Moist Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

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

4.92 from 59 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 Lil' Luna


Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cups 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

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • Add the butter, cocoa powder and water to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat.
  • Melt everything together while gently whisking until the cocoa powder is dissolved and the butter is melted. Remove from the heat.
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  • Mix in the sugar, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • With the mixer on low beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Then mix in the sour cream.
  • 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

  • Melt together the butter and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a mixing bowl to cool slightly.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of the milk/cream until the desired consistency and sweetness is reached.
  • Frost the cooled cake, and optionally decorate with sprinkles. 

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About Fiona

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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This cake turned out super moist! I used crisco shortening (butter flavor) instead of butter. Also boiled my water and poured it in the mixing bowl instead of boiling it all together. This cake is so yummy.

  2. Is that actually a thing to bake a cake without baking powder ? Mine didn’t turn out well. It was very compact not fluffy.

    1. You can bake a cake without baking powder if there is baking soda in the recipe. Sorry to hear yours didn’t turn out how you were hoping. Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. The cake is super moist and chocolate. I added a tablespoon of dark roast instant coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour. Yum yum.

  4. 3 stars
    I ate a sour cream chocolate years ago that I remembered as being exceptionally moist and flavorful, and I’ve been looking ever since for a recipe that would replicate that product. While this cake was tasty, I found that it was not particularly moist and in fact crumbled a lot instead of cutting cleanly. I was careful to let the chocolate mixture cool before adding other ingredients and cooked the cake for less than the 35 minutes indicated, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Seems to me that it might need more sour cream or more of some other fat.

  5. I made this recipe today and followed directions to a T but unfortunately it turned out way too dense. I won’t be making this again.

  6. 5 stars
    this is the best cake i have ever made! it is really tasty and sooo good! I love and it’s so easy to make!

  7. I plan on making this the night before. Do you reccomend that I store it at wrapped at room temperature or in the fridge?

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for my daughters 2nd birthday tonight. I was really hoping for that classic box cake mix with sour cream nostalgia and this hit the spot. It turned out fluffy and nice. Whipped up some chocolate frosting and it was a crowd pleaser. Thank you!

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