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Sour-Cream Chocolate Cake

5 from 6 reviews

This Sour Cream Chocolate Cake is the only chocolate cake recipe you will ever need for birthdays and celebrations.

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake

For the sour cream chocolate frosting

Instructions

For the chocolate cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (without fan).
  2. Line and grease 2 x 20cm (8 inch) round cake pans.
  3. In a small bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the flat paddle attachment.
  5. Beat on low speed until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble crumbly, wet sand.
  6. Slowly add the egg mixture and beat until the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Place the cake pans on a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, before turning them onto the wire rack to cool completely.
  10. I often make the cakes the night before serving and leave them to cool overnight.

For the sour cream chocolate frosting

  1. To make the frosting, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie or a bowl over a pan of simmering water, taking care not to let the bowl come into contact with the water.
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, take the bowl off the heat.
  3. Stir in the sour cream, vanilla extract and golden syrup.
  4. Measure the icing sugar (powdered sugar) into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  5. Using the flat paddle attachment, slowly beat the chocolate mixture into the icing sugar (powdered sugar).
  6. The frosting should be thick enough to cover the cake, but soft enough to spread easily.

To assemble the cake

  1. Cut four thick strips of baking paper and place them on a large plate or cake stand in the shape of a square. The baking paper is to help keep the serving plate clean while you are frosting the cake.
  2. Place one cake on top of the baking paper.
  3. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the cake in a thick layer.
  4. Place the second cake on top and spread another 1/3 of frosting over the cake.
  5. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake.
  6. Once you have finished frosting the cake, carefully remove the pieces of baking paper.
  7. Leave the cake to set for at least 1 hour before serving.

Kitchen Notes

As this is one of my go-to recipes for birthday cakes, I thought it would be helpful to also provide baking times when using different sized cake pans.

12 cm (5 inch) round cake pan
Fill the pan with batter to about 2 cm from the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

16 cm (6 inch) round cake pan
Fill the pan with batter to about 2 cm from the top. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

23 cm (9 inch) round cake pan
The above recipe can be used to fill one cake pan of this size. To make a double-layer cake, double the above recipe and use two pans of this size. Fill the pan with batter to about 2 cm from the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

26 cm (10 inch) round cake pan
The above recipe can be used to fill one cake pan of this size. To make a double-layer cake, double the above recipe and use two pans of this size. Fill the pan with batter. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
* Line a 12 hole muffin pan with muffin cases/muffin wrappers.
* Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cases.
* Use a small off-set spatula to gently spread and flatten the batter in the muffin cases.
* Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes at 180°C (350°F) (without fan), or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
* Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
* To frost the chocolate cupcakes, prepare half the quantity of chocolate frosting.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
The nutritional information is higher than it should be because not all of the frosting is required to ice this cake.

STORAGE
The cake keeps well for several days on a covered cake stand.

USING A FOOD PROCESSOR
If you don’t have an electric stand mixer or electric beaters, or if you want to make this cake using a quicker method, simply place all of the ingredients for the cake into the bowl of a large food processor and blitz until you have a thick and smooth cake batter. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
The cakes can be baked the night before serving, but the frosting should be made at the last minute.

RECIPE CREDIT
This recipe is adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition