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Easy Sour Cream Chocolate Layer Cake with To-Die-For Chocolate Frosting

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“OH my gosh.”


“This is so good!”

“I could just eat the frosting with a spoon.”

“You should go into the cake business.”

“How much would you charge for this cake?”

“My brother came over for cards after you left and we hid the leftover cake because it is our precious and no one is allowed to have it but US!”

It’s comments like these that I live for and one of the main reasons I love baking so much.  I know when someone eats a cake that I made, for that instant at least, they will be happy.  And their enjoyment is coming from something I provided.  That makes me feel good.

I came up with this cake at the last-minute to supply our family reunion planning committee with a dessert after lunch for our meeting last Saturday.  All the comments above were made after they dug in, except for the last which my cousin’s wife emailed me that evening and made me laugh out loud.

I have to say, and I know this sounds egotistical since I made it, but this is a really incredible cake.  The cake by itself is perfectly moist and chocolatey, and my favorite chocolate cake to date, but really, like another cousin’s boyfriend said, “I could just eat the frosting with a spoon.”  Really.  Incredible.

If you want to use this frosting on a cake that is from-scratch, I suggest using this Dark Chocolate Sour Cream Cake recipe because it is very similar to my cake mix recipe and the frosting would probably be perfect with it.  If it isn’t, you could always just eat it the frosting by itself.  It’s really all you need. :)

Sour Cream Chocolate Layer Cake
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (18.25 oz) devils food cake mix with pudding in the mix
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
milk as needed

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8″ or 9″ pans and set aside. Place all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on low until combined, then on medium speed for two minutes, scraping bowl often. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake according to package directions, about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Place on cooling racks for ten minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely. Once they are cool, level the cakes, if necessary, to make for nicer stacking. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.

Frosting: In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy.  Stir in cocoa. Add sugar, 1 c at a time, mixing well. Beat in vanilla and if necessary, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition, until you reach desired consistency. Frost cooled cake or store, covered, in refrigerator up to one week.  Bring to room temperature and stir before using.

*Notes: you can purchase Dutch-process cocoa powder online or in specialty stores (I get mine from my local cake supply store), or you can use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, which is now widely available.  In a pinch, you can use regular cocoa powder but the color will not be as dark, nor the flavor quite so chocolatey.  Although I usually sift cocoa powder before using it in recipes since it tends to lump, I didn’t do it for either the cake or the frosting, so you may be able to get away with skipping that step as well.

Recipe by Veronica Miller

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