Sour Cream Cake

I never knew that sour cream was such a good baking ingredient! Apparently this is common knowledge, though. So I can’t really say I discovered it, but it is something new that I learned, and I’m happy to have a way to use up extra sour cream from Mexican-themed dinners.

I found this recipe in a wonderful cookbook I received as a wedding gift (thanks, Ethel!). It was the first thing I tried from this book, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of its recipes with you.

Sour Cream Cake from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts


  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 large lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loose-bottomed tube pan that measures 9 inches across the top and 3 1/2 inches deep (I used a regular 9-inch cake pan and a loaf pan, because that’s all I have. It worked for me! I didn’tdust with breadcrumbs, either, which was suggested.).
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter in your stand mixture to soften. Add vanilla and sugar. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, two at a time.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients, all of the sour cream, and then the remaining dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in zest.
  7. Pour into the pans and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

I served the loaf and froze the round one for later. I’m excited to have a ready-made sour cream cake ready whenever I want to eat it! I may prepare some sort of lemon icing or glaze to go with it. Or else serve it with whipped cream or fruity jam. We’ll see.