This is the chocolate cake i make from scratch, got really good reviews for it. Brush with coffee syrup if you like. Goes well with almost all kinds of fillings. Its from martha stewart. For keeping it really moist i replace 1/2 butter with oil. Firm enough for sculpted and carved cakes.


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream


    Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter paper. Whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.
    Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Melt butter and sugar in saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat, and transfer to a mixer. Beat on medium-low speed until cooled, 4 to 5 minutes.
    Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cocoa-powder mixture. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined.
    Divide batter between pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack, peel off parchment, and let cool completely.


gellygirl Says... 6 Jul 2011 , 1:53pm

Sounds like it will be dense and moist, can't wait to try it!

PeggyH Says... 17 Jul 2011 , 5:12pm

Would it be ok to use the equivalent of crisco instead of butter?

gfbakergirl88 Says... 17 Aug 2011 , 6:38am

PeggyH- I haven't made the recipe but I would use oil instead of crisco if you're wanting to replace the butter.

nadia0411 Says... 21 Oct 2011 , 10:24pm

its not that dense, rather its light n moist, i didnt try shortening even, not a big fan of it, but i replaced 1/2 cup butter with oil and turned out awesome

vgereis Says... 31 Oct 2011 , 2:04pm

Thanks so much for this recipe! Sounds delicious! Just wondered.... seeing as it stands up to carving etc... does it also stand up to fondant? Looking for a good recipe that stands up to both carving and fondant! Need to make a pirate ship! :o)

puffpuff Says... 31 May 2012 , 5:45am

if I want to replace the butter with oil, how many cups of oil will I use?

irrwisch73 Says... 26 Aug 2012 , 11:44am

Excellent taste, great texture. Just made it! Used butter and forgot to add the sour cream, turned out great nevertheless!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

andiemarie Says... 13 Sep 2012 , 7:20pm

I found this recipe very dense and heavy.

kellyd01 Says... 28 Oct 2012 , 4:32pm

Thank you so much! I too replaced 1/2 c of butter w/ oil. This cake waslight, super moist and had a fabulous chocolate flavor. This is by far my favorite chocolate cake! ... now to continue in my quest for a fantastic yellow! LOL

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