Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

This chocolate sour cream Bundt cake is quick and easy to make but complex as hell in taste. And if the cake weren’t enough, on top is a sinful chocolate glazzle–that’s a glaze that’s drizzled.

A chocolate glazed chocolate bundt cake sitting atop a white cake stand with a dish of glaze on the side

This chocolate sour cream Bundt cake has a chocolatey intensity that’s old-fashioned in the best possible way, thanks to the intensity of cocoa powder. It’s also rather old-school in how it’s made, which is entirely by hand—no stand mixer required, which may make it a relic in the best possible way compared to all your other recipes. Originally published December 23, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (36)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 14 to 16
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Special Equipment: 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan


  • For the cake
  • For the glaze


Make the chocolate sour cream Bundt cake

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water. Cook, stirring, just until the butter is melted and everything is thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Place the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk until blended. Add half the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be quite thick. Add the remaining melted butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking until completely blended before adding the next egg. Then whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert it onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze

Just before glazing the cooled cake, place the chopped chocolate and agave nectar or corn syrup in a bowl. Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. If the glaze is exceptionally runny, let it sit for a minute or so to thicken.

Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip and dribble down the sides. Wait a little, if you can, until the glaze is set prior to slicing and serving and helping yourself to seconds.

Print RecipeBuy the Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food cookbook

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    Chocolate Sour Cream Cakes Of All Shapes and Sizes

    • The recipe is moist and lovely as a Bundt cake form but also translates marvelously to cakes of all shapes and sizes, including layer cakes and cupcakes. You’ll need to adjust the time spent in the oven accordingly; start checking the cake or cupcakes for doneness after 20 to 25 minutes and trust that when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any crumbs clinging to it, your cake is done and you can do your happy dance.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is a perfect chocolate sour cream Bundt cake! Easy—no mixer needed, really! The times are just right—40 minutes was perfect to cook the cake. The mixture is thick enough that you will need to scrape the bowl after pouring the batter in the Bundt pan. You will want to get every delicious drop. The chocolate glaze had a few tweaks that I hadn’t seen before, and the recipe will be my standard now, since it made such a beautiful shiny glaze. Unlike most baked goods, this cake was better the next day. A great recipe for beginners and experienced bakers alike. Next time I need to bring a dessert somewhere, this will be it.

    This cake is pure indulgence but much more approachable than other desserts of this caliber due to the ease of making a Bundt cake and the familiarity of most of the ingredients. The recipe comes together quickly, in about 20 minutes. Make sure that you grease the Bundt pan generously. On my first try, a bit of the cake stuck to the pan because I wasn't generous enough with my butter. The hardest part about this recipe is being patient enough to let it cool and applying the glaze, which is truly what makes it over-the-top delicious. Warning: if you aren’t a huge fan of chocolate, this probably isn’t the dessert for you.

    This chocolate sour cream cake only lasted two days here. Everyone who tried it fell in love. My daughter even said she may want this one for her birthday cake this year. I was afraid after it was mixed up that it wouldn’t work since the batter was so thin. It was definitely a pouring batter and not a scraping one, at least for me. Never fear though: it baked up beautifully, and the bittersweet chocolate made the perfect topping for this super-moist and delicious cake. I opted to use corn syrup instead of agave nectar since I already had it on hand. This one goes in my “to make again and again” file.

    I wanted to throw together a quick dessert to go with a roast chicken, and when I saw this chocolate sour cream Bundt cake recipe, I thought it looked pretty simple, so I made it. The batter is on the thin side, so it pours nicely out of the bowl—almost like a dense brownie batter. That is also how the cake turned out. While baking, the batter rose and then sunk in the middle, almost like a molten chocolate cake, but the texture was very dense in the finished product. Lots of chocolate flavor, and very moist. I confess that I didn’t make the glaze to go with it, and it wasn’t missed at all, as the cake is quite sweet and went very well with vanilla bean ice cream. Would also be very nice with a raspberry coulis or some other fruit. It was almost truffle-like in texture.

    This chocolate sour cream Bundt is a “straight-A” cake. The batter is easy to mix with just a wooden spoon, and it pours nicely into the Bundt pan without a mess. (Have you tried putting dollops of thick cake batter neatly into a Bundt pan? Impossible.) The finished cake looks fancy and oh-so-appetizing, with the chocolate glaze maintaining its sheen and creaminess even after the cake has been “overnighted” in the refrigerator. And when you taste it, oh my, it’s delicious! The cake has a good cocoa flavor, and it slices clean, thanks to its texture that is just moist and sturdy enough. The foolproof chocolate glaze is addictively rich and luscious. You won’t want to waste any of it by drizzling it and letting the excess fall through the rack. Give it a minute or so, as the recipe suggests, and spread it all over the cake with a rubber spatula and swirl it with the back of a dinner spoon. There’s enough to cover the entire cake beautifully.

    This chocolate Bundt cake turns out a lovely Bundt cake. Caution: When the recipe calls for adding half of the cocoa-butter mixture, the cake batter looks more like dough than batter. I'd recommend using a rubber scraper or spoon rather a whisk to stir during this part of the recipe. Once the other half of the cocoa mixture and eggs are added, the batter easily pours into the pan. The glaze recipe produces a perfectly rich topping for a cake with heavenly texture. The light sweetness of the cake and the bitter chocolate ganache-style glaze balance each other out. I thought there wouldn't be enough cream for the glaze, but it was perfect. The cake came out tender, moist, and dense. It's an ideal everyday cake or for company.

    Imagine having everything in the house that you need to bake a cake and that you can bake it in minutes without dirtying the stand mixer. A good whisk will turn the ingredients into chocolate magic. This cake turns out a delicious, moist cake that's reminiscent of a chocolate glazed cake donut when it's complete. The batter is quickly mixed together and then poured into a pan. Cooled and topped with a delicious glaze, this looks as good as it tastes. I have to say mine rose in a strange way—it actually looked like a donut rose from the middle of my Bundt pan. It didn’t rise from the edges of the pan, just from the middle. Next time I would try milk chocolate for the glaze (just my personal preference). I used the agave nectar and wonder if it would taste any different if I'd used corn syrup. Have some cold milk ready—your tasters will want it!

    This chocolate sour cream Bundt cake is absolutely amazing! As soon as I took the first bite, I wanted to jump up and make it again! The sour cream cuts the sweet taste just enough and makes it amazingly moist. It was simple to prepare and came out of the pan perfectly. I did have to bake it about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for. The glaze did seem a little runny at first, but, as stated in the recipe, once it sat for a few minutes, it thickened up beautifully. This is a winner!

    This chocolate sour cream Bundt cake is a very easy recipe to prepare; no mixer needed, and it’s based on very simple ingredients which are always available and aren't very expensive in most countries. It takes just minutes from reading the recipe until the cake is in the oven, and it’s very easy to follow, even for beginners. The cake looks very elegant, and it's nice to have it with an afternoon coffee or as a birthday cake served with this nice and tasty glaze on it. For us, it’s a keeper. Thanks!

    I haven't made a cake in years. I mean years. I don’t really like cake. I'd rather save my calories for other things. This Bundt cake recipe is the exception to that rule. This cake, I loved. Since I don't make a lot of sweets (that is changing thanks to Leite’s), I was very aware of how well-written and easy to follow the recipe is. I like the way that every part of every step is explained so well. I knew what to do and what to expect. After whisking in the ingredients in all of the separate steps, the resulting batter had a beautiful silky, satiny, glossy sheen. I was able to pour a good deal of it into the prepared Bundt pan, but the rest did have to be scraped out of the bowl. I found that after 45 minutes in our oven, there was still a band of the cake that needed an extra 3 minutes in the oven. I took the cake out of the oven when a wooden skewer poked into the cake, in different places, came out clean. I was amazed at how easy the glaze was to make. It was also silky beautiful. The finished product had a moist, fudge-like texture in the very center. I did not want to put the cake back into the oven, because the rest of the cake was moist and wonderful. I did not want it to dry out. Even the overly moist center of the cake was very good, although I don’t think that that is the way the cake was supposed to turn out. I'd like feedback to see if anyone else had this problem with the recipe.

    Wow. WOW! This chocolate sour cream Bundt cake recipe is so straightforward, and the results will have your family thanking you for slaving away in the kitchen all day. Let them be fooled! No need to let eggs and butter come to room temperature. No need to lug out your huge, heavy KitchenAid mixer. Just whisk to combine, toss into a pretty pan, and bake! I served this to my family with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream—desserts don't get more special than that!

    This is one great cake recipe. When you make this cake, you'll be a star in the eyes of your friends and family. This cake is moist, beautiful, chocolatey, and most of all a very easy cake to make. Having made this a few times, I sometimes add 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder and have even been known to sift a bit of confectioners' sugar over the cake instead of dribbling it with ganache. Whatever you do, this cake looks like it was made by a professional!


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    1. This is hands down the BEST chocolate cake I’ve EVER made!! If you make it BE SURE to serve it with homemade whipped cream with powdered sugar (the powdered sugar keeps any leftover whipped cream stiff, and not getting watery). I honestly think my quest for the perfect chocolate cake has ended here. And it tastes even better when cool. The only change I’ll make is frosting it with an old fashioned boiled frosting instead of the ganache, but that’s personal taste, not a criticism of the topping. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

      1. Thanks, Ruth! I’m delighted that you love this cake as much as we do. So appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

    2. The cake came out quite moist and well structured, though fairly light in density. This is only my 4th-ever cake and is the best one I’ve made. I’m glad I cut the glaze recipe in half! I didn’t have all the ingredients for the glaze so I had to substitute honey for the agave, and some dark chocolate candy bars for the dark chocolate (so I didn’t add much sugar as it is already in there). Also, I put in some raspberries from my yard into the glaze which is why it isn’t totally smooth in the photo. The glaze never hardened, though it is delicious! I hope to find a super dense sour cream cake like Mom used to make, but this is certainly a nice one and easy to make.

      1. Thanks, Sarah! I’m delighted that this turned out so well for you and I loooove the addition of raspberries to the chocolate glaze. Definitely going to have to try that!

    3. What brought me to your site and this recipe is finding a container of sour cream past its sell by date in the fridge ; ) I used the suggestion to use coffee in place of plain water, and used 1/2 cup of cocoa powder as some had suggested, cause I was wanting a richer chocolate cake. I also didn’t have enough regular sugar, so I used light brown sugar (since another recipe for a sour cream chocolate bundt called for it instead I took a chance that it would be ok) and the bundt turned out great. When my boyfriend took the first bite his reaction was: Wow! : )

      1. That’s a gorgeous looking bundt cake, Angie. We’re delighted it turned out so well for you. We can’t wait to hear which recipe from the site you try next.

    4. The cake is really good. My girlfriend named the cake Chocolate Sin because the cake is so good you gonna sin by committing gluttony. When I make this cake I have friends who will drive 15 to 20 minutes to my house just to get a piece of the cake. If you like dark chocolate this is the cake for you.

    5. David, I made this cake yesterday for dessert after dinner at home with with a friend. Howling success–howling. It is simple, easy to prepare, delicious, and pretty, to boot.

      Our guest loved it so that she begged for the recipe. I had printed it out before making it, so I gave her the printed recipe and two huge slices of the cake to take home.

      I have now made THREE of your cakes: the lemon macadamia one, the gingerbread bundt cake, and this one. Each was spectacularly successful. Thank you for giving me and my guests so much pleasure!

      1. Christina, thank you so much!! Our editors and testers work hard to 1.) find the best recipes, 2.) test the hell out of them, and 3.) incorporate out learning so that they’re the closest thing to foolproof you can find!

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