Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

The following recipe makes enough batter for (2) 8″ cake rounds, (1) 11″ cake round or approximately 24-30 standard size cupcakes.


12 ounces butter, soft
12 ounces sugar
4 1/4 ounces brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla
14 ounces cake flour
3 ounces cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the cocoa powder over a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat two more times. Sift together the sifted cocoa powder, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Put butter in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Add about half of the sugar, mix together on low speed for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the sugar, mix together until creamed. Add the brown sugar and mix. Add about one-third of the eggs, mix. Add the vanilla. Alternate between adding some of the eggs, dry ingredients and sour cream (making sure to end with the dry ingredients) until everything is combined and well mixed.

Let the batter rest anywhere from 15 minutes up to two hours (if the batter seems cold) before putting it in the pans.

Grease and flour the cake pans. If making cupcakes, cupcake liners are fine to use.

Bake the 8″ rounds for approximately 30 minutes or the 11″ round for approximately 40 minutes. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-22 minutes. In all cases, a toothpick should come out clean.

Let the cakes rest for about 20 minutes before unmolding. It is best to eat the cake the day it is made. Cupcakes will last in the refrigerator for several days.

Recipe Notes:
– I used this recipe to make cupcakes. The first dozen cupcakes were made right away. The second dozen was made after the batter had rested for about twenty minutes while the first batch baked. The second batch came out more rounded, while the first batch came out more flat. I think this was because the batter had rested and the baking powder and baking soda had a chance to activate. I recommend letting the batter rest at least 20 minutes if making cupcakes. (I didn’t realize that the instructions above regarding letting the batter rest applied to cupcakes. Dumb.)

– Any batter recipe with a high sugar content will result in a cake with a fine texture and that is moist. The cupcakes I made were very moist, almost to the point of being a bit dense, but were delicious and didn’t taste overly sweet.

– If making an 11″ round, Chef suggested lowering the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

– When using cocoa powder in a recipe, always sift it a few times before using.

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