Did you know that sour cream is a game-changing ingredient when you’re baking cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and other baking recipes?
Sour cream is not a regular item on major supermarket chiller shelves, and it can be quite expensive, too. When it is available, however, we always feel like we should be hoarding this precious cream for all of our baking and cooking recipes!
What makes sour cream such a valuable ingredient? It’s a great substitute for real buttermilk, which is also acidic. Here are a few delicious reasons to use sour cream in your baking recipes:
1 Sour cream balances the sweet flavor of the cake.
Sour cream is acidic and while this helps the cake batter rise together with a leavening agent like baking soda, it also adds a complexity of flavor to your cakes with its sour flavor. This balances the sweetness the sugar adds to the recipe without making your cake taste sour. The slight sourness tempers both the sweetness and the overall taste of your cake, making it taste more flavorful.
You can even add a bit of sour cream to your frosting instead of fresh milk so its consistency stays firmer than when you use a more liquid ingredient.
2 Sour cream keeps cake moist.
Sour cream is naturally thicker than milk, and it is this characteristic of cream that keeps your cakes more moist as it bakes. It’s also got more fat content than fresh milk or even buttermilk and this extra dairy fat will ensure that your cake stays as soft and moist as it can possibly be.
3 Sour cream makes cakes more tender with a finer crumb.
It’s a good thing that sour cream has more fat than milk. This is because the more fat content your cake has, the more tender it will be. (Think of the pork belly cut which has more fat layers than the pigue or kasim.)
It will also yield a finer crumb. What does a “fine crumb” mean? All it really means is that there are smaller pockets of air in the cake batter, resulting in cakes that are softer, more tender, and seemingly lighter than cakes made with fresh milk or water.
4 Sour cream makes cakes feel heavier.
This may not seem like a good thing but if you compare the same cake recipe but one is made with milk and one made with sour cream, you’ll notice two things: you’ll see that the sour cream cake version will feel heavier but when you bite into it, it’s actually still light in texture.
This heft means that it won’t fall apart easily when you pick it up and that it will hold onto its shape better than one that is so soft, it’s hard to manage. This is a quality you want when making tall cakes such as bundt cakes or layered cakes that will need some weight to withstand another layer placed on top of it.
Need to know how to make sour cream an ingredient in your baking recipes? Take cues from these tips:
- 1 When the recipe calls for fresh milk, substitute half the amount with sour cream.
- 2 When the recipe calls for yogurt or buttermilk, substitute the full amount with sour cream.
There are many ways to make your favorite recipes better, more flavorful, and even more delicious than it already is. So, if you’re looking to make your recipe a little bit better, swap out some of the milk called for in the recipe with sour cream. See if sour cream can make a game-changing difference in your baked recipes, too.