Vanilla Cognac Cake

This scratch butter cake gets a rich mellow flavor boost from vanilla infused cognac. Sour cream adds a touch of tangy balance and luscious moist texture. This cake will become your most requested recipe.

This is such a great cake. For really stellar flavor I use Navan, which is a cognac infused with Madagascar vanilla.
It has almost the exact same amount of alcohol as vanilla extract, so while the 1/4c. in the recipe may seem like a lot, the alcohol bakes away and you're left with a simply awesome taste.
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 c.sour cream
  • 2 T vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 c. Vanilla Cognac
  • 2 c. cake flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter at room temperature


  1. In a small bowl whisk yolks, vanilla, cognac and 1/3 cup sour cream together. 
  2. In your mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment, place all of your dry ingredients, and mix briefly to combine. 
  3. Add butter and the remaining sour cream, mix on low speed until combined. Then adjust your mixer to medium speed and blend for about 2 minutes. 
  4. Scrape down the sides, and add your egg yolk mixture in three batches, beating for 30 seconds and scraping the bowl after each addition. 
  5. Bake in a 9 inch springform pan lined with parchment at 300 for about 35 minutes. The cake should be flat (no domed top) and just under 2 inches tall.
  6. Torte, fill, and frost as desired.

Comments (6)


Navan Vanilla Cognac is discontinued and the above link is no good; try Artez ArVani Vanilla Armagnac Liqueur instead.


So excited to try this recipe except using Cognac in the icing as well.  We have a restaurant here in Texas called La Madeleine and they serve fresh strawberries with a Romanoff Sauce (which they are famous for) made with Sour Cream, Brown Sugar and Brandy. Your recipe made me think of the Romanoff sauce.  Thanks for sharing! 


Sounds wonderful for a 50th Wedding Anniversary I have coming up in June. Would it be as good in cupcake form and if so, what icing would you recommend?


Make your own vanilla cognac.  Get vanilla beans and a bottle of Cognac.  Put the vanilla beans into the cognac bottle and let it set up a few weeks to months turning bottle ever so often.  I make my own vanilla extract with vanilla beans and either vodka or bourbon.