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

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Recipe

4.92 from 25 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 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

  • 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 1/2 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 the Author

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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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 ?

      1. You sure can! Just make sure before you layer the cakes that they are completely cooled first and then you’ll be good to go! I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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 ?

  5. 5 stars
    This cake is aaaamazing!!!!! I make mine dairy & egg free by using a dairy free butter, applesauce instead of eggs, a dairy free sour cream and coconut or almond milk for the frosting. I have mAde it 3 times now And it is a family favorite!

  6. 5 stars
    E xcellent step by step instructions. The cake was moist and tender with just the right amount of richness. I did add a touch of vanilla to the frosting but thats just personal preference.

  7. Can this be made as a Bundt cake and if so, what adjustment would I make in cooking time?
    Can’t wait to try it!

    1. I haven’t made it in a bundt pan, so I’m not sure what baking time adjustments would need to be made. Since, it is thicker, it might need a little more time.

  8. Do you happen to have a recipe like this one except for a 11×7 pan or a 8×8 or 9×9 pan?
    Sounds delicious. Thank you.

  9. Question: Can I use the Sour Cream Chocolate cake in a heart-shaped pan? It is 9″ on the widest part and 2″ deep. I may not bother with frosting and just serve with ice cream, but more important want to know about the pan. (Wilton)
    Thank you,

    1. That sounds perfect! I personally haven’t tried, so I wouldn’t know for sure. Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  10. Re: Just made a comment a few minutes ago.
    I just found my recipe for the Excelle Heart-shaped pan for Pound Cake Heart, (for the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake) so I’ll use the equivalent of eggs butter, sour cream, flour. Ingredients might work unless you have another suggestion?


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