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

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Impressive to look at but easy to make, this cake is a good old-fashioned "Sunday supper" dessert that melts in your mouth. —Marsha Lawson, Pflugerville, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 692 calories, 30g fat (18g saturated fat), 119mg cholesterol, 451mg sodium, 102g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.


  1. Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture and mix well.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 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 microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Sour Cream Chocolate Cake in Taste of Home August/September 1998, p67

Sweet White Wine

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

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Julia User ID: 9172444 266162
Reviewed May. 21, 2017

"I made this cake for the first time for my husband's birthday party and it got raves! Really delicious with a great consistency and just the right amount of sweetness. The frosting also got raves."

Osum User ID: 602610 257083
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2016 Edited Nov. 25, 2016

"This cake baked up beautifully ! I used all purpose flour with great results. The layers were even and there was the perfect amount of icing to do the whole cake. The icing is a bit on the sweet side for me so next time I might try milk chocolate chips but it is definitely a keeper. I will make it again without hesitation. The presentation alone is stunning plus it tastes GREAT !

Update * I had thought the icing was a bit too sweet just after assembling but tasted a few days later and it was perfect so I guess it needed time to do its thing. Still awesome !"

Kristens198 User ID: 2663751 244908
Reviewed Mar. 4, 2016

"Thank you, lailabakes, for sharing the 115g AP flour info. I added 2t cornstarch for each 115g AP flour then followed the recipe exactly. It made 48 delicious cupcakes! These are moist and chocolatey."

Katemckib User ID: 8622897 237565
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2015

"Love, Love Love this frosting. It is creamy and so easy to spread. It is chocolatey but balanced by the sour cream. Simply the best chocolate frosting I have ever made."

lailabakes User ID: 8583482 235478
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2015

"A cup of butter, a cup of sour cream and 1 cup water, 4 eggs ... with 3 cups cake way this cake will come out dry... I am willing to bet anyone getting a dry cake did not measure the flour right. cake flour weighs less than all purpose flour. A cup of cake flour is 115 grams not 130 grams as in AP flour. Either use a scale and measure 345 grams for 3 cups cake flour or whisk the flour and then SCOOP with a spoon in measuring cup and swipe top... some people measure a cup and remove 2 tablespoons... not accurate but better than scoop from a compacted flour with measuring cup and swipe...... BIG DIFFERENCE...that is why good recipes are written in weights not volume... 2 other reasons for dry cake... over baking and over mixing after flour is added... I did not make the frosting....Happy baking..."

anncosta User ID: 2131819 49870
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2014

"Best chocolate cake ever"

Rmaries User ID: 8031226 65262
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2014

"Made this cake EXACTLY as instructed. Something I noticed, when mixing baking cocoa, mix in a separate bowl and not in the pan so it doesn't burn. My first time so I made that mistake and had to do it over!

Anyway, this cake was not very moist. I had higher hopes and it just didn't do it. Came out just too dry and cakey. Next time I will bake with one less egg so it stays nice and moist. And with the ingredients costing about $20 it's not worth another mess up. cake was meh, alright. I didn't even want another piece and I made it for my boyfriends birthday."

latouchetl User ID: 7702829 202766
Reviewed May. 15, 2014

"The ruffles are easily made with a chocolate ruffle tool. I found one at ? Tools ? Candy, chocolate & Confectionery Tools but you may be able to find it elsewhere. To prevent the dry cake, I brushed the layers with a simple syrup / raspberry preserve liquid (with a little raspberry liquor in it) before frosting the cake. This added a great amount of flavor and made the layers moist. I get RAVE reviews on this one. My most requested cake."

Roxiecooks User ID: 6576862 17837
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014

"I made a two layer they came out very moist and the taste was great! I used organic unsalted butter in the cake. In the frosting I used salted butter and only 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar. The next time I make this I will make a chocolate whipped cream frosting ."

rivergulch User ID: 6817712 82728
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2013

"This was excellent. Very rich tasting. A big hit with the family"

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