Chocolate Cake

  • Yield : two 9-inch layer cakes
  • Prep Time : 45m
  • Cook Time : 30m
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  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Flour the pans and tap out the excess. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Step 2

Put the cocoa powder and chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour in the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the sour cream. Let cool to room temperature.

Step 3

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low; beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter between the pans.

Step 4

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 15 minutes in the pans. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out the cakes onto the rack and remove parchment; let cool completely.

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