Our Most Popular Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever

It’s easily one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever eaten.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

One of my favorite desserts to make also happens to be one of my favorites to eat: chocolate cake. A rich, tender chocolate cake is surprisingly easy to make—in my opinion, far easier than vanilla cake. But not all chocolate cake recipes are created equally. They can easily end up crumbly or dry, and sometimes the flavor can fall flat.

One of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made or eaten is Simply Recipes’ Sour Cream Chocolate Cake. It’s our most popular chocolate cake recipe of all time, and for good reason. It’s a sheet cake, so there’s no need to prep multiple pans, turn out cakes, or stack them up. The rest of the recipe is similarly easy and takes just minutes to whip up. Plus, it has the perfect, fluffy texture and real chocolate flavor thanks to some clever tricks.

Why Our Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Is So Good

This recipe uses a couple of smart tricks to produce a superior chocolate cake. First, it uses hot coffee as the majority liquid. The coffee adds amazing flavor to the cake without making it taste like, well, coffee. The fact that it’s hot is key, too—added to the batter at the end, the coffee helps activate the baking soda right before it goes in the oven.

Read More: Ina Garten's 1-Ingredient Upgrade for Better Chocolate Cake

The second trick is a colder-than-usual oven. Most baked goods cook around the 350°F mark, but this cake bakes at 300°F for nearly an hour. This slow bake helps give the cake its heavenly texture while also keeping it from doming, creating a nice flat top for frosting.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sour cream, which adds a subtle tang and the right amount of fat. It is in the name, after all!

<p>Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph</p>

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

Tips for Making This Chocolate Cake

  • Make sure your pan is ready. Since the hot coffee activates the baking soda, you’ll want to get the batter in the prepared pan and in the oven right after mixing up.

  • Make it gluten-free! I’ve made this cake using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour and it turned out superb. No one could tell it was gluten-free.

  • Prep your pan with cocoa powder. If you really love chocolate (like I do), use cocoa powder instead of flour when greasing and flouring the pan. This also gives the cake a cleaner look.

  • Go for your favorite frosting. There are a couple of great frosting recipes linked in the chocolate cake recipe, but use your favorite. The last time I made it I used a variation on the icing for our Chocolate Depression Cake. I doubled the recipe and swapped the water/coffee for heavy cream, adding it a tablespoon at a time until I got the creamy consistency I wanted.

  • Smart storage. Depending on what frosting you use, you’ll need to store this cake in the fridge. The good news is this cake will keep for a solid 5 days in the fridge (tightly covered) and tastes great cold. If you made a buttercream, I suggest letting your slice warm on the counter to room temperature before digging in.

Get Recipe with Title: Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

<p>Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph</p>

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph

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