I’ve been baking cakes since I was ten years old and, as you can imagine, have amassed quite a collection of recipes.
I made this Lemon Sour Cream Cake for the first time just last year—but it has already become one of my very favorites. (And my family and friends like it, too!)
It’s a fabulous cake with a wonderful texture and flavor. I just love pine nuts, but before baking this cake I’d only ever used them in savory dishes.
I serve the cake with vanilla-bean yogurt and blueberries—though it tastes great just on its own.
This is quite a big cake and I usually freeze half of it for later. It freezes beautifully, with or without the honey drizzled on top.
The recipe is from a marvelous Australian cookbook: Bake: Celebrating the time-Honoured Tradition of Home Baking by The Australian Women’s Weekly, published by ACP Books.
I spoke to the publisher, Pamela Clark, who is one of the doyennes of cooking in Australia, about this cake. She advised me to follow the recipe exactly, use the correct size cake pan, not to be tempted to use a higher oven temperature, and to leave the cake in the oven for the full hour.
Her advice was spot on because the cake has turned out perfectly every time I’ve baked it!
Here’s the recipe.
LEMON SOUR CREAM CAKE
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour (plus cooling time)
250g butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
¾ cup (180g) sour cream
2 cups (300g) plain flour
¼ cup (35g) self-raising flour
½ cup (80g) pine nuts
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
¼ cup (90g) honey
1 Preheat oven to 170˚/150˚ fan-forced. Grease deep 23-cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over sides.
2 Beat butter, rind and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in sour cream and sifted flours, in two batches. Spread mixture into pan; bake 15 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, combine pine nuts and demerara sugar in small bowl.
4 Carefully remove cake from oven; working quickly, sprinkle evenly with nut mixture, pressing gently into cake. Return cake to oven; bake further 45 minutes. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack.
5 Heat honey in small saucepan; drizzle hot honey evenly over hot cake. Cool.
NOTE Australian standard measuring cups are used in this recipe. An Australian standard measuring cup is 250ml, an American one is 240ml so there isn’t much difference in a recipe like this.
One Australian metric tablespoon holds 20mls; a tablespoon in the US, the UK and New Zealand holds 15mls.
100 grams is approximately 4 oz
170 degrees C oven heat is approximately 340 degrees F
• You can use light brown sugar instead of demerara sugar • Caster sugar is also known as superfine sugar • Regular rather than light sour cream works best • Plain flour is also known as all-purpose flour • Self-raising flour can be made by mixing 1 cup of plain/all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder • Baking paper is also known as parchment paper • A metric sized 23-cm square cake pan is equivalent to a 9-inch square pan.
For an excellent resource in converting baking measures and ingredients from other countries, visit Joy of Baking.
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Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction. Her new release is the contemporary women’s fiction (aka chicklit!) Reinventing Rose, where the characters don’t get much of a chance to eat cake let alone bake it…