This White Almond Sour Cream Cake recipe is easily my most popular flavor of cake. It’s hands-down, the BEST cake I make and perfect for so many reasons. For cake decorating and tiered cakes, it’s a dream. It’s moist, dense, and seriously delicious. It also works great for carving!
White Almond Sour Cream Cake
You guys, I published this recipe on my old blog in 2011, before Rose Bakes even existed. It’s one of the very first recipes I ever used and it remains an all-time favorite. My clients request it for weddings, baby and bridal showers, birthdays, anniversaries, and well… just because they want cake!
If you’re an all-scratch, doctored-cake-mix-hater – just go ahead and skip this one. It’s not for you.
But if you’re not opposed to a great doctored cake mix and you’re looking for a great recipe for your hobby or business baking – this recipe is ah-mazing! It is the foundation of my home cake business and I’m not sure what I’d do without it.
I originally found the recipe at SugarEd Lagniappe. I’ve tweeked it a tiny bit over the years but not much.
Since I’ve baked it hundreds (thousands?) of times, I’m also going to include a lot of notes and tips that I hope will answer some of your questions.
Some notes and tips…
First, this recipe makes around 7 cups of batter. I find that it works perfectly divided into two 8″ pans. I try to fill them slightly more than half full since this batter won’t rise as much as other recipes, but you’ll want to experiment and see what works for you.
I’ve used this recipe for wedding cakes that were 6 tiers tall, so yes, it stacks well and it holds up. Yes, you can cover it with fondant and/or buttercream. And also – it can be carved (I recommend chilling first).
For reference, I use a Wilton chart to determine how much batter for different pan sizes. I use slightly more than recommended when baking this White Almond Sour Cream Cake.
For cupcakes, the batter will yield 36-40 cupcakes when I scoop the batter out with this cookie scoop. I generally do a “heaping” scoop – which I estimate to be between 2 and 3 tablespoons of batter per cupcake. Again – practice, practice to see what works for you!
I recently had an order for 6 dozen of these Music Note cupcakes. I made a double batch of the recipe below and ended up with exactly 77 cupcakes (although a couple of them were slightly overfilled).
When I double the recipe, I use 1 tablespoon of almond extract and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Yes, it’s a tiny bit more than doubled, but it works for me. I use homemade vanilla extract and McCormick Almond Extract.
For those who don’t like almond extract, I’ve also used all vanilla, or substituted vanilla bean paste… totally delish!! I’m sure other flavors/extracts would work just as well.
I have not personally tried using other flavors of cake mix, but I’ve read about it and other cake decorators say that yes, you can do chocolate, lemon, butter and more! I’d love to hear if you try! This Strawberry Cake recipe (the BEST Strawberry Cake) is a variation of this recipe that is also amazing!!
I know many of the original recipes for this cake called for 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of sugar. But then all of the cake mix companies decided to make their mixes smaller (from 18.25 ounces down to 15.25 oz. or 16.25 oz.). To compensate for this difference, I either add an extra 3 ounces of cake mix per batch OR I add an extra half a cup of all-purpose flour. I talk more about that here.
I know the cake mix is not equal to the flour, but both work perfectly and I can’t tell a difference. Why do I do either/or? Well, because I bake so much, it’s not a big deal for me to have an extra box of cake mix open to scoop/measure out the extra 3 ounces of cake mix.
However, I know not everybody wants to open an extra box of cake mix just to scoop out 3 ounces. So I did some experimenting and found that by adding an extra half a cup of all-purpose flour, I get the same result. That works better for a lot of bakers, so I included both options in my recipe.
I rarely use egg whites. I’ve never had a bride (or any customer) be adament that her cake be white-white or extra white with no sign of yellow. Not once. And I’ve baked hundreds of wedding cakes.
So, because I don’t like having a bunch of extra egg yolks hanging around and I do not like buying the boxed, pasteurized egg whites – I use whole eggs and have a slightly yellow-tinted cake. It’s not much, but if you want a white-white, extra white cake – do all egg whites. And if you buy the carton of egg whites, you’ll need 2/3 cup.
And lastly – if you want, you can substitute plain, Greek, or vanilla yogurt for the sour cream. I’ve done this in a pinch and it works beautifully.
Decorating this cake.
Because someone always wonders, I thought I’d also includes some decorating tips for this specific cake. This was an 8″ round baked in my favorite Magic Line pans. I made a single recipe and divided it in half between the two.
I covered and decorated it with this vanilla buttercream. One batch was plenty. I used a tiny drop of Americolor Electric Pink gel coloring to tint it. I can also wholeheartedly recommend using this cream cheese frosting with this white almond sour cream cake. Or add a teaspooon of almond extract to the vanilla buttercream… also ridiculously good!
I filled and crumb-coated the cake, then added extra buttercream to the sides until it was well covered. This small offset spatula is a tool I can’t live without! After letting it crust for a few minutes, I smoothed it with a Viva paper towel and a fondant smoother.
On top, I started in the center and piped around and around and around until it was covered. I used a 1M tip. Easy-peasy!
I should also note – I generally prefer my buttercream a little creamier and smoother than it was here – but I was using leftover buttercream from the cupcakes above. I didn’t have time to re-cream the frosting before decorating and photographing… so it is what it is 🙂
The kids at church that gobbled it up didn’t mind at all 😉
The printable recipe below…
- 1 (15.25 oz) white cake mix – I use Pillsbury with pudding in the mix
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (OR 1 cup of AP flour + 1/2 cup extra cake mix)
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (or omit the almond and do 2 tsp. of vanilla)
- 4 egg whites (for true white) or 3 whole eggs
- 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- Mix all dry ingredients by hand using a whisk in a very large mixing bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until well combined. Bake at 325° (time depends on the size pans used*). I bake cupcakes for 18 minutes or cakes in 8″ round pan for 35-38 minutes.
- You can use only 1 cup of flour and an extra 3 oz. of cake mix if you like
- This recipe doubles beautifully.
- Yogurt (plain, Greek or vanilla) can be substituted for the sour cream.
- If you buy the boxed egg whites, you’ll need 2/3 cup.