Chocolate Sour Cream Cake (Doctored Cake Mix)

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Oh how I love this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake (doctored cake mix) recipe! It is super easy, amazingly moist, and delicious! Nobody would guess that it started with a cake mix! 

Everyone LOVES this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake! A simple, delicious doctored cake mix recipe! My Cake School.


This decadent Chocolate Sour Cream Cake has a slightly dense and velvety texture which I absolutely love. This is probably why it tastes and looks so much like a scratch chocolate cake recipe. (By the way, you can find two of our favorite scratch chocolate cakes linked below!)

If you've been searching for the perfect doctored cake mix recipe for Chocolate Cake, you just cannot top this one! I've made it countless times and it always gets rave reviews!

DELICIOUS Chocolate Sour Cream Cake (Doctored Cake Mix) Recipe by! So decadent! This one's a keeper!


This decadent Chocolate Sour Cream Cake not only tastes amazing, but it is versatile also. It has a nice density for holding up to fondant, and can even be used for designs that call for light carving.

Chocolate cupcakes can be made from this recipe also, but if you are looking for a fluffier cupcake with more of a dome, I highly recommend our other tried and true Doctored Chocolate Cake recipe.

Enjoy this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake recipe, I think you'll come back to it again and again!



Chocolate Sour Cream Cake- Doctored Mix

DELICIOUS Chocolate Sour Cream Cake (Doctored Cake Mix) Recipe by! So decadent! This one's a keeper!

Nobody would believe that this decadent chocolate cake all starts with a simple mix!


  • ** For a deeper chocolate taste you can add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and replace the water with 1 cup hot strong brewed or instant coffee.
  • 1 Devil's Food Cake Mix ( I sift the cake mix, but it is optional)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup water (We usually replace the water with 1 cup of hot brewed or instant coffee, it enhances the chocolate flavor.)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup (108g) vegetable oil


  1. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir or whisk to blend. In your mixing bowl, combine sour cream, oil, water, eggs, & flavorings. Add about ½ of the dry ingredients and blend together, then add the rest of the dry ingredients & mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into three 8 x 2 inch round pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until the middle of cake springs back when touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
  3. *This also works well for cupcakes! Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and cool on a baking rack.


Looking for a Scratch Version of Chocolate Sour Cream Cake? 

Guess what? We have a fantastic homemade version of this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake too! It is soft, moist, and works great for both cakes and cupcakes! You can find it here!: Chocolate Sour Cream Cake from scratch. (The frosting used in the photo below is our Seven Minute Frosting- so light and fluffy!)



We have another scratch chocolate cake recipe to share. This classic chocolate cake has been a favorite over the years!

 Classic Chocolate Cake from Scratch.

The most delicious Classic Chocolate Cake recipe from scratch! My Cake School.

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure to check out our Recipes Section for a full listing of our FAVORITE tried and true cake and frosting recipes!!

If you love this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, don't miss it's sister recipe, the fabulous White Almond Sour Cream Cake (doctored cake mix recipe)! So many cakes to try, so little time! I think that you will love them both!


Everyone LOVES this Chocolate Sour Cream Cake! A simple, delicious doctored cake mix recipe! My Cake School.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't miss our full collection of FAVORITE  Cake and Frosting Recipes in our Recipes section!

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  1. I’m trying to make a red wine chocolate cake and would like to doctor this recipe to do so. Would you recommend substituting all water with wine? Or part wine and hot coffee? Thank you!

  2. I am making a massive realistic mountain/ erupting volcano sculpture cake .. with 2 of each size tears .. 12” 8” 6” Would this recipe work or should I use the durable version?

  3. Hi Gabrielle, Yes, you can use the Chocolate Sour Cream doctored cake mix recipe. I don't think you will need the durable version for the type of carving you are doing. As you may already know, it is best to carve your mountain when the layers are partially frozen or very well chilled to firm things up. Melissa made a Christmas tree cake (link below) using the WASC doctored recipe. You might like to see how she used pressed Rice Krispie Treats for the very top. Also, how she had to re-trim a cardboard cake circle while carving. Hope all goes well, we would love to see your erupting volcano.

  4. Hi Lara, I haven't made this recipe in a bundt pan but I would bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
    Check at 30 minutes with a long skewer or toothpick. It is done when the toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. If you are baking in a bundt pan with a dark interior finish it will bake faster, so keep an eye on it.

  5. Hi there, would this be sense enough to work as a wedding cake? I’m hoping to do 3 layered 8” cakes and 3 layered 6” cakes on the top. I would double the recipe

  6. Can I use this recipe for a double chocolate chip recipe if I had mini chocolate chip to it and use chocolate frosting? I want to make double chocolate chip cupcakes.

  7. Hi this cake looks amazing & I would like to make it. I see where someone asks “no oil in the cake?” and you respond there is no oil in this recipe, but you could add 2 tbsp.
    I see that the recipe calls for 1/2 cup oil. Can you please clarify? Also, do you always use the same brand of Devils Food mix, or whatever you pick up? I really want to use what is shown in your photo. Love the rich color.

    1. Hi Gia, We updated the recipe to include oil- cake mix formulas have changed over the years- not just the amount but the flavor, texture, etc-- so we adjust ingredient amounts now and then when we run across a recipe that we feel needs to be updated ;0) - We use Duncan Hines most often these days but whatever your favorite brand of cake mix is should work just fine!

  8. I love this doctored cake mix recipe! It’s delicious, moist, easy to make, and very versatile! In case anyone is wondering, you can use this to successfully make cake pops, too, and it yields 48 cake pops if you’re using a 1 1/2 T. (Pioneer Woman set,) measuring spoon to measure, then roll them. They turn out a good 1 3/4-2 inch cake pop once covered in chocolate. And they’re the best I’ve ever tasted! Oh, for those I had only Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge mix to use, as I prefer its dark chocolate flavor, personally. (Just for full disclosure. lol) Any way, if you’re not sure you want to try this recipe - just do it! She’s provided an excellent one!!!

  9. was this recipe updated? I feel like the 1st time I made this it did not contain oil? I looked at my saved recipe and it doesnt have oil listed

    1. Hi Jazz! You are right, we used to not call for vegetable oil for this recipe. We updated it after making the recipe and noticing that it didn't taste the same as it used to. Still good- just not the same. Sometimes cake mixes make changes to their formulas and we adjust as needed ;0) -