Golden Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Two Sundays ago, Shane and I worked a shift on the Fellenz Family Farm as part of our obligation to the UUCC CSA. After nearly four hours of hoeing and transplanting, we’d worked up quite an appetite. Shane wanted a big breakfast — eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, hash browns — but I wanted a huge slab of vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. The craving was so vivid I could almost taste it.

Unfortunately, the diner where we stopped to eat didn’t have this kind of cake. So when we returned home, I headed into the kitchen.

The result was a dense and moist golden cake, similar in flavor to a pound cake but with a lighter texture and flavor, perfect to pair with frosting.

The frosting, which uses a hefty dose of sour cream, has a definite tang and although it includes 30 oz. of melted chocolate, is not very sweet. This is a frosting for adult palates, so if you’re looking for something more traditional, look elsewhere!

Golden Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (from

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups sour cream

20 oz fine-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
10 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

To make cake, preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter 2 (9- by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms of each with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Add half of flour mixture and mix at low speed until just blended. Add sour cream, mixing until just combined, then add remaining flour mixture, mixing at low speed until batter is smooth.

Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops.

Bake in middle of oven until cake is springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper, and cool completely.

Trim tops of cooled cake layers with a long serrated knife if necessary to make flat and level; frost.

To make frosting, melt chocolates in a double boiler or a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat, then whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (frosting will become thick enough to spread). You must work quickly and spread the frosting before it becomes too thick. (If icing does become stiff, reheat over simmering water, then cool and try again.)

Categories: Cakes, Chocolate, desserts, Grade Range: A- to A+


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