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.


MrsNancyB1 Says... 2009-09-01 10:16:08

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!

maddypaige01 Says... 2009-09-23 06:05:41

Does anyone know how much batter this makes? Or even what size cakes you can get out of one recipe of it? Thanks!

kel58 Says... 2009-09-29 05:47:00

Can anyone tell me if this cake works well for a tiered cake? is it sturdy enough?

emlashlee Says... 2009-10-17 19:09:29

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! :)

princesscatt Says... 2009-11-06 19:35:59

This is my new chocolate cake recipe..I will never use anything was great..thanks for sharing.

busymom9501 Says... 2009-12-18 08:13:26

This is my FAVORITE chocolate cake! I make 8" layers and put a caramel filling in between and its to die for!!!!

cmbrisson Says... 2009-12-29 12:16:57

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

andreamcd13 Says... 2010-01-13 07:39:40

Awesome recipe - super moist and super tasty! I filled it with a Nutella buttercream and it was a huge hit!! Thanks for sharing!

lizabu Says... 2010-05-30 16:36:20

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 :)

lizabu Says... 2010-05-30 16:37:34

Oooh...I added a wee bit more water too (I didn't measure it though) just looked a little thick.

jenicakes09 Says... 2010-05-31 10:37:26

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!!

Visnee Says... 2010-06-06 10:15:10

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.

dreyna16 Says... 2010-06-17 12:33:37

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.

princessturk Says... 2010-06-29 16:20:35

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!!!!!

tmelrose Says... 2010-07-06 10:50:21

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!

bbcakescreations Says... 2010-07-20 07:32:51

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

calicopurr Says... 2010-08-03 11:27:47

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?

Shannellr Says... 2010-10-22 09:58:45

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.

Annso Says... 2010-11-09 07:54:41

I made this cake once and my husband loooveeeeed it!

lovestobake1971 Says... 2010-12-14 14:56:47

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.

SugarandWhimsy Says... 2011-01-22 17:45:38

Tried this recipe for a birthday cake and baked in a 10" pan. I followed the recipe carefully, however, used 1 cup of mini-chocolate chips and 3 eggs. The cake baked wonderfully and rose evenly above the pan (baking strips used) so I was very hopeful that I wouldn't share other people's problems and have the cake fall. Guess it wasn't meant to be...once I took it out of the oven it pulled a complete Titanic and sunk. Not a full-on disaster as I just leveled and filled, but I would definitely like to know how to prevent it from happening again since the cake itself was very tasty. I'd love to add this to my list of regulars so any suggestions or fixes would be greatly appreciated :D

RonniG Says... 2011-02-18 18:41:03

I love this recipe! I have used it for 2 years, it is my go to chocolate cake. I want to put people's minds at ease with the thickness of the batter, from my experience the thicker the batter the fluffier the cake. I have made cakes that had water for batter and they are super dense. This recipe is so light and airy yet rich in chocolate. I always use 3 eggs and fortunately my middle has never fallen. I have found that making a 10" round requires about 50-55 minutes. I am attempting to make cupcakes with it tonight, wish me luck!

shecca Says... 2011-03-08 21:48:58

I have tried this recipe a few times and although it is delicious, it always sinks in the middle. I have tried making it in both 6" and 8" round pans with no success. How do people know how long to cook different sized cakes? My last attempt was a 6" round pan which I baked for 65 minutes. It came out of the oven fine but then sank. Any suggestions?

cuteasacupcake Says... 2011-03-28 10:46:17

I made cupcakes today with this recipe and it is fabulous!!! I used milk instead of water and mini chocolate chips. I topped the cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Frosting and it was a perfect combination. YUMMY!!! YUMMY!!!!!!!!Thanks for the recipe!!! Here is the icing I used: 1 1/2 cups powered sugar 1 - 8 oz. cream cheese 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

stacielk Says... 2011-04-04 15:08:03

I made this with three eggs. Very light and fluffy and moist. If I were to use 4 eggs, would it be a bit more dense, or what would the extra egg do to the cake? I am actually looking for a denser but still moist chocolate cake. Any recommendations???? Thanks!

mygrammy Says... 2011-05-22 12:23:33

Does anyone use this for cupcakes and if so, did you make any alterations? Thanks!

Amai_Cakes Says... 2011-06-04 09:42:07

So I am planning on using this recipe for a graduation cake for a client, It will be for 50 people. will this recipe make enough? or should i double,triple,etc. the recipe?

sharriff Says... 2011-09-09 21:30:50

I use 4 eggs, and have never had it sink. I make cupcakes using the same recipe. The mix I use is DH Dark Chocolate Fudge. I use a heating core for 10" and bigger cakes, but maybe it would help if your cakes are sinking. Also, I believe cakes sink if you take them out too soon, so make sure you cook them long enough.

Sugarella Says... 2011-12-02 21:33:04

All I can find is the DH Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix. Just wanting clarification if that is different from the cake mix you reference?

SweetDelites Says... 2011-12-12 16:16:26

I have never liked chocolate cake before, but I needed to do one for baby shower cake. So I tried this, and OMG I ate one cupcake( i always bake one before I do a whole cake) well lets just said I had to buy more mix for the cake. The first batch went to cupcakes, everybody in the house loves them. THE BEST YET!!!!!!!! THANKS FOR POSTING. We did them with no icing.

Aleksandra-k Says... 2012-02-04 17:50:16

is this cake good for carving?

Justbeck101 Says... 2012-03-02 19:33:59

This cake is great, but it is not good for carving. I use the Durable Chocolate Cake to carve and this one for everything else.

jemchina Says... 2012-10-16 19:14:41

Tried this recipe, and it taste great! I did cut the 4th egg. The first layer did sink slightly after cooling. but I used the tip of one of the posters , and raised starting temp to 375 then dropped to 350 . Worked perfectly. I baked a 10" cake with a nail head inthe middle, and it yielded a 2 inch layer!

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