Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

September 21, 2014
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one 9- x 9-inch cake
Author Notes

This recipe is slightly adapted from WinneAb’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting. I use a mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, and I swap out some of the white sugar for brown sugar and maple syrup. A couple tips: First, make sure your sour cream is at room temperature when you mix it with the melted chocolate (otherwise, the chocolate will seize into clumps). Second, if you want to wrap and transport your cake, use toothpicks to construct a sturdy aluminum foil tent. You don't want to end up with a bare cake and heavily frosted foil. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9- x 9-inch baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and butter the paper, too.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
  4. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (sour cream through vanilla extract).
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, and fold with a rubber spatula until everything is just incorporated.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until the center is set and a tester comes out clean.
  1. For the frosting:
  2. Once the cake has cooled completely, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave.
  3. Mix the melted chocolate chips and the room temperature sour cream using either a whisk, a stand mixer, or hand beaters.
  4. Let the frosting cool slightly so that it thickens a bit. If it becomes too thick and clumpy for your liking, gently melt it in a double boiler or the microwave and whisk until smooth.
  5. Use a rubber or offset spatula to frost the cake. I like to frost the top and the sides for the ultimate chocolate experience, but you can also just frost the top (which will make it much less messy to slice and eat).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • booglix
  • CHeeb
  • Linda Michaluk
    Linda Michaluk
  • Sheila Speller
    Sheila Speller
  • Crystal Hall
    Crystal Hall

40 Reviews

booglix April 22, 2019
Nice and chocolatey, which is nice, and not overly sweet. But mine came out a bit dry. I expect this is to some degree a matter of cooking time; I cooked mine for about 45 minutes in an 8x8 pan, until a toothpick came out clean, and it looked great but was on the dense and dry side (I would have expected the same amount of batter in an 8x8 pan to take longer than in a 9x9 pan, since the cake is thicker, but even 45 minutes was a hair too long). Also, even though I love maple syrup, I don't think it adds anything here, and it muddies the flavor somewhat. I find coffee a better complement to chocolate and vanilla than maple syrup. So, yummy and beautiful, but not a recipe that will make it into my ongoing repertoire.

Note: I halved the amount of sour cream frosting and it was enough to cover the top and sides with a thin layer, which was enough for me.
CHeeb February 22, 2019
I did refrigerate mine as I like cold cake!
Amy February 22, 2019
Would this need to be refrigerated overnight?
Ophelia February 14, 2019
Best. Chocolate. Cake. EVER. No need to look for another recipe!
Nerali October 21, 2018
Can I sub lindt 70% dark chocolate for the chocolate chips?
Linda M. November 23, 2017
Can you substitute creme fraiche for the sour cream?
Sarah J. November 23, 2017
Kate March 26, 2017
This is the most decadent and delicious chocolate cake I have made in ages. I loved how moist and fudgy it was (I baked 2 8" layers for about 32min), the little bites of the chocolate chips in the batter were awesome. And the icing turned into a beautiful gananche that hardened beautifully on the cake overnight and made it look as beautiful as it tasted. I think you have to spread the frosting quite quickly before it cools in order to keep it looking good.
This will be my go-to chocolate cake from now on. Better for those who like dark chocolate as it's not overly sweet, but it was perfect for my tastes! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.
Amy January 25, 2017
Where I live maple syrup is expensive. What could I substitute? Honey?
Sheila S. March 11, 2015
I made this cake and it was quite dry. It baked well and looked great but when I cut into it, the texture was dry and not good to eat. Also I had trouble with the frosting. Wasn't like the cream cheese chocolate frosting I was looking for.
Sarah J. March 11, 2015
So sorry to hear that, Sheila! It has a lot of moisture in it from the sour cream, milk, eggs, butter, and maple syrup, so I'm surprised yours turned out dry.
Crystal H. January 27, 2015
How should I tweak the measurements if I use a 9 by 13 pan?
Elina January 22, 2015
I ll give a try !!
Thanks a lot
Elina January 13, 2015
Can I replace sour cream with greek yogurt?
Sarah J. January 21, 2015
I think that would be fine! I'd use full-fat Greek yogurt, though!
CHeeb November 25, 2014
I refrigerated half of mine and froze the other half. Wrapped well ,it keeps well,too.
linda November 25, 2014
Should this cake be refridgerated because of the icing?
fredda November 26, 2014
Edguyver November 16, 2014
Amazing Cake! I made this last night, and it was a huge hit! My milk was past expiration, so I used 1/4c Buttermilk + 1/4c Heavy Whipping Cream, and the cake is moist & delicious! I also added 1/2c powdered sugar + 1/2tsp vanilla extract to the frosting, as it was not as sweet as I prefer as is. Will make again & again!
Anna November 9, 2014
I've baked this cake for my husband's birthday. He is notoriously hard to please when it comes to desserts - and the fact that he proclaimed this was the best birthday cake he ever had sums up my opinions about the recipe. :)
Sarah J. November 9, 2014
Hooray!! That makes my day.
CHeeb November 6, 2014
OK,final comments on this cake. I froze the frosted cake and saved half to take to the poll workers Tuesday.I cut it into bite sized pieces roughly one inch square as it thawed.The icing stayed firm and made this a very portable cut cake.It was gone in minutes and many wanted the recipe . It was a huge hit on election day ...many thanks Sarah and Food 52 !!
Sarah J. November 6, 2014
HOORAY! So glad to hear that, CHeeb! Stay tuned for the next cake!
Stacy S. November 5, 2014
This frosting sounds so weird but so amazing. I have to try it.
Sarah J. November 6, 2014
"Weird but so amazing" -- that's actually exactly what I look for in my food.
Angel November 3, 2014
This was just too chocolatey for us. I normally eat dark chocolate, but this recipe was too dark. I will try again with milk chocolate chips because the texture was nice and the frosting turned out so pretty.
Hilary L. November 3, 2014
I just made this and my batter is SUPER thick. Is that right?