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Butter and flour three 6-inch pans. I use damp cake strips on my pans for more even baking as well. Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream, milk, butter, egg whites and vanilla together.
Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to measure for even layers.
Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until the centers are set and springy.
Let the layers cool in the pans for about 2 minutes, then invert each layer out onto a cooling rack.
Beat the room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, food coloring and heavy cream. Mix together until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a piping bag.
Pipe buttercream between the cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream.
Use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth the frosting.
Using floral tape, cover the stem of the peony to form a barrier between the flower and cake. Add to the top of the cake.