Buttermilk - Sour Cream Substitution for Cake Recipes
Posted: 03 June 2013 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Am I able to substitute sour cream for buttermilk at 1:1 and vise versa? I want to know if there will be a change in taste and texture of the cake especially for chocolate cakes where the acidity of the batter is crucial to the chocolateness and color of the cake.

Thank you.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What would be the reason? So you have sour cream but no buttermilk ?

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Posted: 03 June 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, it so happens that I have too much sour cream left over from a previous recipe that I rather use it all up than make or buy buttermilk.
Thank you.

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Posted: 04 June 2013 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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To make the substitution, you would need to adjust for the different fat and water content, sour cream is richer than buttermilk.  Sour cream will likely be more mellow and buttermilk more tangy, but it depends on the recipe and what you do with baking soda.  Sour cream doesn’t taste very good if you don’t neutralize it with baking soda (Rose says this and in my own test baking this has also been the case), whereas buttermilk can go either way, neutralize or don’t. 

Sour cream that has been frozen will separate but will still work perfectly for making cakes.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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For a typical chocolate cake recipe calling for a cup of buttermilk, what necessary adjustments should I make if using sour cream given the following ingredients:
1 3/4 C - All purpose flour
2 C- Sugar
3/4 C- Cocoa powder
1 tsp- Baking powder
1 tsp- Salt
1 C- Buttermilk
1/2 C- Vegetable oil
2 extra LG- Eggs
1 tsp- Vanilla
1 C- Brewed Coffee

Thank you.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jack Alix - 06 June 2013 07:46 PM

For a typical chocolate cake recipe calling for a cup of buttermilk, what necessary adjustments should I make if using sour cream given the following ingredients:
1 3/4 C - All purpose flour
2 C- Sugar
3/4 C- Cocoa powder
1 tsp- Baking powder
1 tsp- Salt
1 C- Buttermilk
1/2 C- Vegetable oil
2 extra LG- Eggs
1 tsp- Vanilla
1 C- Brewed Coffee

Thank you.

  JACK ALIX:
      Good afternoon. I scrutinized the quoted recipe you are thinking of altering.. I find it in balance. Sooo, I will tell you that if you were to do what you are thinking of…subst SOUR CREAM for the BUTTERMILK I will like to alert you to the following.

  In buttermilk, there isn’t any fat left to speak of because most went to churn butter with.  Sour cream Jack, has 18% fat in it. The balance is water. The fat content is approx 11 times the buttermilk content. Now then Jack,The weight of eggs should be equal to or greater than the weight of the fat If you subst the sour cream the fat content will increase & you would have to add more eggs. jack, there is more but I am getting tired now.

  Jack find another recipe to utilize the sour cream. Try a cheesecake

  Jack I hope this info helps you understand the WHY it is best not to subst this ingredient.

  Enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 06 June 2013 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks, Freshkid, for shedding light into my substitution dilemma.
I appreciate the time you took to analyze my recipe.

Have a nice day, too.

Best regards,
Jack

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Posted: 06 June 2013 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jack Alix - 06 June 2013 09:25 PM

Thanks, Freshkid, for shedding light into my substitution dilemma.
I appreciate the time you took to analyze my recipe.

Have a nice day, too.

Best regards,
Jack

Freshkid sounds like someone who is very knowledgeable on his own without going by someone’s book.

Jack your recipe sounds like a very good one. Let us know of the out come. I would live to see it.

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Posted: 07 June 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If you want to try the substitution, this is how you do it.

I use the USDA nutrient database for this type of substitution, it is very helpful:  http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

The key things that you need to equalize are fat and water. 

One cup of sour cream has 171g water and 20g of fat, while one cup of buttermilk has 221g water and 2g of fat.

So, if you use one cup of sour cream in the recipe, you will need to reduce the oil by 18g and then add an additional 50g of water to correct the fat and water content of the sour cream.

This recipe does not have enough leavening to switch it to baking soda and have all the sour cream be neutralized, so if it were me, I would probably stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into the sour cream and allow it to sit long enough so that the baking soda has a little time to react with the sour cream.  That way you can neutralize the pH without over-leavening the recipe.  Leave the baking powder as is.

All that said, I’m not sure how the coffee will taste in a recipe with sour cream- maybe great, since the sour cream will be neutralized, but maybe not, since the coffee will bring some acidity and bitterness.  You might consider baking up a small test batch to check the flavor.

good luck!

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Posted: 07 June 2013 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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~FRESHKID - 06 June 2013 08:42 PM
Jack Alix - 06 June 2013 07:46 PM

For a typical chocolate cake recipe calling for a cup of buttermilk, what necessary adjustments should I make if using sour cream given the following ingredients:
1 3/4 C - All purpose flour
2 C- Sugar
3/4 C- Cocoa powder
1 tsp- Baking powder
1 tsp- Salt
1 C- Buttermilk
1/2 C- Vegetable oil
2 extra LG- Eggs
1 tsp- Vanilla
1 C- Brewed Coffee

Thank you.

  JACK ALIX:
      Good afternoon. I scrutinized the quoted recipe you are thinking of altering.. I find it in balance. Sooo, I will tell you that if you were to do what you are thinking of…subst SOUR CREAM for the BUTTERMILK I will like to alert you to the following.

  In buttermilk, there isn’t any fat left to speak of because most went to churn butter with.  Sour cream Jack, has 18% fat in it. The balance is water. The fat content is approx 11 times the buttermilk content. Now then Jack,The weight of eggs should be equal to or greater than the weight of the fat If you subst the sour cream the fat content will increase & you would have to add more eggs. jack, there is more but I am getting tired now.

  Jack find another recipe to utilize the sour cream. Try a cheesecake

  Jack I hope this info helps you understand the WHY it is best not to subst this ingredient.

  Enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

Thank you FK for the great and helpful response. You really know your what you’re talking about grin  now we know who to go to when we have questions. Thanks:-)

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Posted: 07 June 2013 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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PRETTYCAKE:
  Good afternoon. Prettycake, I would like to thank you very, very much for the kind sentiments you sent my way.
They are very meaningful to me.

  Good luck to you & enjoy the rest of the day young lady.

  ~CASS.

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Posted: 08 June 2013 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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You are welcome FRESHKID.. grin  good to know you have such good knowledge coming from you and not from somewhere else. grin

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Posted: 30 October 2013 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Hi guys
I got so inundated with information that it was just easier for me to re-purpose my sour cream for another recipe. I would have attached a photo of the cake using the recipe I quoted; but there is no way of posting it on this forum. You really ought to try this recipe with the coffee enhancing the rich chocolate flavor of the cake. Another interesting discovery? In haste I inadvertently used chickory coffee in the recipe not realizing that I did not have regular brewed coffee on hand. The flavor of the cake has intrigued my friends because they cannot pinpoint the flavor profile that was new to them. It surprised me, just the same; but I had to act as if it had been the same recipe I used all along wink

Best regards.
Jack

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