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Darn Good Chocolate Cake

This recipe is from the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor book and it is awesome. It is rich and chocolatey and tastes out of this world. Team it up with the Chocolate Syrup Frosting and you will be in chocolate heaven.

Darn Good Chocolate Cake


  • vegetable oil or spray for your pan flour for dusting your pan 1 package of Devils food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix 1 package of Devils Food or chocolate fudge instant pudding mix (3.9 oz) 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup water (I use milk, others have even used hershey syrup) 1/2 cup vegetable oil (some people sub softened or melted butter) 4 large eggs (if making as a sheet, I'd reduce to 3 eggs) 1 1/2 cups semisweet chips


  1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325. Mist and flour your pans.
  2. Place cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water (or milk instead), oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase mixer to medium and beat 1 1/2-2 minutes. (really, only beat it until it is combined). The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chips, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter.
  3. Pour the batter into the pans and smooth with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly touched and it starts to pull away from the pan - about 28-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  5. If you want the chips to stay suspended in the cake, you could also toss them with a little flour before putting them in. I've never had to do that, but other people have said that their chips sink. If you want the chips to melt, use the mini's.
  6. I prefer using Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake, and the dark chocolate fudge instant pudding mix.
  7. If you are making layers, I would use 3 eggs instead of 4. I think 4 will make it too heavy and it will probably sink in the center. I did that with a 13x9x2 and it sunk in the whole middle. (It was still delicious, just not pretty). Of course, you can always fill it in with more frosting!!!
  8. If you want a delicious chocolate frosting too, I posted the Chocolate Syrup frosting on the recipes section of the website and it is out of this world!!! This is from the Cake Mix Doctor Cupcake Cookbook. It was someone's personal recipe that won a contest, and then Anne Byrn included it in her latest cupcake cookbook. You will NOT be disappointed.

Comments (38)

This recipe is EXCELLENT! It is now my go-to recipe, and I can even substitute different cake mix/pudding flavors to change it up. Totally delicious, moist, dense cake!
Does anyone know how much batter this makes? Or even what size cakes you can get out of one recipe of it? Thanks!
Can anyone tell me if this cake works well for a tiered cake? is it sturdy enough?
This is such a super cake recipe! It is my go-to for chocolate cake. I use 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (because I always double the recipe and only use 1 bag of chips) and it turns out to be 6 1/4 cups of batter. Perfect for a 10" cake. It is a sturdy cake and works great for stacking. Mohara (OP) is right - the Chocolate Syrup Frosting is a great pairing. I filled cupcakes with cookies & cream filling and topped it with the CS Frosting. People fought over the extras! :)
This is my new chocolate cake recipe..I will never use anything was great..thanks for sharing.
This is my FAVORITE chocolate cake! I make 8" layers and put a caramel filling in between and its to die for!!!!
wonderful recipe, it is a bit thick I add a little more water about a 1/4 cup, it mixes better and doesn't affect the end result
Awesome recipe - super moist and super tasty! I filled it with a Nutella buttercream and it was a huge hit!! Thanks for sharing!
I just made this with a banana filling and my husband said this is the best cake I've ever made and that I shouls always use this recipe. Thank you for sharing it. You made me look like a SUPERSTAR :)
Oooh...I added a wee bit more water too (I didn't measure it though) just looked a little thick.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!! I have literally had comments of "This is the best cake I have ever eaten!" I made it with duncan hines dark choc fudge and regular chocolate pudding mix. So good!! Thank you so much for sharing. 10 stars!!
This is wonderful - reliable, fantastic consistency, great flavor. Will be my go to cake for chocolate. I used choc syrup vs water for the full choc experience. I paired w oreo cookies and cream filling and it's out of this world. Thank you.
I had an order for a chocolate cake and I made half of this recipe to taste it and it turned out great, however, when I made the whole recipe for my order, it sank in the middle and then I had to make half again so I can complete a 3 inch cake. Does somebody know what went wrong? I would like to use this recipe again but dont know what happened. Also, it took about an hour to bake. I used the Wilton even strips which I believe take longer to bake and everytime I checked the oven it was not ready yet.
WOW!!!!!! This cake is great. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I just made it for a baby shower and everyone loved it. Flavor and texture are perfect. I used the mini choc chips and coated them w/ flour. YUM!!!!!
Used DH Devils Food & Devil's Food pudding; paired with Chocolate Syrup Frosting; used 3 eggs and was perfect for 2 - 8" pans. Next time I'll probably omit choc chips. A chocolate lover's dream! Excellent recipe!
Tried this on cupcakes last night...didn't come out well at all. Will try again as a cake, but don't recommend for cc's
If I used a Triple Choc. Fudge cake mix by Betty Crocker, would adding the extra pudding be okay? Does too much pudding make it dense or sink?
I made this for the 2nd time last night. I used half the sour cream and 1 cup water... came out awesome. Round 1 was WAY too dense and fell. Oh, and I left out the chips. I used Betty Crocker triple chocolate fudge and it already had the mini chips in it. Also, I used the generic store brand instant pudding and it was all awesome! I made two 8" rounds, baked for about 45ish minutes @ 350 and they didn't sink.
I made this cake once and my husband loooveeeeed it!
I have been making this recipe for 3 years and it is a winner! I actually used it for one of my wedding cakes - after only one 'test' cake beforehand. Everyone loves it. And it freezes beautifully - for those of you interested in that. Although my husband loves it with a dark, fudgy frosting, it is also good with a buttercream frosting. The only changes I make are using buttermilk in place of the water/milk and using the 3 eggs as mentioned in the recipe. The baking time is always longer than what is given, but I cannot tell you how long it takes since I seem to make it in different pan sizes each time.
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