Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Recipe
Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Recipe

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4.5 11 14
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This luscious chocolate layer cake gets wonderful moistness from sour cream. Its irresistible topping and marvelous from-scratch goodness make it a classic! I keep the recipe handy for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-16 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-16 servings


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 477 calories, 15 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 356 mg sodium, 84 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate, water sour cream, shortening, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to chocolate mixture. Beat on low speed just until moistened. Beat on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, combine frosting ingredients. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread between layers and over top and side of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as Sour Cream Chocolate Cake in Taste of Home December/January 2001, p29

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"I made it for Christmas dinner and it was a hit! My seven year old daughter loves it and just requested it for her next birthday!"

Reviewed Jan. 19, 2015

"This cake turns out beautifully and was a great hit with my family. I followed the instructions to the letter. Rich & smooth flavor. Wonderful presentation!"

Reviewed Nov. 19, 2014

"I don't know how this tastes yet, but I had big clumps of chocolate in my batter. I think that if I try this again (a big if) I might mix the chocolate with just 1 other ingredient before combining all the liquids."

Reviewed Jul. 13, 2014

"Made this for a work potluck- it was a huge hit! I accidentally cooked the cake for too long so it ended up just a little dry, however it still tasted great. I will definitely make this again!"

Reviewed May. 26, 2013

"This is my all-time favorite go-to chocolate cake recipe. I first found it on the back of a Gold Medal flour bag years ago.

To the reviewer who mentioned getting clumps of chocolate in the batter and the frosting: After melting the chocolate at a low heat and stirring it to make sure it's smooth, add it to the rest of the mixture as quickly as possible and beat it in at once very thoroughly. I've had those clumps form when I've let the chocolate cool too much--but don't add it when it's too warm, either. It can be tricky.
To the reviewer who found the cake a little dry: Try baking it for a shorter time. When you test it with a toothpick, a few crumbs might adhere to the pick. Take it out of the oven to cool--the cake will continue baking even though it's out of the oven during the 10 min. cooling time."

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