Blueberry-lemon sour cream cake with basil glaze

Sour cream cake has the most indulgent, rich texture. It is so creamy that it tastes slightly undercooked but it is the sour cream that keeps the middle so moist. This recipe was inspired by a sour cream chocolate chip cake that my mom makes that is equally yummy. I wanted to brighten up the flavor of the sour cream by using citrus and berries in my version. Then I went a little crazy and created a basil glaze which adds the perfect amount of sweetness and an ever-so-slight peppery-herbal aromatic touch. This is a fabulous cake to bring to a party or make when entertaining. It could also be served with coffee for brunch.

RECIPE TUNES (because everything is always better with music)

  Used to be In Love by Jungle Giants • I Like The Way by lovelytheband • Wait by NoMBe


  • .75 oz package of basil (small package at the grocery store)
  • 1 cup butter (at room temp.)
  • 3 cups sugar (1 cup for your glaze, 2 cups for your cake)
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 large bundt cake pan


Basil Glaze Part 1.
(You want to make the basil simple syrup, which you will need to make the glaze, in advance so it has time to cool. After the cake is cool you will finish making the glaze.)

  1. Put 1 cup of sugar and one cup of water into a small saucepan and put on medium-high heat. (In photos here I made double which is why you see two cups.)
  2. Break or cut your basil leaves into halves and add them to your sugar and water. Mix well.
  3. Continue mixing everything until it comes to a boil and all the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and remove your saucepan from the hot burner. Put a lid on your saucepan and leave it for 20-30 min. to cool.
  5. Put the basil simple syrup into a container and refrigerate until your cake is done and cooled.
    NOTE: You can strain the basil out of the syrup if you want to but I like leaving it in so the syrup absorbs as much of the basil flavor as possible. Only a few tablespoons of the syrup is used in the glaze, so the more flavorful it is, the better. 
  6. Finish making the glaze later in the steps that are listed below. 

The Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously grease your bundt pan and set it aside.
  3. Sift your cake flour, baking soda and salt into one bowl and set it aside.
    NOTE: You can use regular flour but I find that cake flour truly makes a cake silkier. Make sure you sift whatever flour you use.
  4. Zest one of your lemons into a small bowl. Set aside. (I use a zester as seen in this photo. Most cheese graters have a smaller side or section for zesting as well if you don’t have something like this.)
  5. Using a standing mixer or hand held mixer, cream your butter.
  6. Gradually beat in 2 cups of sugar until it is all combined and light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  8. Add your sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and fold everything either with a large spatula or using the folding attachment as seen here for your standing mixer on the lowest speed.
  9. Fold your dry sifted ingredients in gradually and on low speed.
  10. When cake batter is all folded together well, carefully fold in your blueberries.
  11. Pour the batter evenly into your bundt cake and bake for 70-75 minutes. (Poke with a toothpick and it should come out clean, without batter on it, if the cake is done.)
  12. Allow the cake to fully cool before removing it from bundt pan onto your cake/serving plate. As you can see here, it may not always come out perfectly (lol) but the glaze will help and it will taste phenomenal no matter what. 

Basil Glaze Part 2. 

  1. Put 1 cup confectioners sugar into a deep bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of your basil simple syrup and whisk the two together. You can add more syrup as needed but start with less. You want it to be a thick and glossy consistency as seen here. (If you add too much syrup you can simply add more sugar.)

  3. I recommend placing your plated cake onto a lazy Susan (a plate that turns) before you begin to pour the glaze on. (This way you can pour the glaze over the top of the cake as you slowly turn it so that it evenly distributes and can cascade down the sides and into the center naturally.)
  4. Drizzle or pour your glaze over your cake either as you turn the plate or distributing it evenly around the top. Let the glaze set for a few minutes. If you like lots of glaze (which I do) you can do a second pouring on top of the set first layer. NOTE: The glaze will pool into the center of the cake. You can carefully scrape it out with a small spatula or spoon or do what I do instead, just fill the center with more fresh blueberries after you are done glazing. Yum! Also, if you have extra glaze save it in an airtight container and feel free to use it to drizzle it over cake slices. It is SO DELICIOUS!



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