Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe
Sandy's Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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
Featured In: Top 10 Cake Recipes
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: 685 calories, 29g fat (18g saturated fat), 115mg cholesterol, 505mg sodium, 102g carbohydrate (81g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g 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

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elrollinero User ID: 8803875 268029
Reviewed Jun. 16, 2017

"I just wonder why so much sugar? it is a little too much from my point of view."

Kristine User ID: 9163416 267467
Reviewed May. 30, 2017

"cake is dense with deep rich flavor. Icing is complex. Together it's a little too rich. Next time I'm going to make it with butter cream frosting. This cake shows pretty and serves 16-20 easilt."

alex User ID: 9168135 265952
Reviewed May. 14, 2017

"I made a version of this cake for mothers day. It is truly one of the best cakes we have ever had, all while being easy to make. Thank you for this recipe!"

HomeChefColleen User ID: 7305751 265810
Reviewed May. 10, 2017

"Unbelievable! Super moist and full of flavour! Love it!"

2124arizona User ID: 845443 265630
Reviewed May. 7, 2017

"This cake is amazing. It doesn't last long around this house!!!"

kramerstacey15 User ID: 5709757 263829
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2017

"easy to make. Tasty. I halved the recipe and made 18 cupcakes. Baked for about 22 minutes. They were a little too full. Next time I will make a few more so they don't overflow."

Victor User ID: 9112712 263599
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2017

"Excellent cake. I use cake flour and substitute hot black coffee for the hot water. I have tried other substitutions but they do not improve the cake. This is a very rich cake because of the sour cream, so a small piece of cake is very filling. To keep the cake tender, go easy on the mixing and get the cake in the oven as soon as the mixing is complete."

EsterP User ID: 7970995 260129
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2017

"Made this cake this weekend, wonderful. It is not a fluffy cake but a moist fudge texture . I was hoping for a much richer chocolate flavor. The frosting goes on smooth and make the frosting cake look nice. I will definitly make this again but next time I will add expresso powder to the cake."

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 258668
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2016

"5 stars doesn't cover it! This was the most amazing cake. This was the first time I made a cake from scratch. My daughter requested it for Christmas. So moist and fudgy. You will not be disappointed!"

ebohuch User ID: 8820941 257030
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2016

"Just made the cake for a birthday in a Darth Vader shaped cake pan and it came out beautifully and made a dozen cupcakes with the leftover batter. It's very moist and was such a hit. This recipe is definitely a keeper!"

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