Sour cream chocolate cake

Sour cream chocolate cake

Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

If I had to choose only one chocolate cake recipe to carry me through life, this would have to be it. It is just as a chocolate cake should be — not the fudgy, flourless kind that everyone loves for dessert, but the perfect cake to slice into wedges for afternoon teas and picnics. The sour cream is the secret to its lightness. The cake cuts easily, yet is rich and beautifully moist. You can keep it plain or add a coating of buttery almonds.

The recipe makes one very large cake or two smaller cakes: one to eat, one to freeze for another time or give to a friend.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons flaked almonds
1 cup boiling water
125g dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups plain flour
A pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup light sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously butter a 3-litre fluted bundt tin or 2 x 20 cm ring tins. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, pressing them well into the butter to coat the base and sides of the tin.
  2. Put the boiling water, chocolate and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Leave to cool. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla, adding to the chocolate mixture a little at a time. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in alternately with the sour cream, mixing lightly until just combined. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon.
  3. Turn gently into prepared tin(s) and bake for 1–11⁄4 hours for a large cake, 45 minutes for smaller cakes, or until cooked when tested with a fine skewer. Leave for a minute, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
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