The Tangy Ingredient That's Sure To Liven Up Your Boxed Cake

Making a store-bought box of cake mix can be a great way to make baking quick and easy, while still giving your goodies a homemade taste. If you like your cakes extra moist, there are a few different ingredients you can add to that pre-measured mix. Pouring in a packet of pudding mix or swapping buttermilk for regular milk can both make your cakes a little moister. Some even suggest adding a little bit of melted ice cream to the batter.

One other addition that could benefit your boxed cake mix is a little bit of sour cream. The condiment might be more commonly found on top of tacos or mixed into mashed potatoes, but it can actually help to enhance both the flavor and texture of your boxed cake mixes. When you're mixing up your batter, add in half a cup of sour cream along with the rest of your wet ingredients. Once the sour cream has been completely mixed into the batter, you can pour it into your cake pans and bake according to the box's directions.

Sour cream is the secret ingredient for success

The extra fat in sour cream is what helps the cake achieve that moister texture, so you'll want to make sure you're using a full-fat variety. According to the FDA, sour cream needs to have at least 18% milkfat, which contributes to a richer texture in your cake. The cream might also make your cake batter just a little bit thicker, so it could be an especially beneficial addition if your batter winds up too thin.

Additionally, sour cream is a little acidic, with a lactic acid content of at least 0.5%. That very slight acidity can add a slightly tangy taste to your bakes, which can be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the sugary cake batter. That acidity also helps to activate the baking soda in the batter. This can make the cake rise a little higher to take on a fluffier texture. At the same time, that acidity may also help your cake bake a little more evenly. It will prevent the cake's exterior from browning too quickly (bye-bye burns) as the interior bakes all the way through.

Sour cream can benefit another dessert, too

If you aren't using a boxed cake mix, there are plenty of from-scratch recipes that encourage the addition of sour cream, too. If you're adding some lemon or orange flavoring to your sour cream pound cake recipe, the acidity from the sour cream can help amplify those citrus flavors. However, when the recipe's baking soda is activated, it will dull the sour taste of the sour cream a little so that it becomes only slightly tangy.

If you still want to bake but you aren't a fan of cake, sour cream can lend its benefits to a different dessert, too. Adding some sour cream to sugar cookie dough can have similar effects on the cookies: Creating a fluffier texture, more moisture, and a mildly tangy taste.

The next time you're mixing up a box of cake mix, try adding in a little bit of sour cream to enhance the taste and texture of your baked goods.