Moist Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

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This sour cream chocolate cake is moist, fudgy, completely delicious and so easy to make. It’s the perfect old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe that everyone will love and enjoy at every party! Serve it alone or with ice cream and you’re sure to get rave reviews.

Who here loves cake?! We are big fans, and if you love it too, you’ll want to check out some of our favorites, including: Chocolate Sheet Cake, Vanilla Cake, and our Neiman Marcus Cake.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake slice on plate

YEs, sour cream!

If you’re looking for an easy chocolate cake that’s super moist and fudgy – then this sour cream chocolate cake is for you. It isn’t much harder than using a box mix, and it turns out perfect every time. Plus, can you really go wrong with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting?

For the longest time, I was a little unsure about adding sour cream to a chocolate cake. I was worried that it would make the cake taste funny. But you actually don’t taste the sour cream at all. Instead the sour cream makes it super moist and fudgy with the softest cake crumb.

Now, all sour cream doubt has disappeared, and I’m in love with this recipe!

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake cut up in pan

How to Make Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

This recipe uses simple, everyday ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, including: butter, cocoa, water, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, salt and sour cream. Here are the easy instructions:

First we add the butter, cocoa and water to a sauce pan to melt everything together and dissolve the cocoa powder. Then remove it from the heat and cool slightly.

Mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract – followed by the flour, baking soda and salt. Last but not least, mix in the sour cream. Bake for 35 minutes.

Let cake cool and make frosting and top with sprinkles.

Frosting + Storing

Feel free to frost the cake with whatever frosting you prefer. I’ve included one of my absolute favorite chocolate frosting recipes. It’s a simple recipe and there’s enough for a thin layer of creamy, chocolate frosting goodness. You could also top each slice with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce if you prefer, or even just a light sprinkle of powdered sugar instead.

You’ll love this sour cream chocolate cake because of its moist texture and delicious chocolate flavor. It’s not too sweet or too rich, but still filled with chocolate. So if you’re looking for an easy chocolate cake recipe – this one is definitely for you!

Leftover cake can be STORED in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. To store leftovers in the freezer you’ll want to flash freeze the cake by placing the pieces on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once solid wrap each piece with plastic wrap and again with foil freeze for up to 3 months.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake recipe on plate with fork

For more great chocolate cake recipes, check out:

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Recipe

4.9 from 19 votes

This sour cream chocolate cake is moist, fudgy, completely delicious and so easy to make. It's the perfect old-fashioned chocolate cake recipe that everyone will love and enjoy at every party! Serve it alone or with ice cream and you're sure to get rave reviews.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 15 slices
Calories 449 kcal
Author Fiona Dowling


Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Chocolate Frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp milk


Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.

  2. Add the butter, cocoa powder and water to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat.

  3. Melt everything together while gently whisking until the cocoa powder is dissolved and the butter is melted. Remove from the heat.

  4. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

  5. Mix in the sugar, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract.

  6. With the mixer on low beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Then mix in the sour cream.

  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (I usually start checking around 30 minutes just in case).

Chocolate Frosting

  1. Melt together the butter and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. 

  2. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a mixing bowl to cool slightly.

  3. Beat in the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of the milk/cream until the desired consistency and sweetness is reached.

  4. Frost the cooled cake, and optionally decorate with sprinkles. 


Fiona Dowling

My name’s Fiona and I love to bake and blog. I share homemade, from scratch, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats including cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

More by Fiona

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Recipe Rating


    1. 5 stars
      This cake cake came so good! I made it exactly the way it’s called except for one thing, when you’re adding the 3/4 cups of water at the beginning, half of that was water and the other half I made strong COFFEE. It came moist, chocolatey and delicious. This now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Thank you!

    2. 5 stars
      Simply THE best chocolate cake with the most SIMPLE ingredients. I ONLY USE 1 CUP OF SUGAR, IT SWEET ENOUGH.

      Thank you very much for the recipe!!πŸ₯°

  1. This sounds so good but would it work in a round cake pan? What if you want to do the 2 layers like a regular round cake?

  2. I just made this cake this morning. I halfed the recipe and used a round cake pan (perfect size for just myself and my partner.) It’s really simple and quick to make, very moist, and just what you want when craving chocolate cake. Mine only needed to bake around 25 minutes. i also noticed you don’t need a stand mixer for the batter; it’s easy to stir together in a bowl.

  3. 5 stars
    Came across your blong when i was searching for a simple ChOc caje with sourcream. I baked this today and i love this. Its soft and moist and fudgy. I added 1 tbsp espresso as i like a tinge of coffee in choc caKes.
    However i did’nt use your frosting. Instead i Frost it with cOffee choc chips ganache abd its perfect.
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. Will defintely make this again. ??

  4. Ice cream on chocolate Cake? Whoever heard of such a thing? Treason! Here’s the secret sauce: Put freshly whipped,Whipped Cream on top. Nectar of the Gods!

  5. 5 stars
    I used 3/4 of brewed coffee instead of water! It was amaaaaazing! You don’t taste the coffee, but it eNHances the chocolate so nicely. It was amaZing. Try it!

    1. 5 stars
      I used a different frosting recipe, but this chocolate cake is probably the best I have ever had, and I have made lots! Very rich and chocolatey but as she says in the recipe, not too sweet. So if you want to add sweetness ice it with something really sweet, if not just sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar or serve it plain or with a little whipped cream.
      Oh and it’s also really easy to make. Thank you for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Swapped out Sour Cream For Greek Yoghurt And Cut Back On The Sugar, And It Was Insanely Good (light, moist, all the good things a cake should be) And So Easy To Make!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this for a layered birthday cake w/ raspberry filling and a chocolate ganache. was easy, moist, & delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing. I like the idea of using sour cream because it is so popular in my russian culture. The cake was very delicious and on the next day – even more. Your RECIPE will stay in my collection.

  9. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious! Substituted the eggs for applesauce and used non-dairy sour cream (me and my baby are egg and dairy free) and it was amazing. So moist and chocolAtey! I wanted to eat the whole pan! I will be making thia cake for my lItte guy on his first birthday next month πŸŽ‚

  10. 4 stars
    Made this cake for my husband’s birthday. He’s the ultimate chocolate cake critic, and we both love it! Super moist and light.
    The frosting was okay but the recipe barely made enough to put a thin layer on the cake. REALLY needs to be doubled to make enough.

  11. 5 stars
    This cake was outstanding! I made it last night and it was wonderFul. My husband doesn’t really care for cake, but wanted seconds of this!

  12. 4 stars
    Cake tecipe is awesome but is rhere a typo in the frosting revipe ? Are thEre really 12 T butter? Mine completely cOngealed and separated. Texture was sll weong. What went wrong ?