Golden Sour Cream Cake {Bake!}

A group of us are taking turns picking recipes from Nick Malgieri’s most recent book, Bake! My friend Kayte came up with the idea, and we’ve grown to a small but dedicated group of about half-a-dozen bakers.

My most recent pick coincided with my birthday, so of course I was going to choose cake. And since my favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate frosting, the choice was easy. I actually chose two recipes: golden sour cream layers (p. 125) and perfect meringue buttercream, in the baker’s choice of vanilla or chocolate (p. 156).

The kids were out of town on a visit to my parents’ house the weekend before my birthday, so I made the cake layers and double wrapped them in plastic wrap, planning to make the buttercream frosting the evening before or day of my birthday. A number of the other bakers reported issues with the meringue frosting, especially when adding chocolate, so I was anxious to see how it would work out for me. As it turned out, my mom had planned to bake me a cake while she was here, so she went ahead and frosted the cake layers using her tried-and-true frosting recipe.

I’ll try the frosting later, but the cake was delicious. The layers were a tad dry, but that may have been because I made them a few days ahead of time. In any case, the flavor was great, and I’ll make this cake again.

If you’d like to bake along with us, pick up a copy of Bake! and drop Kayte or me a line. We’re “rewinding” for the month of August, which means we’re not adding new recipes, and we’re using the month to catch up on recipes or posts we may have missed. Check out our Facebook page for the recipe lineup beginning in September.

In the meantime, check out what Kayte, Abby, and Margaret thought about this cake.


  1. nancy/n.o.e. said,

    August 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite birthday cake too. And my mother’s tried-and-true frosting was cocoa and butter and powdered sugar. I think it had some egg in it also – we didn’t worry about raw eggs back then.

    • gaaarp said,

      August 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      I’m not sure if Mom used butter in hers. I know it had powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk.

  2. Anne Marie said,

    August 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Sometimes Moms know best.

    • gaaarp said,

      August 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Yes, as they’re happy to remind you. LOL

  3. Kayte said,

    August 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Oh, I love that idea of three candles for “those of a certain age,” so I hope it’s okay if we steal that…a birthday cake should have some sort of fireworks on it is my feeling! Thanks, Phyl!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      We always did that. I thought it was a Midwest thing.

  4. Kayte said,

    August 7, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Looks great! Did you put candles on yours? We didn’t as Mark said it would leave too many holes in the cake when we pulled them out to slice the cake!! And so it goes! It was fun to have a birthday cake choice at just the right time, and fun making it knowing your family was celebrating with the same cake, too. This is a great little group, isn’t it, we inspire each other just enough with no pressure…my kind of group! Great cake…I ate some of the cake part without the chocolate frosting and it was moist and nice so I will use that recipe again certainly. We had a lot of people in and out and they were all loving the cake and icing as I was handing out slices the next day…it disappeared quickly! (I went back in now and linked this post to mine for this recipe.)

    • gaaarp said,

      August 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

      We have a tradition of only using three candles (representing past, present, and future) for those of a certain age. So, yes, there were candles, but, no, they didn’t set off the smoke detector.

      I am really enjoying this group. Thanks for putting it together and keeping it going! I’m going to up my participation in this next section. I hope we can arrange some Twitterbakes for some of the recipes, too.

      Thanks for the reminder on the links, too. I always forget to do that. I went back and added links to you, Abby, and Margaret.

  5. Di said,

    August 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Mmm. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is a favorite of mine, too. That frosting looks so good! Meringue frosting is tasty, but for a cake like this one, I’d definitely go with a fudgier one like your mom made. =)

    • gaaarp said,

      August 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

      I told Mom I had a recipe I was going to try for the frosting. She said, “Do you have powdered sugar and cocoa? Then I’ll make the frosting.”

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