Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake - Alex Guarnaschelli
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I love what the combination of tangy sour cream and cocoa powder do together in this cake recipe. The tang of the cream, the richness it adds, links up with the bitter cocoa notes and the floral vanilla. The result? A luscious cake that needs only a buttery frosting to complete the picture.


March 19, 2021

Chocolate Cake - Alex GuarnaschelliThis is a quickie butter cream that starts out like a melted chocolate and cream glaze that you whip butter into to make a quickie buttercream.

Chocolate Cake - Alex Guarnaschelli

Chocolate Cake

Course: Dessert
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  • Two 8-inch round baking pans



  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (plus 1 tablespoon for the pans)
  • cups cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon for dusting the pans
  • cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 tsps vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into small pieces
  • cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sticks unsalted butter cut into thin slices


Get ready:

  • Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Grease the cake pans with the 1 tablespoon of the butter, dust with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.

Make the batter:

  • In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. Add the salt. In a bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-8 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add half of the flour mixture, half of the sour cream, then the remaining flour mixture, remaining sour cream and the chopped chocolate. Do not over mix.


  • Spread half of the batter into each of the prepared pans. Tap the pans lightly so the batter settles. Place the pans in the center of the oven. Bake until a tester or small knife inserted in center emerges clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes. Unmold. Cool at least 1 hour.

Prepare the frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and sugar. In a medium pot, combine the heavy cream and vanilla and bring to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has melted. Gently whisk in the butter pieces. Set aside to cool.

Frost the cake:

  • When the frosting is cool, whip the frosting in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip to lighten the texture, 1-2 minutes. Put the first cake layer on a wire rack with a fitted baking sheet. Frost each layer of the cake, stacking them as neatly and uniformly and then frost outside of the cake.

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