Go Back

Holiday Sweater Cake Recipe

yield: 1 3-layer, 8-inch cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Work Time: 10 mins
Bake Time: 35 mins
PRINT

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

  • 2 cups (8 ounces or 227 grams) cake flour
  • 2 cups (14 ounces or 397 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (2.25 ounces or 64 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) coffee, slightly cooled (make the coffee first then set it aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients and make the recipe)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) sour cream
  • ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) egg whites (from about 5 to 6 large eggs)
  • 1 ½ cups (10.5 ounces or 298 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (16 ounces or 454 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment, too.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the coffee, sour cream oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. Slowly pour in the coffee. The batter will be fairly runny; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to finish mixing until smooth and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the top pan of a double boiler (or, make a homemade version by placing a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan filled with 2 to 3 inches of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium-high heat, whisking intermittently, until the mixture registers 160°F on a digital candy thermometer.
  • Once the mixture reaches 160°F, immediately pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has turned into a meringue that holds medium-stiff peaks. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should be at room temperature and no residual heat should be escaping the meringue out of the top of the bowl. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the whisk and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Once incorporated, add the vanilla and increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the paddle and bottom and sides of the bowl and beat on medium for 1 minute more.
  • Use immediately per the decoration instructions in the blog post. Buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days; if storing for longer, transfer to a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reuse, scrape the chilled buttercream in the top pan of a double boiler (or, make a homemade version by placing a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan filled with 2 to 3 inches of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) and cook over medium-low heat until the frosting has melted all around the edges, with most of it still in a cold and solid mass in the center. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on low speed to prevent splashing for 1 minute. Gradually increase to high and whip until homogeneous, about 4 minutes.