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Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe
Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1-1/3 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 685 calories, 29 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 115 mg cholesterol, 505 mg sodium, 102 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-in. round baking pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in water until blended.
  3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For frosting, in a metal bowl over simmering water, melt butter and chocolates; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Sandy's Chocolate Cake in Taste of Home February/March 1994, p15

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 685 calories, 29 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 115 mg cholesterol, 505 mg sodium, 102 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.

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Reviewed Feb. 8, 2016

"This cake and frosting are absolutely delicious! It tastes even more delicious the second day. I made cupcakes for a large birthday party. It makes 48 cupcakes. A"

Reviewed Feb. 6, 2016

"One of the best ever among choc cakes. But sandy or anyone please tell me what's the ingredient(s) in this recipe that makes it stand out from an average choc cake?"

Reviewed Feb. 6, 2016

"This is undoubtedly the absolute best chocolate cake and frosting I've ever tasted. I ended up having to add an additional cup or so of powdered sugar. I sifted the sugar before measuring and probably shouldn't have - it didn't say to. I was afraid it might be lumpy if I didn't. Sifting probably made it not fill the measuring cup as full when measuring. Sandy, I can see why you won the contest.

When reading the recipe, it had a few things completely different from all the methods I've ever used and made me want to try it to see how it turned out. It is absolutely wonderful"

Reviewed Feb. 5, 2016

"The first time I baked this, I forgot to add the boiling water. I thought it would be really dry, but it was still surprisingly delicious! Currently have this recipe in the oven with the boiling water added. This consistency after adding the boiling water worried me. It seemed a little too liquidy than other cake recipes I have made. Is this normal?"

Reviewed Feb. 2, 2016

"I made this and it turned out delicious! It was easy to follow and I will be making this again. My family love it!"

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