Plain or simple are not works I associate with the cooking I do. Ironically, therefore, my baking is pretty much the opposite; I don’t like too many flavors going on at the same time. And when I am sick, as I was over Christmas, I want my desserts to be even more plain. Almost boring even. Homey and comforting, vanilla pretty much rules my taste buds when I am not feeling well. I made this cake late at night 2 days after Christmas. I just had a sudden craving, and, as I told John, how badly could I mess it up given that it is a super simple one bowl cake? (He was concerned because Laura and Prednisone don’t mix very well and I was not really thinking straight at the time.)
Well I was right and he was wrong (in this case anyway!) and this cake turned out really well. It is basically impossible to mess up and takes no work whatsoever. It is also fragrant with vanilla, moist from sour cream, and my idea of the perfect comfort food when I am feeling under the weather. Later, I also tried it with cream cheese for breakfast and that was fantastic as well. The original recipe is from Piece of Cake!: One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes by Camilla Saulsbury; my main adaptions were to substitute some whole wheat flour and to cool the cake outside of the pan (I prefer cakes and muffins to not cool in their pans, keeps them less gummy).
You may have noticed I did not cut my sheet cake into traditional little squares. This is because my mom got me the Magisso Cake Server for Christmas and I was super excited to try it. Obviously it is meant for round cakes. It works perfectly–you use it to both slice and serve the cake. You can read more about the server at Magisso’s website; I spotted it while surfing the web early last fall and became instantly intrigued. And, Yay Mom!, she got it for me.
- 2 cups (252 g) AP flour
- 1 cup (130 g) white whole wheat flour
- 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 1 T baking powder
- ¾ t salt
- 1½ cups full fat sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 6 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 T vanilla
- 1½ cups possible add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper, with an overhang on the 2 long sides. Lightly spray the parchment with baking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Add everything but the add-ins to the bowl. Using a handheld mixer, preferably electric, beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for an additional minute.
- Fold in any add-ins (if using–I did not).
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.
- Let cool in pan for 15 minutes.
- Working carefully and quickly to prevent breakage, lift the cake out by the parchment paper and place it on a cooling rack (still on top of the parchment paper). Let cool completely before slicing or frosting.