I don’t know Sandy, but according to Taste of Home she took this cake on a 4 1/2 hour drive to a cake contest where it won first prize. Having made it, I can see why. Sandy’s Chocolate Cake is a winner!
This is a very fine chocolate cake with extra flavor from the brown sugar and moisture from the sour cream. It’s also a sturdy cake, which served Sandy well and maybe you too if you need to take it somewhere. As for mine, I refrigerated it the first night, then the second night I just left it under a cake dome, where it seemed to improve with age. Along with being sturdy, it’s a good make-ahead.
Here’s the recipe as I made it. I didn’t stray too far from the cake recipe, but I did change the frosting completely because while I love cream cheese frosting (I actually used some leftover cream cheese frosting in the center), I like sour cream chocolate frosting better. Also, the recipe is for three layers, but if you need to scale it back you can make 3/4 of the recipe and just make two 9-inch layers. It worked perfectly for me, but next time I’ll go with the full three layer version as written below.
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour (340 grams)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened natural style cocoa powder (60 grams)
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt (reduce to half if using salted butter)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar (600 grams)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups sour cream
- 1 1/3 cups very hot coffee (or boiling water)
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sour cream plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons whole milk plus more as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9 inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Grease the parchment, then dust with flour. Note: The parchment is necessary here! The cake likes to stick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a very large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. You can do this with a handheld mixer or a stand mixer and paddle. If you have a stand mixer, I recommend it! Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in hot coffee until blended. Beat with the mixer for about 30 seconds to remove lumps.
- Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in a very large mixer bowl. Add ¼ cup of the sour cream, another cup of sugar and cocoa powder and stir until everything comes together. Beat with the mixer. Add vanilla, then add remaining sugar, and milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk and sour cream until you get the flavor and texture you want. Scrape bowl often.