Friday, April 9, 2010

My Favorite Vanilla Cake

If you ask my husband and children they would probably tell you that there is only one kind of cake...chocolate. You can't make everything chocolate though, can you?  Even though they are die hard chocolate fans, I have found a vanilla cake that they actually like. If you are a vanilla cake fan this just might be the "bomb" so to speak. For the record, I am not a recipe guru. I rarely develop my own unique recipes. Instead I scour the cook books and on line resources to find a good one. And this is a very good one.  Best of all, it's also very simple to make. I have used this cake for baby showers, birthday cakes, carved 3-D cakes, and one wedding cake. I have received rave reviews with this recipe and I hope you will too.

I've gathered the ingredients.  Let's get started.

 This recipe is actually what is commonly referred to as a doctored mix.  Start with a white cake mix.  I like Pillsbury brand but use whatever brand you choose.  Combine the mix, sugar, flour, and salt in the mixing bowl and stir with a whisk. 

Next, measure out the water to 1 1/3 cups.

Now for the sour cream.  I hate measuring sour cream.  I dislike having to scrape it out of the measuring cup.  My solution is to add it to the water until the water level rises one cup.
I also add the vanilla, almond flavoring, and oil to this mixture.  All this gets poured into the mixer bowl with the dry ingredients and the eggs.

You will notice that I used two whole eggs.  The recipe calls for 4 egg whites.  Unless I need a truly white cake, I use the whole eggs instead.

Mix this on medium low speed(2 on a KitchenAid)  for 2 minutes.
Spray your pan with non-stick spray.  Pour the batter into the pan and give it a few gentle hits on the counter.  Place in a preheated 325° oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  For a non-convection oven set the temperature at 350°. 

Baking times vary by oven and pan size.  There is no substitute for checking done-ness with a skewer or other method.  When the cake is done, it also pulls away from the pan slightly like this one.

The texture of this cake is moist and delicious.  I wish I had scratch-n-sniff on here so you could smell the aroma.

Here is the complete recipe.

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites or 2 whole eggs
1 1/3 c water
2 Tbs oil
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

This is enough for two 8" rounds or two 6" rounds and 6 cupcakes.

You can easily double this recipe if you have a large enough mixer bowl. You can find a printable of the recipe here.  You can print the doubled version of the recipe here.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  Check out the poetry corner for another contribution by A. Poet.



  1. I can say from first hand taste testing, this is one of the yummiest white cakes you can make.

  2. I miss tasting your cakes, Frostine! They are delicious!

  3. lap3

    I do not do a lot of baking but I was able to easily follow this recipe. I made both a regular cake and cupcakes. My friends greatly enjoyed and said it was delicious. I cannot emphasize how easy it was!

  4. I love the flavor of this cake but my center sinks every time I make it. I'm using a non convection oven and have baked it longer than required. Is that a rose nail in the center of you pan to act as a heat conductor?

  5. I bake for almost an hour for a 8"-9" pan. I definitely miss my convection oven. Had to leave it behind when I moved. I did put an upside down flower nail in the pan. I think it helps the cake to bake more evenly. You could also check to make sure your oven is heating to the correct temperature. I had one that didn't get hot enough and didn't know it. I'll have to post about the flower nail soon.

  6. How about the baking straps around the cake you use those Frostine? I use them everytime I bake a cake and cake always turns out great. Strap helps bake evenly.
    Deb Hughes

  7. I used them once or twice, but couldn't tell a difference. Of course that was when I had my convection oven and lived at a very different altitude. It might not hurt to try them again.

  8. okay i love your chocolate cake and have been using that one. I made this today and LOVED the flavor, but when i went to level it the whole thing kinda crumbled on me. It wasnt sturdy? DID i maybe do something wrong here. Is this not as sturdy as the chocolate cake? However when life gives you crumbly cakes ,,, make cake balls..
    But seriously i need t figure out what i did wrong because this was the best tasting cake ive made yet!

  9. Shari,
    Sorry you are having difficulties. Yes, the chocolate is a bit more dense. However, I've never had the vanilla just crumble. Did you let it cool before leveling? What tool did you use to level it? I'll do my best to help you figure this out. I'm glad you were able to make some cake balls with it. I've used this recipe for carving cakes even. It sould be plenty sturdy. This has me puzzled.

  10. i did for about an hour, i used the wilton leveler.
    when i went to use the cake lifter it was just too gooey or something.
    I think I need to try it again. I wonder if i put too much liquid on accident.
    It tasted really good though , seriously the best i have had for a yellow cake mix.
    What kind of cake mix do you use for this one?
    i think i may have had too much sour cream actually now that im writing this. I kinda eyeballed it, but i bett i need to be more exact with this recipe.
    I will try again and let you know.
    I love your site by the way!

  11. Shari,
    My preferance for mix is Pillsbury. I like to measure the sour cream with the water to avoid all the scraping out of the measuring cup. I also check my cakes for being done with a skewer or toothpick. Poke the skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out without any crumbs stuck to it, the cake is done.

    I am so pleased that you like my site. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

  12. I have used this recipe a couple of times and I love it! I am a cake decorator as well and this recipe is delicious,moist and easy! The addition of the flour and sugar, I think give it a "from scratch" taste and I have found it to be sturdy enough to carve for sculpted cakes. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful vanilla cake recipe! Rita Marra

  13. when you say 6" rounds,how tall are they? 2" or 3".

  14. Hi everyone

    I use magic line 3" pans. I use this same recipe and yes it sinks part of the time for me too. It's just a quirky recipe. But, I trim the top of the cake down to the level it sunk to.

    Great recipe. :o)


  16. Pearse,
    I've made this recipe into cupcakes many times. I can't tell a difference in the texture. It tastes the same as a cake.

  17. Hi all. I have been trying to get this recipe to work for me but I seem to always end up with a texture closer to a light cornbread than a light, airy cake. Am I overbeating it? Not enough leavener? Help!

  18. Hmm...let's see if we can figure out the problem. First question is: what is your altitude? When I made this post I lived near 3,000 ft. Now I am basically sea level and have had to make a few adjustments. I cut the oil by 1/4. I also always use Pillsbury mix. The texture will be different if you use another brand. The only leavener in the recipe comes from the mix so maybe that is the issue.

  19. Ok. Well I think I am below sea level and it is very humid where I live. I use Duncan Hines. When I make it regularly, it is light and fluffy (which is tasty but horrible for layering, imo) but it seems like adding the extra flour "thickens" it up a bit. It tastes great but i want the texture to remain cake-y rather than slightly bread-y. This also happens when i make a cake completely from scratch so I am wondering if i am over-beating the mix or something.

  20. is it necessary to add in the almond sustitute for sour cream or can we makeit ??

  21. I've made it without the almond extract for folks with a nut allergy. It is not quite as flavorful, but still very good. A good substitute for the sour cream would be some plain yogurt. I've never made yogurt from scratch, but have read that it is quite easy.

  22. i have made youghurt ....its very very simple...
    so i shud replace sour cream with the amount of plain youghurt and it will work out ?? sure?

    1. Yes, I would replace the sour cream with the same amount of plain yogurt. I don't know for certain that it will work since I've never done it, but I've substituted sour cream with yogurt in other recipes with great results.

  23. do you know how to makesour cream???

    1. Sorry, but, no, I don't know how to make sour cream.

  24. I love to try your recipe, but where I live, we dont use cake mix.... Do you have an advice how to convert the same recipe but to make it from scratch ?

    1. I wish I did and then I would be making it from scratch too. Sorry.

  25. Hi I press on the vanilla cake recipe and it says white almond sour cream cake is this the vanilla one and how many batches do I have to make for a 12in 14 in square pan 2in deep. Thank you.

    1. Yes they are one in the same. The recipe on my blog is the same. Are you trying to fill a 12" square and a 14" square?