[Photograph: @sstiavetti]

When I close my eyes at night, I dream of dousing tender sponge cakes with a huge helping of sweet, delicious syrup or dessert sauce. I've made all sorts of cakes and soaked them with countless different liquids, but there's one cake in particular that stands alone as my favorite of all time: my Tender Citrus Sour Cream Cake. I keep coming back to the same recipe over and over again. It's like the dessert version of my "safe space."

I recently started playing with the idea of smaller cakes, similar to Miette's 6-inch cake policy. Really, you don't need a lot of cake to satisfy your cravings, and stuffing yourself leads to not feeling all that great about the miracle of sugar you just devoured. In a moment of self control, I opted to make this cake in a single-layer style. It's short and to the point. Because really, a small helping is all you need.

You'll find this cake moist, tender, and citrusy, holding a touch of spice from pungent cinnamon. The whole things is soaked with a mixture of condensed milk and heavy cream, then covered with a generous blanket of ultra-smooth Swiss buttercream frosting after a brief spell in the icebox. If you like, you can cover the cake in buttercream roses a la I am Baker. It's a quick and easy way to make an already impressive cake stand out, though I prefer a more traditional icing style that leaves a little something to the imagination.

Get the Recipe

Tender Citrus Sour Cream CakeĀ»

About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.


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