Chocolate Sour Cream Cake With Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate cake
Ray Kachatorian/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
628 Calories
29g Fat
87g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 628
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 438mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 87g 31%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 7g
Calcium 128mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate sour cream cake is light and airy thanks to the beaten egg whites that are folded into the batter. It's also rich and luscious, from a double dose of dairy—sour cream and butter—and cocoa powder.

The cake is baked in three layers and is a divine treat when slathered in creamy chocolate butter frosting.


  • For the cake:
  • 4 large eggs (divided)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the frosting: 
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 pound sifted confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/4 cups sifted, 3 3/4 cups unsifted)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 squares unsweetened chocolate (melted)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half (plus more if needed for texture)

Steps to Make It

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Line three 8-inch layer cake pans with parchment paper or wax paper.

  2. Prepare the eggs as follows, separating three of them and keeping one whole:

    • Put one yolk in a bowl.
    • Put two of the yolks in a separate bowl with the remaining whole egg.
    • Put the three egg whites in another bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk the cocoa, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the single egg yolk, and the milk until well blended. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar, beating until well blended. Add the two remaining egg yolks and the whole egg; mix well.

  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir or whisk to blend thoroughly. Stir the dry ingredients into the batter, alternating with the sour cream. Add the vanilla and cocoa mixture and blend thoroughly

  6. Beat the egg whites until stiff; fold into the cake batter.

  7. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared baking pans.

  8. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

  9. Turn out onto racks and peel off the parchment paper. Cool.

  10. Fill the layers and frost with chocolate butter frosting or chocolate sour cream frosting. Or use your favorite frosting.

Chocolate Butter Frosting

  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter. Gradually add sifted confectioners' sugar. Add the salt, vanilla extract, melted chocolate, and cream.

  2. Beat until smooth and of a spreading consistency, adding more cream if necessary.