I'm so excited to share this new scratch Chocolate Sour Cream Cake recipe with you!
You may have tried a couple of our other treasured chocolate cake recipes including our scratch Classic Chocolate Cake , Chocolate Buttermilk Cake, and our homemade Devil's Food Cake, but let me assure you that there is always room for another fantastic recipe- especially when chocolate is involved.
This rich chocolate cake has a wonderfully moist texture and deep chocolate flavor that is sure to bring rave reviews!
My favorite chocolate doctored cake mix recipe is a Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, and I've wanted to make a scratch version of this recipe for the longest time.
We also receive requests often about how to turn our popular scratch White Almond Sour Cream Cake Recipe into a chocolate cake.
After lots of trial and error, I'm happy to say that we've found THE ONE!
How Does this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Compare to our Classic Recipe?
This Chocolate Sour Cream Cake is similar to our scratch classic chocolate cake in some ways, as they both have the same amount of cocoa and coffee, giving it a decadent chocolate flavor, but the sour cream also adds a softness that we were happily surprised by.
We thought that this sour cream version of chocolate cake would be slightly more dense than our other chocolate recipe but the opposite is true. It truly melts in your mouth.
Versatility of the Recipe
This recipe works perfectly for chocolate sour cream cupcakes as well! In addition, despite the soft texture of the cake, it holds up well to fondant also. In other words, it is the perfect chocolate cake ;0)
Reverse Creaming Method
This recipe calls for the reverse creaming method of mixing. The ingredients are added in a different order than you may be used to, but the resulting cake is velvety soft and delicious!
All of the steps are fully explained in our recipe below, but if you would like more information on the Reverse Creaming of Method of mixing, hop over to this post for additional details and a video: The Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing.
Our Chocolate Sour Cream recipe makes a bit more batter than usual...closer to 9 ½ or 10 cups. This is perfect for three 9 inch cake layers, but if you'd like you can also make three 8 inch layers and just pour a few additional cupcakes to sample.
At my house, extra cupcakes for sampling is always reason to celebrate ;0)
This recipe is perfect for chocolate cupcakes as well!
How to Make Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
*You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps:
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans. I like to line the bottom of the prepared pans with parchment paper as well.
- Next, add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix for one minute to blend. (This includes the sugar, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt)
- Add the slightly softened butter a few slices at a time to the flour mixture and mix just until it reaches a crumbly, sandy texture. Be careful not to overmix.
- Next, in a different bowl, combine the full-fat sour cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Don't add the coffee yet- we will add that later.
- Set a timer for 1 ½ minutes and gradually add half of your egg mixture to your butter/flour mixture while mixing. Start mixer on low speed then increase to medium for the remainder of the 1 ½ minutes.
- Stop mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, and add half of the remaining egg mixture. Mix on medium speed for 20 seconds.
- Next, stop the mixer, scrape down the sides if necessary, and add the last of the egg mixture. Mix for 20 seconds more on medium speed.
- Gradually add the hot coffee to the cake batter and mix for 30 seconds to blend. Batter will be runny but that is okay!
- This recipe makes about 9 ½ cups of batter. Pour batter into 3 prepared 9″ pans and bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the middle of the cake layer springs back to the touch or a toothpick comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs attached).
- After removing from the oven, allow the cakes layers to cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before flipping out.
What Frostings Pair well with Chocolate Sour Cream Cake?
There are so many frosting and filling recipes that would be amazing with this moist chocolate cake recipe. Here are a few favorite options:
I love them all! Today we decided to pair our chocolate sour cream cake with a fairly new addition to our Recipes section for Seven Minute Frosting.
Seven Minute Frosting
For this recipe, we used a delicious Seven Minute Frosting which is delightfully airy and not overly sweet.
This luscious cloud-like frosting is light, yet holds stiff peaks very well, making it simpler to frost and pipe with. We used this same Seven Minute Frosting recipe in our homemade S'mores Cake!
The marshmallowy flavor works perfectly with this recipe! It pipes great too.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! It's hard to pick a favorite when it comes to the scratch chocolate cakes in our Recipes section, but this definitely gives the others a run for their money.
Whether you are looking for a great birthday cake or a cure for your chocolate cravings, you're going to love this recipe.
Doctored Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Mix Recipe
If you're looking for an easy chocolate cake, this homemade Chocolate Sour Cream Cake never fails!
However, if you love recipes that begin with cake mixes, you definitely want to keep our super-easy Chocolate Sour Cream Cake- Doctored Mix Recipe in mind!
Nobody would ever guess that this delicious cake started with a simple chocolate cake mix.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake- Scratch Recipe
This moist, decadent Chocolate Sour Cream Cake is the perfect scratch chocolate layer cake!
For the Cake
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 2 ¾ cups (322g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (82g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 2 teaspoons (10g) Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon (2g) Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon (2g) Salt
- 1 stick + 5 Tablespoons (185g) Unsalted Butter (I sliced the butter into 1 inch pieces onto waxed paper leaving on the countertop for 8 to 10 minutes. It will still be quite cool when adding to the dry ingredients. You should be able to make a fingerprint when you press the butter. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate for a few minutes.)
- 1 cup (242g) Sour Cream
- 1 c. (220g) Milk
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla
- 1 cup (220g) Hot Coffee
For the Seven Minute Frosting
- ⅔ cup (150g) water
- 2 cup (400g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (2g) Cream of Tartar or 2 Tablespoon (30g) white corn syrup
- 4 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch pans. This recipe uses the Reverse Creaming Method of Mixing.
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl of your mixer and mix for one minute to blend (sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt)
- Add butter a few slices at a time and mix until it reaches a crumbly, sandy texture. Be careful not to over-mix beyond "sandy" consistency.
- In another bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Using a fork, mix together. This is all of your wet ingredients except for the coffee, it will be added to the batter later.
- Set a timer for 1 ½ minutes and SLOWLY add half of your egg mixture to your butter/flour mixture while mixing. Start mixer on low speed then increase to medium for the remainder of the 1 ½ minutes. Do Not Mix Above Medium Speed.
- Stop mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of bowl, and add half of the remaining egg mixture. Mix on medium speed for 20 seconds.
- Stop mixer, scrape down the sides if necessary, and add the last of the egg mixture. Mix for 20 more seconds on medium speed.
- Slowly add HOT coffee and mixing for 30 seconds to blend. Batter will be runny but that is okay!
This recipe makes about 9 ½ cups of batter. Pour into 3 prepared 9" pans and bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
For the Frosting
- Make sure the mixing bowl and beaters are clean without a trace of grease. Any grease will keep the egg whites from increasing to full volume.
- Use a separate bowl to separate the eggs. You will be using only the whites and if a yolk happens to break and gets mixed in, the recipe will not work. Place the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and add the vanilla. Set aside until time to beat the whites.
- In a saucepan, add the water, sugar, cream of tartar (or white corn syrup). Cook on medium/high heat. Do not stir, or stir just enough to distribute the sugar. You don't want sugar crystals sticking to the sides of the pan. The mixture will begin to boil and become clear. After it boils for a minute or so, remove from the heat, you will be able to see that the sugar has dissolved.
- Beat the egg whites and vanilla to the soft peak stage. This happens rather quickly. At soft peak stage, the egg whites will not form peaks but will just fall over, cloud like. At this time, with the mixer beating on low speed slowly pour in a small stream of the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Avoid hitting the beaters as you pour because the hot syrup could splash onto you. Increase the mixer to high speed and beat approximately 7 minutes ( it could be longer if using a hand mixer) until stiff peaks form (stiff peaks stand straight up).
- The frosting should be used right away as it sets up rather quickly. The cake can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated. Leftover frosting can be refrigerated or frozen. We found that we did not need to rewhip, but instead just used a fork to lightly stir.
- Makes 10 cups frosting
- (This recipe can be halved. The recipe posted is doubled so that I would have plenty for filling, frosting, and decorative piping).
I have two questions. When using just cocoa powder in a chocolate cake make for a less chocolatey flavor versus a recipe that use both cocoa powder and melted chocolate? Second question is regarding Seven Minute Frosting. Does cooking the egg whites and sugar just til sugar is melted long enough to kill any bacteria from the whites? I'm so used to making IMBC and taking it to 248 degrees. I live in Florida so am always concerned about safety.
Not sure my first comment posted. I was asking if using both cocoa powder and melted chocolate gives you a stronger chocolate flavor when making a chocolate cake versus just using cocoa powder? Second question was in regard to make Seven Minute Frosting. I live in Florida and usually make IMBC which cooks water/sugar to 248 degrees to kill off any bacteria. Does just cooking sugar and water til the sugar is melted hot enough to kill any bacteria in the Seven Minute Frosting?
Hi Pam, Our chocolate cake recipes use only cocoa powder and we think they have a nice chocolate flavor......using melted chocolate as well as cocoa powder certainly may give another level of chocolate flavor. If you are worried about this frosting method, we also have another 7 minute frosting that is cooked for 7 minutes. It was used on our Lemon Sour Cream Cake, link to recipe below
Can I use buttermilk instead of the regular milk?
Hi Kim, Yes, that should be fine.
I wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly: your chocolate sour cream cake – scratch recipe is enough for three 9 inch pans. Did you fill them 2/3 full? Does it rise up to the top of the pans?
I believe I’m going to do 10 each pans and I will need four of them which looks to be about 24 cups of batter.
Hi Sandy, We almost always choose 3 cake pans for our cakes because we like to have more filling per slice. This recipe will make approximately 9 1/2 cups batter. I measure the batter per pan using my 1 cup measuring cup for dry ingredients. It helps to have the same amount in each pan. Using a scale would also be great. According to Cake Batter Amount chart, it is suggested that you can put 5 1/2 cups of batter in one 9x2 round pan. As a reference point, I recently made this recipe and put the batter into three 8x2 inch round pans. I put 3 cups of batter in each pan (and this is the suggested amount) when they were baked they were 1 1/2 inches high. We have recipes that make only 7 to 7 1/2 cups batter and we still bake in three 8 inch pans. Once they are filled and frosted they are nearly 5 inches tall and look fine. You can bake at 325 degrees F for the smaller amount of batter in pans, baking time will be a little longer. Below is a link to a Batter Amounts Chart.
My 8 inch cakes and the 6 inch baked up very nice. Both of my 10 inch started shrinking. I have had boxed cakes fall in the middle if I took them out of the oven too soon. When I took the toothpick out it looked clean. This one is still cooling so I haven’t leveled it yet but the first one has a good texture and is nice and moist.
I hope the 10 inch did not shrink too much, extra frosting takes care of a lot of problems.
I made cupcakes and they looked great as I pulled them from the oven but after They cooled they sank in the middle. What causes this? They were delicious though.
I am sorry that happened, but glad you were able to frost and enjoy the cupcakes. There could be several reasons this might happen. The oven set to the correct temperature, we bake cupcakes at 350 degrees 18 to 20 minutes. There are inexpensive oven thermometers to check if your oven is baking at the correct temperature. Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are not near or past their expiration date. Opening the oven door too often, or taking the cupcakes out of the oven too soon. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. I hope all will go smoothly next time.
Hi! I can’t wait to try this. I love your site, and really enjoy the recipes I’ve made. I’ve noticed you frequently use cake flour, which I prefer as well; however, you don’t do so in this recipe. Could I use cake flour (1 C + 2 T. for every C of AP) or would that not work in this recipe for some reason?