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Come-Home-to-Mama Chocolate Cake

You'll spend less than a half hour whipping up this cure-all cake that starts with a mix. Sour cream and chocolate pudding make it rich and moist, and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate make it decadent comfort food at its finest. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 package devil's food cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 8-in. baking pans.
  • Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 38-43 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Add melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in cocoa mixture.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 754 calories, 49g fat (25g saturated fat), 144mg cholesterol, 655mg sodium, 75g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 6g fiber), 9g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • pattyfrog
    May 6, 2020

    Some of these raters scare me! Mistakes? Something's not right? ALL Taste of Home recipes are tested by TOH staff. They wouldn't be around long if the dishes didn't turn out correctly. Check it out online to see the steps all of their published recipes go through.

  • Debglass11
    Mar 23, 2020

    This cake is delicious! I baked it in a bundt pan and used a chocolate glaze instead of the frosting indicated. The only change I made to the cake was to use one cup of chocolate chips in place of the chocolate syrup. This cake is moist and dense and perfect for any occasion. It's easy to put together and bakes up beautifully. Will definitely make again!

  • etstokes
    Mar 15, 2020

    Here's some pointers on this cake as well as cakes in general. I rarely use any other chocolate frosting other than my Mom's recipe, and it follows at the end. So my stars are unrelated to the icing recipe. Loved the cake with these tweaks: Always sift dry ingredients together. In this case the pudding and cake mix. Eliminates a lot of lumps. Bring all refrigerated ingredients to room temp. If baking a chocolate cake, coat the pans with cocoa powder instead of flour. Invest in an insta-read thermometer. Tooth pick testing is not always accurate, especially with dense cakes such as this one, red-velvet, carrot cake, pound cake, etc. Internal temp needs to be @ 200-205. All others @ 210. I have found that the temp is reached anywhere from 5-10 minutes before the time the recipe designates. I start testing as soon as the cake starts showing signs of pulling away from the edge of the pan, and the top of the layer feels a little firm to touch. I cooked for 37 minutes and reached 205 at that point. Next time I'll try 35. With cake mix cakes, break the eggs into a 2 c measuring cup and whisk well beforehand. Whisk any water/milk/etc with the sour cream beforehand to eliminate lumps. I mix by hand as much as possible until everything is well incorporated, then I use my hand mixer for 1-2 minutes. The more you beat your cake mixture the tougher it will be. After cooling, I cut away a small portion of the top of each layer to not only level them, but to drizzle some additional chocolate syrup (about 1 T per layer) for extra moistness. Icing ¾ c cocoa powder 1 ½ sticks salted butter room temperature 5 c conf sugar sifted 2 tsp vanilla 1/2 c evaporated milk Hand stir the cocoa and butter, then use a mixer to mix until well blended (Otherwise you will have a cocoa cloud floating around you). Add vanilla. Alternate the sugar and milk until smooth/creamy.

  • Barbara
    Jan 7, 2020

    Looks like there is a mistake in the frosting recipe. I should probably be 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar. I don't see the need for the 1 pound of semisweet chocolate. Plus I don't see the need for 1 POUND of SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE. And boiling water instead of milk and NO vanilla. I would definitely not use this frosting recipe.

  • Carolyn
    Apr 29, 2019

    Loved the cake, but NOT the frosting...I followed the instructions very carefully. .I had no trouble with the batter--i did make sure the eggs were at room temp. The cake itself was delicious, but the frosting was WAY too soft and way too much for the cake. I could've frosted another whole cake or perhaps a third layer. I did add about another cup of sugar but still couldn't get it to the proper consistency. I would make this cake again but would change the frosting. The cake rose to a very high dome, but it did go down upon cooling.

  • downhomegirl
    Mar 27, 2019

    I make a very similar Bundt cake, and it always turns out fabulous. My recipe calls for a cup of chocolate chips (stirred in at the end), but I've also added pecans and/or coconut. If you can find it, Jello brand makes a Simply Chocolate Caramel instant pudding mix. If you use this, you may add 1/2 cup or so each of these stir-ins, and you will be delighted with the result, I promise. And as a bonus (if you use the Bundt pan), you may use a generous drizzle of your favorite glaze instead of frosting. For those of you concerned with the thickness of the batter: Make sure ALL of your wet ingredients are room temp, not just the eggs. Think about it, Bakers! This is instant pudding we're working with, and cold means thick! (Well, Duh, we knew that, right? Right.)

  • Humboldtquilter
    Feb 2, 2019

    The cake batter was very thick, almost like brownie batter, but it baked up ok. It rose very high, but flattened out when cool, which made it quite dense. The frosting, though, was really nasty! The texture was ok, not thin like others commented, but it tasted like I was eating chocolate butter. It had exactly the texture of butter, smooth and greasy, and though I like butter, I really don’t want to frost a cake with it. (Only 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to 3 sticks of butter? That should have been a red flag in itself!) It was so distasteful I had to scrape it off before eating the cake. I had frosting left over too, which I ended up tossing. Verdict: a very expensive disappointment. A boxed devils food cake and canned frosting would have been infinitely preferable!

  • Doris
    Jan 22, 2019

    I have a recipe just like this, except it has one hole cup of buttermilk, and it is wonderful, I make it lots of time's, batter is thick, that is the way it is supposed to be. mix by hand.

  • Sharon
    Jan 21, 2019

    After reading the reviews, I am now afraid to bake it. Since you baked it in a test kitchen, how can it get such poor reviews. If it turns out like the poor reviews says it will, I'm sending a bill to TOH. Will send another review after baking. Sharon Plecenik

  • OldHattie
    Mar 20, 2018

    I made this cake for Valentine's dinner and now my nephew's wife, and fellow chocolate lover, is my best friend! It tasted like a large truffle! Can't say enough good things about it!