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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 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 Mar. 28, 2015

"This dreamy, extremely rich chocolate dake is the bomb! Tasted like it was made by a professional cake baker, provided 12 good-sized tasty slices. Very rich, extremely smooth frosting. The brown sugar cake baked precisely and was a good foil for the extremely rich icing. I made this cake exactly as instructed. Is the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted."

Reviewed Mar. 22, 2015

"This cake wasn't great it was awesome. Totally delicious we kinda ran out of baking cocoa so we had to add chocolate chips. And we changed the brown sugar to 1 cup and 1/2 of cup of white sugar. Still went out great my parents said it was really moist thank you for creating this recipe. :)"

Reviewed Mar. 17, 2015

"This is a fabulous cake. It's almost as good as my go-to chocolate cake recipe."

Reviewed Mar. 17, 2015

"This is the first time I made a cake from scratch and it came out great. Made it for my grandsons birthday. Everybody loved it. I love how it's sweet but not overly sweet. The icing will now be the chocolate icing I will always make. Plan on making this recipe again real soon. Thanks Sandy!! I tasted why you came in 1st place."

Reviewed Mar. 15, 2015

"My five stars is for the frosting. WOW!!! I've never tasted better. I have the feeling that the cake is just as good, but because I live at high altitude and have no idea how to alter cake recipes to rise properly, I did not make the cake."

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