Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Be sure to let the cake cool completely before spreading the top with frosting.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: one 9x13 cake (10 to 12 servings)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour (250g)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (360 g)
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (70 g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong piping hot coffee
  • 1 batch chocolate or cream cheese frosting


1 Preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter and flour a 9x13 cake pan.  Set aside.

2 Sift the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the kosher salt.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudge Frosting - sifting the flour

3 Whisk the wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, canola oil and vanilla extract until it looks homogenous and creamy.

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream - mixing the wet ingredients

4 Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir together with a stiff spatula. The batter will be thick like frosting.

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Added - making the batter Chocolate and Sour Cream Cake - batter almost mixed

5 Add the coffee: Pour in the piping hot coffee. The batter will look like mud pies in a muddy lake. Keep stirring until all the liquid is incorporated and it is a homogenized cake batter.

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream and Coffee - add the coffee to the batter Chocolate Cake with Coffee - begin mixing the coffee in Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Fudge Frosting - batter mixed!

6 Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream - Pouring the batter in the pan Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream Added - testing the cake for doneness

7 Cool the cake: Take the cake out of the oven and set it on a baking rack to cool. After about 30 minutes spread the frosting on top.

Cut and serve the cake straight from the pan like it’s 1983 and you’re rockin’ your favorite knee-high tube socks with the yellow stripe. Aw, yeah!

Chocolate Cake with Sour Cream - baked cake cooling Chocolate and Sour Cream Cake - topping with frosting Chocolate Cake with Coffee - spreading the frosting on top

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  • Patricia

    When I read this recipe I loved the ingredient list and the simplicity of putting it together without any electrical machinery. I liked being able to zero out the scale and add the next ingredient. So simple. Taste and texture of the cake is delicious and the recommended frosting brings the cake to sublime chocolate delight experience. A simple snacking cake type recipe with superior chocolate cake results. I will make this cake a million more times I’m sure!!


  • [email protected]

    I have made this cake so many times. I cut back the cocoa a bit so it’s not to dark. So so moist!! Everyone who tastes it loves it!!


    • Summer

      Hi, Joanna! I’m glad you love the cake! Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  • Tricia

    Delicious and hits the spot for any and all chocolate cake cravings! Love that sour cream is included in both the cake and frosting. I will definitely be making this again! I’m still thinking about this cake a week after baking and eating it with family…. I did cut the sugar in the cake by 30% and didn’t miss out on the sweetness, especially when combined with the chocolate frosting recipe. Thanks!


    • Summer

      Hi, Tricia! I’m glad you enjoyed the cake. Thanks for letting us know you cut some of the sugar and it still tastes great!

  • Vaishnavi

    Is there a substitute to eggs in this recipe?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Vaishnavi! Thanks for your question! I’ve never made this cake without eggs. I know people who follow vegan diets have many ways of replacing eggs in cakes. You might want to try making a flax “egg” and use it to replace the egg in this cake. We have step by step instructions on how to make a flax “egg” right here!

  • Alex G

    I made the cake today with my kids and it’s just too good to be true! And so easy to make! We didn’t feel like making frosting so we just melted some semi-sweet chocolate, drizzled it over the cake and sprinkled with crashed roasted pistachios. It has the rich chocolate taste but it’s light, fluffy, moist and not too sweet! Thank you!


  • Katie

    Best Chocolate Cake I have ever made! I then made a buttercream frosting as I felt a chocolate one would have been too rich. Thank you!


  • Joanne

    Baked this cake today. A definite keeper. Serious yumminess!
    Love that the recipe measures are by weight. It is truly the only way to bake. Thank you!


  • Eileen

    Hands down, best chocolate cake I have ever made. Complete with the cream cheese frosting there something so light, moist, perfect. My children have devoured half of it in less than 24 hours and it is going to become a standard in this house!!


    • Summer Miller

      Ahhh, this makes me so happy to hear! Thanks, Eileen, for letting me know your family loves this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake!

  • Naomi B

    Simple perfection! Easy to prep. The biggest pain in the butt was the sifting, but the yumminess of the cake made it worth it!


    • Summer

      Hi, Naomi! Thanks for leaving a comment! I’m glad you found the cake so delicious!

  • Holly

    Hi, do you sift the dry ingredients after the ingredients are weighed or before the ingredients are weighted?