I have tweaked the White Almond Sour Cream cake recipe many ways and found this way to produce the ultimate chocolate cake. This recipe makes enough batter to fill a 10″ x 3″ deep pan plus an 8″ x 3″ deep pan, or two 8″ x 3″ pans plus a 6″ x 3″ pan. The recipe may be halved.

Note: it is important not to overbake the cake in order to produce the best results. Don’t open the oven door until the cakes are nearing the end of baking, or else the centers may collapse. Your cakes are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of crumb clinging to it, and the cakes are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pans.

Two other things to note: first, using the DH Dark Choc Fudge cake mix will result in a deep, dark chocolatey cake without having to use cocoa powder. I have tried this same recipe using other chocolate mixes but the result was not quite as chocolatey. Secondly, although the batter will taste and smell strongly of coffee, the cake will not. The coffee does a wonderful job of boosting the chocolate flavor.

AMAZING Chocolate WASC Cake


  • Ingredients:
  • 2 boxes Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
  • 2 2/3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 6 large or extra large eggs
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Prepare cake pans by spraying generously with original Pam. Place an inverted flower nail in the center of each pan and spray with Pam as well.
  2. Add cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt to mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to mix and de-clump the cake mix. Dissolve coffee granules in room temperature water. You may also use 2 2/3 cups cooled strong black coffee in place of the water and instant coffee if you prefer. Add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl and mix on low speed for one minute. Stop, scrape bowl, and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into prepared pans and bake on middle rack of oven. Your cakes are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of crumb clinging to it, and the cakes are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pans. Let cool for half an hour in the pan, then invert onto cooling racks to cool to room temp. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap after cooling to prevent cakes from drying out. These cakes freeze really well. Wrap cakes well with plastic wrap and then with foil, and place in freezer. For long-term storage (more than 2 weeks), place wrapped cakes in a paper grocery sack. The paper sack will keep freezer odors out of your cakes. When you are ready to thaw them, remove cakes from paper sack and leave on counter overnight in plastic/foil.


CakeJediChic Says... 22 Sep 2009 , 11:11am

thanks! I used the DH Devils food for a milder chocolate taste and it was wonderful!

DecoratedDreams Says... 22 Oct 2009 , 6:33am

Fantastic cake. Only problem I had is I didn't leave the cream cheese out long enough. It sat out for quite a while but didn't break down enough so I had little white chunks in my batter. Tip - Let the cream cheese super soften!!!!

Made the cake again - FANTASTIC!!! No problems

jacksbunny731 Says... 23 Oct 2009 , 1:16pm

DC0630--you used cream cheese instead of sour cream? What made you change it? I bet it is great with cream cheese as well!

JustToEatCake Says... 8 Nov 2009 , 10:58am

Cupcakes made with this recipe turned out nicely domed (Rises EASILY). Baked at 350. No 400 degree prebake needed it rises nicely. Nice dark chocolately. Makes 36 to 48 CC for HALF the recipe depending on your CC pan size.

cattycornercakes Says... 13 Nov 2009 , 7:19pm

AWESOME! Very moist and great chocolate flavor.

elainem51 Says... 15 Nov 2009 , 11:44am

Hey, I made this recipe Friday and it would not come out of the pan and when I tried to pick it up to torte & layer it fell all to pieces....I used the DH Fudge Butter Recipe (without using butter)..... Do you think that could of made it stick and fall apart... Loved the taste of the cake... Any help you can give me I would greatly appreciate... Thank you

shaymomx5 Says... 19 Nov 2009 , 2:39am

This is def one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes but it is very very moist so I freeze before trying to work with it,

CakeJediChic Says... 1 Dec 2009 , 7:17pm

Its MUCH too moist to cut or torte right out of the pan. I take it out of the oven, let it sit 10 min, then flip it on a cooling rack and immediately on a board with saran wrap on it. I then wrap it completely in saran and pop it in the freezer for about 2 hours at least. Then its cool and sometimes partially frozen so its much easier to handle.

nikki67 Says... 9 Dec 2009 , 1:24pm

Does this recipe work well for tiered cakes? I need a chocolate cake for a wedding-- 12", 8" and 4" 2-layer tiers so I want something that holds up well (firm, easy to stack). I just have 2" pans so do I need to make this twice to fill these pans ?

CookieSue Says... 25 Jan 2010 , 3:03pm

Does this work well for rectangular cakes? What size with this recipe make? Sounds yummy!

becca_224 Says... 27 Jan 2010 , 10:20am

Yummy! This was a very rich chocolate recipe! The batter filled my poor little KitchenAid to the top. I was able to get 2 ea. 8inch/6inch rounds (2inches high), plus some extra cupcakes for sampling. I froze them for about a week before removing from the freezer to stack. They were a little 'soft' after thawing, but they iced with BC well. The cake sat overnight at RT, and was served the next day around 6pm. The cake was still moist and delicious!

Chettie Says... 7 Feb 2010 , 9:21pm

I've made this recipe SEVERAL times and never have I been disappointed. So I figured, if I can use it with a chocolate cake mix, why not with other flavors. So far I've made spice, yellow, lemon, and chocolate, and ALL of them come out FANTASTIC!! Of course with other mixes than chocolate, I do not add the coffee. :o) I've also received several request for making cakes just because of this recipe.

hazelhuney Says... 10 Feb 2010 , 5:17pm

I made this tonight it is simply AMAZING!!! Very Moist and just perfect! i was worried about the sour cream how it would taste in the cake you can not tell there's any sour cream. I did leave out the coffee but overall I love this recipe and will be using it from now on!!!

thekaleygirl Says... 2 Mar 2010 , 6:56pm

If the coffee is left out of this recipe, should something be added in its place? I am desperate to find a moist chocolate cake recipe - I am making a pirate ship cake and need something that will carve and hold up to stacking and fondant. Help!!! Anyone??? :-)

Markandritaville Says... 12 Mar 2010 , 2:14pm

I've thrown out all my other chocolate cake recipes. This IS the perfect chocolate cake I've been searching for. Thanks so much for the recipe, Cakepro!

pammye Says... 25 Mar 2010 , 6:02pm

I am making this one right now and from what I tasted YUMMY!. I was able to make a 10x3 & a 8x3. I also used Devils Food Cake Mix and no coffee. I can't wait to try this!

danigirlmck Says... 4 Apr 2010 , 5:32pm

Has anyone used this recipe for a shaped cake? Making my son an elmo cake for his birthday and want to know if it is too moist of a cake for that.

lngo Says... 10 Apr 2010 , 6:52pm

I turned these into 3 dozen cupcakes, and because there was so much batter, I also made a few 6x3 cakes (4 to be exact).

Kake-Girl Says... 30 Apr 2010 , 2:25am

This cake is delicious...very moist. I didn't have a good experience carving or stacking though. It was much to light and moist to stack well. However, for a single tier cake, it's perfect!

maggie55 Says... 30 Apr 2010 , 1:31pm

Will this cake work for a two tier cake? I need a good choc recipe for a groom's cake.... I plan on using buttercream and fondant. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dizzymaiden Says... 19 May 2010 , 9:08am

Just got another request for this cake. It really does taste perfect. Not too sweet/cloying.

Schmoozy Says... 19 May 2010 , 6:39pm

What's the flower nail for? Just curious. ;)

Gavriela Says... 23 May 2010 , 1:33pm

My most favorite and customers most favorite chocolate cake, self frosting, moist, just plain delish. Easy recipe to alter with other flavors as well.

crazyladybaker Says... 25 May 2010 , 7:40am

I have made this 4 times now with BC Triple Choc Fudge cake mix and it is just wonderful! Also, I use 3/4 T instant espresso powder.

This cake is great to work with, easy to stack and stays very moist.

traci_doodle Says... 6 Jun 2010 , 5:19pm

Schmoozy-- the nail flower is to help the cake turn out more level, so you don't have to cut as much off the top to make it flat.

krae0057 Says... 10 Jun 2010 , 6:32pm

Could someone please tell me how full I should fill the pans with this batter (1/2 full? 2/3 full?)? I tend to overfill...

scp1127 Says... 11 Jun 2010 , 12:26pm

I don't even like chocolate cake but this was great!

Ritakk Says... 15 Jul 2010 , 2:40pm

Someone tell me if this cake will fill an 11 x 15 x 2" cake pan....I've made it twice and both times it overflowed my pan and sunk in some, even with the flower nail..... :( Love the taste but can't quite get it to come out the same each time...don't know what I'm doing wrong...:(

jo3d33 Says... 22 Jul 2010 , 2:34pm

this is my "go to" chocolate cake. I personally like to fill it with a kaluha bavarian cream. Tastes fantastic! GREAT RECIPE!!!

shawtydowapp Says... 2 Sep 2010 , 3:41pm

can i use this recipe for cupcakes?

crazyladybaker Says... 7 Sep 2010 , 8:28am

For those that have a question about how much batter this makes here is what I get. I fill my 11x15x2 sheet cake pan about 2/3 full and put in 4 flower nails. I then have enough batter left for 12 reg size cupcakes. This rises quite a bit so don't get too crazy filling the pan.

ApplePomme Says... 15 Sep 2010 , 10:50am

Thought I'd add, this batter makes enough for one 11x15x3 :)

JustGettinStarted Says... 11 Oct 2010 , 9:04am

I'm not 100% as I've yet to make this recipe, but most of the WASC recipes make about 15-17 cups, depending on your cake mix brand and everything. I use DH and almost always get 17 cups. Hope that helps

iannelli66 Says... 18 Oct 2010 , 4:45pm

Very excited to try this recipe.. I have been testing several chocolate cakes, and I always have to triple or quad a regular recipe to fill a 10inch. Looking foward to this one. Just a quick question, I know some of you have posted that this rises easily, anyone have the exact cup measure they use for a 10 x 3? Thanks!

Dizzymaiden Says... 20 Oct 2010 , 8:46am

I am going to try to amp up the coffee flavor with starbucks new instant coffee. I know I have said this before but I LOVE LOVE this cake. I am on my 8th request.

Shannellr Says... 25 Oct 2010 , 9:32am

I'm going to make a 3 tier topsy turvy cake for Saturday, 3 layers for each tier. Has anyone stacked multiple layers with the recipe? They want chocolate with chocolate mouse filling. I'm a little worried about the mouse making the cake unstable between layers and then driven an hour.

bbcakescreations Says... 26 Oct 2010 , 7:44pm

Just made half the recipe for my mickey mouse cake order and it came out FANTASTIC! I did replace half the vanilla for Nielsen's chocolate pure chocolate extract...got that idea from Macsmom's chocolate WASC recipe.

microbiology1 Says... 15 Nov 2010 , 10:01am

I just tried this recipe and it was great! And I'm not even a chocolate lover! With the recipe as is I got two 2"x10" round cakes and two 2x6" round cakes. Which is certainly convenient if you're making a huge stacked cake!

areinsbach Says... 27 Jan 2011 , 8:24am

I need enough batter for a single layer 10' (bottom is chocolate and top is white cake) and 12 cupcakes. How would I split up the recipe? It sounds like it makes alot! Would I split it in half? Help! Thanks! :)

areinsbach Says... 31 Jan 2011 , 12:37pm

Thank you for this recipe! I made it this weekend and everyone loved it! :)

nightmoon Says... 4 Feb 2011 , 11:00am

i'm going to make this for the groom's cake for my daughter's wedding. However, when there was a sale on cake mixes, 10 for $10 i bought all white ones. Does anyone have a suggestion on how much cocoa powder to add to the above recipe to make it a deep dark chocolate cake? I hate to mess with perfection, but its the wedding and i'm 'spent out' if you know what i mean. thanks!

traci_doodle Says... 1 Mar 2011 , 6:26am

So, a few people have said that this doesn't carve well. What if you freeze it first? I'm looking for a new recipes to try my hand at a topsy turvy cake. Would this work, or is it still too soft, even if it's frozen?

ChunkkeeMunkkee Says... 17 Mar 2011 , 3:09pm

Made and did not like.... to crumbly, flavor wasn't there (super sweet) ... overall not happy. Thank you for posting it, I appreciate it. I reverted to the Cake Mix Dr's version of pound cake. :D <3

Catpack Says... 3 May 2011 , 3:31pm

The tester cake for my daughter's wedding is in the oven. What would be the perfect filling for this cake?

cakesbym3 Says... 7 May 2011 , 6:40am

This recipe sounds yummy..! I'm going to make a tester cake today with oreo filling. Let's see how it goes. I will post my review later today :)

CakeItGood Says... 8 May 2011 , 2:17pm

Does anyone know how this would turn out if we divided the recipe in half and used just two eggs? Making a last-minute cake for a family thing tonight, and we are short on eggs! Thanks

cakesbym3 Says... 13 May 2011 , 7:31am

for the water is 2 cups plus 2/3 cup ????

cakesbym3 Says... 13 May 2011 , 8:08am

upssss yes!! :)

elizawhipp Says... 13 Jun 2011 , 5:35am

can you use this recipe for a stacked cake or is it too soft and crumbly?

ljchevygirl Says... 24 Jun 2011 , 8:55pm

Made this cake this morning. DELICIOUS! Go 2- 10ich X 2inch cakes and 1 8 inch X 2 inch.

bbblues2see Says... 17 Jul 2011 , 6:57pm

Ok stupid question but the coffee are we talking brewed coffee? right not just a scoop of instant coffee?

crazyladybaker Says... 2 Aug 2011 , 1:39pm

bbblues2see, yes the coffee is brewed ...not the granules.

crazyladybaker Says... 2 Aug 2011 , 1:48pm

After reading my reply I think I still left room for confusion about the coffee. You can use granules if you dissolve them in liquid first. The whole point is that the coffee be in liquid form and you aren't dumping coffee grounds/granules in the batter.

Princessagata Says... 10 Sep 2011 , 9:21pm

Hi, If I do nto want to use sour cream (sensitive tummy ) what can I use in its place?

Poundcake77 Says... 20 Sep 2011 , 7:42pm

Princess you could probably use Greek yogurt. It is very similar to sour cream.

cakeE101 Says... 23 Sep 2011 , 3:33pm

Try this recipe today and fell in love with it i'm not a baker so for me to get this right shows how easy it is. This is my go to recipe for chocolate cake now thank you so much

SoonerLiz Says... 2 Oct 2011 , 5:07am

This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I have made it many times and get requests for it all the time. I do not have any problems stacking this cake.

annemarie40 Says... 13 Oct 2011 , 3:36pm

Making this cake tonight for a customer and I put a 6" in the oven for a tester. I sure hope this comes out great. I need a good chocolate cake recipe. :)

Dixiebird Says... 3 Jan 2012 , 12:55pm

This is the ONLY recipe I use for chocolate cake! I've made this recipe so many times with the Very Special Buttercream recipe that I got from this site! People love it! Also, wanted to throw out there that I have used this recipe with Dunkin Hines French Vanilla Cake, Red Velvet and Spice Cake instead of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix and omitted the coffee (just used plain water) and it is fantastic!!!! Especially the French Vanilla Cake :) Thanks for sharing :)

Pearl645 Says... 15 Jan 2012 , 3:39pm

Was MOST DISAPPOINTED with this recipe! UGH! All the rave reviews. The cake baked perfectly on the outside and sank in the middle and crinkled up on the middle top. Worse...when I let the cake cool in the freezer and out on the counter, I torted the cake only to see that that middle WAS NOT BAKED FULLY! I was so pissed off that I ended up cutting out a huge inner circle chunk of the half baked cake and dumped it. BTW The cake tester came out clean all over the cake including the middle! I ended up filling the big whole of the two layer cake with BC chocolate fudge icing.

The jokey part about all of this is that the customer wrote back 2 days later to say that the cakes were great. I was like..good lord good thing I cut out the uncooked middle!

I think I'm gonna stick to my scratch chocolate cake recipe. This one tastes too artificial for me and bcuz I sell cakes to the public I cannot afford any loss of customers from an uncooked cake.

Has anyone had this same problem of the sinking in the middle and the uncooked part?!?!

tarabara Says... 22 Jan 2012 , 10:32pm

Pearl645, I've made this a couple times and it's been fantastic but when I made it today I had the exact same experience you described. So I re-baked. Same thing happened. Now it's 10:30 and I have to re-bake again. Wish I knew what was going on! Anyone have any answers?

Cakeartist5523 Says... 25 Jan 2012 , 11:12am

This is the ONLY Chocolate cake recipe I use!!! Baked one yesterday and it turned out fantastic again!! Mine only sank once and seemed uncooked, I changed my oven temp to 325 bake them a little longer now and never open the oven to check until they are almost done! Excellent cake to ice and fill with cream cheese frosting!!! Love it!

SoozyQ0173 Says... 26 Jan 2012 , 8:44am

WOW this was YUMMY! I only got to sample the parts I trimmed off but it was very moist and very tasty! Thank you for this recipe!

dianesrn Says... 18 Feb 2012 , 3:20pm

This is by far the best chocolate cake I have EVER tasted! It is now my only chocolate cake recipe. The only negative thing I can say is it is a softer cake, so carving/sculpting would probably be difficult. But if you are not carving it, this cake is absolutely the best! Other than that it is perfect!

jadinsaunt Says... 29 Feb 2012 , 10:13am

I use 1 tbl instant coffee granules mixed into the water. I've stacked and carved this cake with no problems....baked, cooled and frozen ahead of time. A flower nail or core is essential for larger pans to get this cake baked through to the middle. It does stay a little tacky on the top when you trim to level. It's my go to cake for chocolate. I fill with either chocolate buttercream, oreo buttercream, or peanut butter chocolate buttercream. A tweenkie filling would be good too.

SRumzis Says... 5 Mar 2012 , 9:05pm

You might be experiencing the underbaked problem with the DH cake mix because (in case you haven't noticed) they are 16.5oz now and not 18.25. More liquid and less solid is probably the culprit in a wetter result!

autumnsmom24 Says... 17 May 2012 , 5:42pm

I've made this cake three or four times now and absolutely love it!!! It's perfect....rises beautifullly....made it as rounds (both 2 and 3" deep), cupcakes and sheets. Just watch the baking time...don't open the door until you're pretty sure it is almost done...this is definitely my go to Chocolate Cake!!!!! Just wish it would stack but definitely see where it would collapse under the weight. Overall though, this is a perfect 10 for me for anything other than tiers.

Trish44 Says... 24 Jun 2012 , 6:06pm

Okay this is my favorite tasting cake and every time I make it everyone tells me it is the best tasting cake they have ever had. That said I made this cake for my cousins wedding and the bottom layer of each tier started collapsing and the butter cream was budging out from between the layers. Not sure what went wrong. The cakes were 14"x3, 10'x3 and 6"x3. I doweled each tier. This has happened before with other cakes. Please help if you can I will take any advise.

mrsmontgomery Says... 5 Jul 2012 , 7:16pm

This is my go to chocolate cake. My husband doesn't usually like chocolate cake but will eat this every time! Just put a 12X18 in the oven and this recipe made just the right amount although I expect it to be close to bubbling over. We'll see!

annemarie40 Says... 5 Aug 2012 , 8:18pm

I have baked this recipe 100x now. I am not joking. Everyone who tastes it loves it. This has been my go to chocolate cake recipe for almost one year. LOVE IT!!! Yes, the amounts are smaller now in the duncan hines, but I don't use any other brand. I have tried them and they just don't work. The only problem I have had with the less amount in the box is that it doesn't make up the same amount of batter as before. About 1 whole cup less. Stinks but I won't change a thing.

tmt578 Says... 18 Aug 2012 , 8:17pm

I just baked a 12x18"sheet cake and had FABULOUS RESULTS! I will tell you that i did just as the directions said... This entire batter fills a 12x18" pan perfectly to 2/3-3/4 full. In addition, instead of the flower nail method (Ihavent had great luck with it when the nail falls in the batter!!!) i used an old towel cut to the size of the pan, and drenched it in water, wrang out slightly so it wouldnt drip than used that as a bake even strip. My cake is completely LEVEL! Im thinking Im not gonna level it bc its perfect. The cake rose to the edge of the 2" pan with NO SPILLAGE. I baked the cake for 1HOUR 10 MINUTES. Checked it with a tooth pick and its completely done in the middle!!! No JIGGLE! Im gonna used this cake with an oreo filling and vanilla buttercream icing.

Jimmyca Says... 20 Oct 2012 , 2:31pm

I can't wait to try this recipe out. Thank you.

wilford33 Says... 29 May 2015 , 6:14am

Hello! Has anyone tried this same recipe using other flavor cake mixes? I just made cupcakes using this exact recipe only differencewas iI'm the oil. I used 2tblsp of oil instead of 1/4 and it was just too dense and moist. I will bake another batch tomorrow but will use 1/4 c oil as it says on cakepros recipe.  Thanks ahead of time

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