Filed Under: Cakes & Cupcakes

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
July 12th, 2013
4.41 from 5 votes
4.41 from 5 votes

I want my chocolate cake to be outrageously chocolatey and incredibly moist and rich in texture. This chocolate sour cream bundt cake is exactly that! You're going to adore how quickly it comes together into a beautiful table presentation.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The perfect amount of sweetness with a slight tang from the sour cream and just brimming with chocolate flavor.
Texture: Very moist and tender, and I just love the thickness of the glaze on top.
Ease: Easier than creating a layered cake but equally beautiful.
Appearance: The bundt cake pan really does all beautification work for you.
Pros: Crowd pleasing and doable cake.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Mhm.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake from Handle the Heat

Isn’t it funny to look back and realize how difficult some things used to be to accomplish? I sometimes have to remind myself of that in regards to cooking and baking because I used to have a million questions about every recipe and always felt nervous entering the kitchen. Now I write my own recipes and can usually tell what is going to work or not work just by gazing at a recipe. Remember how hard long division was in 4th grade? Then suddenly it was second nature.

I had to buy a combination lock to use at the gym recently and I was immediately taken back in time to when my mom bought me my first combination lock in 7th grade for my P.E. locker (we didn’t have regular lockers). I don’t know why but figuring out how to enter in the numbers, having to turn the dial a bunch of different ways to unlock, seemed so daunting to me at the time. It probably didn’t help that the idea of getting changed into the hideous gym uniform in front of all my classmates seemed like the worst form of torture imaginable back then. Now in 2013, I got the combination to my current gym lock down in one try. I’m pretty sure it took me about 20 times before I got it in 7th grade and that was only due to fear of Ms. Chilton, the evil British gym coach, having to use the bolt cutter on my locker. It’s amazing what time can do for you.

There was once a time when I didn’t like chocolate cakes all that much because I’d only ever had dry and bland or mass produced cakes. I want my chocolate cake to be outrageously chocolatey and incredibly moist and rich in texture. This chocolate sour cream bundt cake is exactly that! You’re going to adore how quickly it comes together into a beautiful table presentation.

4.41 from 5 votes

How to make
Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
I want my chocolate cake to be outrageously chocolatey and incredibly moist and rich in texture. This chocolate sour cream bundt cake is exactly that! You're going to adore how quickly it comes together into a beautiful table presentation.


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.
  5. In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Baked Bree
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — July 12, 2013 at 4:54 am

    Chocolate cakes absolutely must be moist – this sounds perfect. And that glaze omg! BTW you’re not alone with the whole ‘I don’t want to change in front of my classmates’ bit. Middle school is awful.

  2. #
    Tieghan — July 12, 2013 at 6:05 am

    That glaze! Oh my goodness!! This beautiful cake looks so good!! Really, really, real goood! YUM!

    Oh and I am so with you! I never wanted/liked to change in fromt of my classmates. Middle school stunk!

  3. #
    Heather — July 12, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I’m usually super picky about my chocolate cake preferences, but this looks absolutely heavenly!

  4. #
    ashley – baker by nature — July 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Um, holy heck girl! This cake is stunning!

  5. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — July 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

    love this bundt cake! I bake them all the time and was wondering what you thought of using the espresso powder + the boiling water instead of a cup of brewed coffee? I’ve tried both but found more moistness with the coffee. . which is weird since it’s virtually doing the same thing but I totally want to try your recipe and will soon! (after I make ice cream sandwiches from your book!) beautiful bundt!

    • #
      Tessa — July 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      I think you’re right, they are basically the same thing! I personally find it easier to use the espresso powder so that I’m not going through the process of making coffee and having to clean another machine but it should work great either way. I’d be interested in doing a side-by-side comparison for texture and flavor differences with espresso powder + water vs. brewed coffee.

  6. #
    marcie@flavorhtemoments — July 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    This looks so chocolatey and delicious! I just love a good bundt cake.

  7. #
    Kiran @ — July 14, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Oh my gosh, that glaze!! So tempting 😀

  8. #
    Helga — November 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Your blog is amazing! The pictures look so appetizing and inspire to cook. Thank you!

  9. #
    Juanna — January 5, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I would love to try this cake, looks absolutely yummy. Could I substitute the corn syrup with maple syrup or golden syrup, since corn syrup isn’t available where I live?

  10. #
    Michele — April 18, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Hi can we use boxed chocolate cake mix ?

    • #
      Tessa — April 18, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I haven’t tried that personally, but I believe some other commenters have with success!

  11. #
    Monarchland — July 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Made this recipe for my mother’s 60th birthday and it was a hit! For anyone wondering, I used fresh brewed French roast coffee instead of using expresso power with boiling water. The cake turned out was just as moist and rich.

    • #
      Tessa — July 19, 2016 at 6:10 pm


  12. #
    Mrs.Marsh — November 18, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    My husband loved this! The first day he took it to work he, sent me a message and said “this cake is amazing”. I had the rest in the fridge and the next day he had another while at work and messaged me and said “really, your cake is amazing”. I had to make another just as a thank you! So thank you, Tessa!

  13. #
    Audrey — November 23, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Tessa.. can I use buttermilk or yoghurt to replace the sourcream? Thanks…

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Yes, plain yogurt would be the easiest 1-1 substitute!

  14. #
    Mrs.Marsh — November 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

    This was a bake sale hit too!

  15. #
    Peg — June 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Hello. I just found this amazing recipe and was wondering if I could substitute low fat sour cream, 2.5 gr per serving vs 5 gr.fat?
    Thank you.

  16. #
    Deborah — April 5, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    For 2 years now this has been my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s dense and rich, soft and moist, and not too sweet. Perfect.

  17. #
    Michele — August 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    After making a different Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt recipe that did not turn out. I found your recipe knew I loved it at 1 c sour cream, butter, 5 eggs, the twist for me is the brown sugar. Tried all brown in cookies, never cake. Anyway, made this for a coworkers Birthday. We just sliced it! OMG! It is so moist, chewy, deep chocolate flavor. Great recipe. We live and work in the Napa Valley, so everyone believes themselves to be food experts around here. The guy I baked it for is super, super picky. He is one happy camper today. Thank you very much! -Michele

  18. #
    Julie — September 25, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    What is the weight of 12 tablespoons of butter? I find having to measure a tablespoon 12 times a bit taxing!!

  19. #
    Linda — October 16, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Julie, 12 US tablespoons of butter is 6 ounces or 170g

    Tessa, or anyone else who can help. What size bundt pan would I use for this recipe?

    Thank you.

  20. #
    Betsy — March 28, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    The flavor of this cake is amazing!!!!! I give 5 stars for flavor. I’m not sure if I did something wrong on my end but the cake was very dense & a little dry; the texture was more like pound cake. I prefer a softer, lighter cake. The cake didn’t go to waste & we enjoyed it with vanilla ice cream.

    • #
      Tessa — April 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Betsy – glad to hear that! Bundt cake is generally a little denser than layer cake as it needs to hold its shape. Make sure not to mis-measure your flour as that will produce a drier texture. Check out this post for tips:

  21. #
    Marcia — October 6, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    I was disappointed in this cake. It has a lot of expensive, rich ingredients and I found it to be only okay. I used high quality chocolate and real butter. The batter was super fluffy and was more than my bundt pan could hold. I made a few cupcakes with the leftover batter. The cake tested done in the 50 minutes listed in the directions. I removed it from the oven and it sunk down. The cake was baked through though and actually tasted rather dry. We ended up eating it with ice cream to help with the dryness. I was really looking forward to this cake but it fell far short of my expectations.

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