Here’s a chocolate cake so rich that it needs no frosting and sour cream is the secret.
Easier Than A Mix
Here’s a from-scratch cake that’s just as easy if not easier than a mix!
It’s made by what used to be called the “rapid mix” method. It has been found over the last 50 years that the rapid-mix method produces much better results than the old “creaming” method.
What’s most important when using this method is to have all ingredients at room temperature. It’s also essential to sift the flour and generally, cake flour is the preferred flour.
While I highly recommend you buy a box of cake flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour with a couple of hacks. I give this method in my Sara Lee Poundcake post.
Not All Cocoas Are Alike
There are two varieties of cocoa. They are not all alike!
One variety is alkali treated and is called either Dutch or European cocoa. This is treated with alkali to reduce the acidity and it’s really great for baking. Hershey used to put it out years ago, but now I never see it in stores anymore. It’s been replaced with something called “Special Dark,” which is a mixture of Dutch and regular cocoa. Don’t use that in this recipe. Dutch cocoa can be purchased from King Arthur flour or from Amazon.
In this recipe you can use the regular cocoa, but you need more. There is a substitution for making regular into Dutch. For every 3 tablespoons of cocoa, mix in 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. Keep this in mind if you don’t want to buy the European variety. Some recipes you cannot substitute regular for Dutch process.
Since cocoa lasts, I always keep a box of Dutch cocoa on hand. I recommend you do this as well.
No Frosting Necessary
Due to the sour cream, this is a rich, substantial cake. It will require no frosting. A light dusting of confectioner’s sugar is all you will need.
Extreme chocoholics may like some extra chocolate, so if that’s the case, some chocolate ganache would be good here. You can serve the ganache either as a sauce or pour it over the top of the cake.
- ¼ cup + 3 tbs Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa (see NOTES for substitution)
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- 1½ cups + 1 tbs sifted cake flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 14 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round -OR- springform pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the parchment (this step is optional but highly recommended.
- Whisk the sour cream, cocoa, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with an electric mixer to combine.
- Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients along with half of the cocoa mixture. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed (high speed if a hand mixer is used). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Gradually add the remaining cocoa mixture in 2 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.
- Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean if inserted in the center.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let the cake cool completely.
- Cake top will be rounded upon completion of baking but will become flat when totally cool. This is supposed to happen.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
*Adapted from The Cake Bible
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