This recipe started with a pound cake: the ingredients and quantities are very similar to my own pound cake recipe, with some major exceptions and deviations in the method: we’re melting the butter like Deb’s, rather than creaming it into the sugar, and we’re baking it in a shallow square pan (you can also do this in a 9” round pan) and tripling the sour cream.
Baking it shallow means it bakes quicker so no chance of it drying out, rises evenly and since there’s more air dispersed through the crumb it becomes quite fluffy. The added sour cream helps keep it all moist, and the melted butter means that we can make this cake fairly quickly and without the need for an extensive creaming session (like we would in a pound cake!).
All this to say, this cake seems unnervingly simple and basic but turns into something exceptional, the kind of recipe you always want in your rotation if just to have a quick, satisfying cake when you need it.
Butter: What our recipe is named after, so no subs!
Flour: Cake flour, with its much finer grain and lower protein content is my preference for most cakes. It’ll give you a lighter crumb and a more tender cake overall. If you can’t find it, you can use all purpose but sift it well and remove two tablespoons of it and add 2 tablespoons of corn or tapioca starch.
Sugar: We’re doing a mix of fine granulated (non-organic) and powdered sugar (I like to use organic powdered sugar, but that’s a personal preference). Partially to sweeten but the added starch to the powdered sugar aids in the fluffy texture of the cake.
Sour Cream: You might ask to use yogurt in place of the sour cream here, I think that the chemistry of it would be fine, but it will alter the flavor (the cake will be tangier) and moisture (not as fluffy). If it’s all you have and you must have cake, go for it.
Vanilla: Aside from the sugar & butter combination, this is your only flavor so use something really good quality and use a lot! You can do a combination of pure extract and paste or the scrapings of a vanilla bean.
I get that someone might see this and think, wow that’s boring I wonder if I can jazz it up with some flavor? So here’s a few ideas:
Can I double this recipe?
You can but I’d still bake it in separate pans so that you don’t have to over-cook it to get the center to bake. This is a thick cake and would struggle to bake in the center in a large pan.
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