forgot about for a full week, but he ate it, and said it was still just as moist as it had been the first day.  If you're looking for a delicious, chocolate cake to make for any occasion, that you can pair with any flavor of buttercream, this is the chocolate cake for you.




Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Sour Cream Frosting, Cake Decorating Ideas, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Cake with Macarons, Cake Photography

Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Sour Cream Frosting, Cake Decorating Ideas, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Cake with Macarons, Cake Photography

Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Sour Cream Frosting, Cake Decorating Ideas, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Cake with Macarons, Cake Photography

Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe, Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Sour Cream Frosting, Cake Decorating Ideas, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Cake with Macarons, Cake Photography



So not only is there sour cream in the cake, but I also whipped it into the buttercream.  If you haven't tried sour cream in frosting before, you should!  It adds a subtle tang as well as a silky creaminess that's just wonderful in buttercream.  I used it in place of the milk that I usually add to my perfect American buttercream formula, and it worked out just right.

I'm glad it's trendy these days to frost cakes with a raw, rough edge of buttercream around the top, partly because I like how it looks, and partly because I was never able to smooth it out perfectly at the top edges anyway.  I finished this cake simply with some French macarons.  Although I make macarons occasionally, I didn't make these ones, since they're becoming more widely available in many more stores than ever before.  Last year, I found some at Home Goods that looked pretty but tasted terrible; if you didn't know, macarons should be kept frozen until ready to eat, and even then, they're best stored in the refrigerator, as they get stale quickly when they're not kept cold.  But I've recently found them at Kroger/King Soopers, in the frozen desserts case, right next to the puff pastry, and they taste pretty good, so now I keep a few boxes of mixed colors and flavors in my freezer, and just pull out a couple when I want some for decorating a cake.





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Chocolate and Vanilla Sour Cream Birthday Cake
printable


Cake.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Hershey's Special Dark, or another Dutched cocoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Buttercream.
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
Cake.
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then whisk until completely combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, oil and vanilla until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk for about 30 seconds until well combined and mostly free of lumps.

Divide the batter between the pans.  Tap the pans lightly on the counter a few times to pop any large air bubbles.  Bake the cakes on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with moist crumbs clinging to it, and the tops spring back when gently touched.

Set the pans on a wire rack, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for one minute until smooth.  With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing to combine.  Add the vanilla and the sour cream; whip on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until very light and fluffy.  If the buttercream is too stiff, you can add a little more sour cream or milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Stack and fill the cooled cakes with the buttercream, then frost all over with a thin crumb coat of buttercream.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then finish frosting the cake with a final layer of buttercream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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