Consider skipping dinner and dive right into this Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream and Fig Pear Topping.
Figs and pears are more of a fall and winter combo but I wasn’t about to toss out the last remnants of the preserves that were in the fridge, or let my sour cream go to waste. Also, with the bag of tricks that Mother Nature is unloading on us we are confused about what season we’re in so most anything is game. Once I decided to use the preserves I had to choose a cake that would hold up to the density of them plus use the sour cream I had on hand. After mulling it over a bit I decided on White Almond Sour Cream Cake. This recipe uses a box of cake mix plus additional flour, sugar, eggs, milk, water, a dash of salt, sour cream and almond extract. For this cake, I swapped out the almond extract for a healthy slosh of vanilla.
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The result is a cake with a moist crumb that will hold up under the heaviest buttercream and extra toppings. This recipe yield is equivalent to 1 1/2 boxes of cake mix. Which is enough for the following sizes: a 10″ square or a 9 x 13, one 8″ and two 6″ rounds, two 8″rounds, or a 10” round. I like high cake layers so a yield of two 8-inch rounds works best for me.
After filling and frosting the cake I gave it a few more decorations to make it even more irresistible. The bottom of the cake is garnished with white chocolate flowers made with a chocolate transfer sheet. Chocolate transfer sheets are acetate sheets embossed with designs made of cocoa butter and powdered food coloring. To use them, spread melted chocolate on the sheet and the designs will transfer to the chocolate as it cools and hardens. The chocolate sheets can be cut into almost any shape and even used on cookies. To top it off, I added a few white chocolate buttercream roses and leaves to the topping.
So far I’ve only used this recipe for a vanilla and a white cake. I’d love to try it with a chocolate mix with a hazelnut liqueur buttercream and those oh so tasty hazelnut candies on top. Or, how about a white cake with strawberry buttercream and fresh or white chocolate dipped strawberries on top? I feel the waistline of my jeans expanding as I type.
- 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup water
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 TBS flavoring (I used vanilla for this cake)
- White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted*
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Fig Pear Topping
- ⅓ cup fig preserves
- ⅓ cup pear preserves
- Preheat oven to 325° F and prepare two 8-inch pans for nonstick baking.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl using a wire whisk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer bowl place the sour cream, water, eggs and flavoring and mix on medium speed until ingredients are well combined.
- Next, add about ½ of the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, checking for doneness at minimum time.
- Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto baking racks until completely cooled.
- While the cake is baking make the White Chocolate Buttercream.
- Place the chopped white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% in 35-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is smooth.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Cream butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in melted and cooled white chocolate and then gradually add in confectioner's sugar, about 1 cup at a time.
- Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, followed by vanilla. Beat on high for about 1 to 3 minutes until the buttercream frosting is smooth.
- *Sifted powdered sugar takes a little extra time but it helps to ensure that your frosting is lump free.
- Fig Pear Topping
- Mix together ⅓ cup each of fig and pear preserves and spread over top layer of frosted cake.
- Frost and fill the layers with White Chocolate Buttercream making sure to add a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
- Decorate with chocolate cutouts and buttercream flowers if desired.
- Serve at room temperature and refrigerate any leftovers.
Let me know if you have any flavor combo suggestions, I’m always open to new ideas. I’m taking my Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream and Fig Pear Topping to a few parties this week. It’d be a hoot if you joined me there!