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

Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe

Publisher Photo
For a cake contest, I held this velvety cake on my lap during a 4-1/2 hour drive, but it paid off. You’ll love this prize-winning beauty. —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 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure 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 McCormick® Pure 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 Sep. 20, 2014

"this was really good. very easy to make. will need to make it again"

Reviewed Jul. 5, 2014

"This is my go to chocolate cake! I've made it many many times. For Birthdays I just make a buttercream frosting so I can make it fun colors. The only thing I ever alter is the type of frosting. LOVE LOVE LOVE!"

Reviewed Nov. 3, 2013

"Excellent. I reduced the recipe in size so I only made one layer with no frosting so I could test it. I live at a high altitude (4600 ft). I wouldn't make this cake without adjusting for altitude as it is so tender that it would cave in if it weren't adjusted. I removed a 1/4 of the butter and 1/4 of the sugar. It turned out great. Other than that, it is very tasty. It will be my "go to" chocolate cake recipe."

Reviewed Sep. 9, 2013

"I made cupcakes, first the cake boss (all without frosting) and then sandy's. I had my daughters and husband taste both, sandy's won! I didn't even have to put frosting on them. I like to make cakes for people on the side, now sandy's recipe will be my chocolate cake recipe in my cake book"

Reviewed Jul. 6, 2013

"Made this for my husband for his birthday!! He loves chocolate and this cake made his birthday. I found it was a very easy recipe and does not require a whole lot of work considering its from scratch."

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