Chocolate Sour Cream Cake


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Chocolate cake with chocolate icing is one of my favorite desserts. This is a well documented fact, because this is the seventh chocolate cake recipe on the blog.

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I officially promise to refrain from posting another chocolate cake for at least the next few months, okay? They are hard to resist though!

When a reader emails you (Thanks, Julie!) with her grandmother’s Best Ever Sour Cream Cake recipe, it’s hard not to hit the kitchen immediately.

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This cake is every bit as good as promised! Rich chocolate cake, extra moist from the scoop of sour cream, is then topped with a rich and creamy chocolate icing glaze. Despite the length of the ingredient list, this is a simple recipe. 

If you’re a fan of the classic Texas Sheet Cake, you’ll want to try this version; it is slightly more moist with an icing closer to a pudding than a frosting. This cake was an enormous hit with everyone who tasted it.

Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this website!

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

Rich chocolate cake, extra moist from the scoop of sour cream, is then topped with a rich and creamy chocolate icing glaze.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 -16 servings


Cake Ingredients

  • cup cocoa
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup boiling water

*Gluten-Free Alternative

  • cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch

Icing Ingredients

  • cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • cups milk
  • teaspoons vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a pan very well with butter and set aside. (A bundt, 9×13, or (2) 8-9" round pans will work well.) Combine cocoa and hot water in a large glass measuring cup or small bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Place the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cocoa mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir again. Add the sour cream and stir once more.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well. Slowly add the boiling water while mixing. The batter will be very thin and watery. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-42 minutes depending on pan. Test for doneness with a toothpick, the bundt cake took the full 42 minutes to bake. The cake should no longer look wet and should leave moist crumbs on the toothpick. Let the cake cool completely before icing.
  • To make the icing, combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk while the mixture thickens and bring it almost to the boiling point. This should take about ten minutes. While the icing is hot, pour over the cake and spread it lightly across the surface. Let it cool enough to stop steaming before placing it in the refrigerator.
  • Cover the cake and chill overnight before serving. It is delicious served warm (because some of us were impatient), however it is best served cold. Enjoy!


Calories: 429kcal · Carbohydrates: 74g · Protein: 6g · Fat: 14g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 4g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 75mg · Sodium: 297mg · Potassium: 238mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 52g · Vitamin A: 454IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 86mg · Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{Recipe originally published 12/20/13 – recipe card updated 7/11/22}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jenn S says

    I love chocolate sour cream cake…… it's so moist and delicious!!! And, please don't stop posting chocolate cake recipes on my account… I believe in the theory of "you can never have too much chocolate cake"!!!

    • Mary says

      Gluten free baking can be confusing at times, right? I've tested countless recipes both with and without xantham gum. It provides structure and a little bit of stability to certain baked goods (especially breads, cookies, and lighter cakes) and for those specific recipes, it is required. For recipes like this one, and numerous other bars and cakes, I've found that it isn't required at all. You're welcome to add it, but in my experience, it isn't necessary for every gluten free recipe. I hope that helps!