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Chocolate Sour Cream Buttermilk Bundt Cake

by on June 19, 2006 · 16 comments

This is one of my favorite chocolate bundt cakes. It’s not as dense as your typical pound cake, but rather soft and tender and almost reminds me of a cake-mix based cake. I mean that as a compliment. It has the tenderness and moisture of a cake mix cake but tastes like a scratch cake (no box taste).

The sheen you see in the picture is my failure of a glaze. The glaze tasted good, but was too thin and I didn’t find it quite chocolaty enough. What you see on the cake is about a quarter of the yield. Most of it dripped onto the foil.



Chocolate Sour Cream Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A moist chocolate buttermilk cake that's simple and delicious.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • Flour-Added Cooking Spray
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not Dutch processed)
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk**
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (8 3/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 13 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed (14 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with flour-added cooking spray.
  2. Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream and buttermilk.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. In a standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each egg.
  5. By hand, stir 1/3 of the flour into batter. Add half of the chocolate/sour cream mixture and stir until incorporated. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 42-45 minutes.
  6. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack.
For a richer cake, replace the 1/2 cup buttermilk with another 1/2 cup sour cream so that you use 1 full cup sour cream. If you use the full cup of sour cream, use only 12 tablespoons of butter.

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Published on June 19, 2006

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy June 19, 2006 at 10:03 am

Does it taste as great as it looks????

Brenda June 19, 2006 at 10:05 am

What no back story to go with the cake?? Why, what, when, where? ;-)Looks yummy!!

Lindsay June 19, 2006 at 12:57 pm

please anna…don’t leave us hanging! what did you think?also, where do you find instant espresso powder?

Anna June 19, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Claire, glad the cracker candy worked out. Next time I make it, I’m going to make the “Peabody” version. That is, with the Keebler Butter Crackers, white chocolate and, the film was just so darn ernest that I can’t slam it. It was an indepedent film about a little girl — that’s all I say. Hopefully, she and the rest of the cast have had acting lessons by now.

tg June 19, 2006 at 5:03 pm

see, this is the problem w/ your addictive prose. you’re no longer allowed to just unveil an awesome recipe, now you vill provide the backstory too. (on the bright side, since “backstory” is an integral part of film-making, i’d say you’ve earned the right to insult as many lousy films as as you wish.)

Claire June 19, 2006 at 5:20 pm

I made the cracker candy last night and it turned out great! I used margarine and it worked. This cake, from the picture, reminds me texture-wise of a chocolate chip pound cake my mom makes! It’s the only chocolate cake I like.

Annie June 19, 2006 at 7:16 pm

This is the cake that got my baking started. It is so good, and really easy. I bake all the time now and this is my standby chocolate cake, I even started changing the recipe a bit, a huge step for me. I have added orange extract and almond extract for something different.

sandra June 19, 2006 at 7:21 pm

Anything that has sour cream, buttermilk AND chocolate in it just HAS to be good!!(would the instant expresso powder be found in the baking aisle or the coffee aisle?)

Anna June 19, 2006 at 8:54 pm

Annie, bundt cakes are addictive, aren’t they? I can see how this cake would have gotten you interested. Sandra, I think I get mine in the coffee aisle. I believe it’s in the instant coffee section. I buy it and it lasts for years!

Anna June 26, 2006 at 5:00 pm

Karen,When you make it, will you post a picture? I want to see yours.

Karen June 26, 2006 at 4:41 pm

Anna, I was just thinking about this cake – I’d made it when the issue came out, and wanted to make it again last week, but could not remember which issue it was in. Now I can go dig it out of my basement “files” (actually, piles). I like the texture and moistness of this cake, and it wasn’t too sweet, if I remember correctly.

Christy October 20, 2006 at 7:52 pm

I made this cake a couple of days ago with ingredients I had on hand (1 cup sour cream, no buttermilk, and no espresso powder). It was the BEST chocolate cake. So rich and good I didn’t even add a glaze. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ll be making this one again.

Anu May 1, 2012 at 3:52 am

I made an eggless version using tofu instead of eggs. It was delicious- the texture was in between a cake and a brownie. Loved it!

Anna May 1, 2012 at 7:40 am

Thanks for the tip, Anu! I will have to try that.

Helen October 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

I just made this last night — it’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake with great chocolate flavor! This is great — thank you, Anna!

Anna October 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

Thanks for the review, Helen! I should have bumped this one up for Halloween. I guess I’ll go ahead and put it in a printable format.

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