I know that some of you looked at the title of this recipe and thought sourdough chocolate what? Or perhaps you thought it was a typo and that this is actually a sour cream chocolate cake. Actually, it is a sour cream chocolate cake, but the recipe title is also correct. This chocolate cake includes a cup of sourdough starter in the batter, which is awesome for those of us who keep sourdough starters for bread and are sometimes looking for ways to use up the cup of starter that gets discarded when feeding our bubbly little pets. If you don’t have a sourdough starter, don’t worry, this cake can easily be made without one and it will still be an absolutely delicious chocolate sour cream cake. Instructions for doing this are in the recipe notes. If you would like to experiment with sourdough, here are my instructions for creating your own starter.
The great thing about this cake, other than the fact that you can use up a cup of sourdough starter discard, is that this cake is super easy to make. It’s a dump everything into one bowl and mix for three minutes kind of cake. It’s also one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted– rich, moist, sweet, intense. And the chocolate cream cheese frosting? It’s easily my new favorite chocolate frosting recipe. Hands down. The frosting is simple to make, too.
While I’m sure this cake will be very good made with pretty much any brand of unsweetened natural cocoa powder, including the Hershey’s that I usually have in the pantry, I used some Scharffen Berger that Phil brought home from work and it really took the cake and frosting to the next level. Although this isn’t a fancy layer cake, it is such a delicious recipe that I think it’s worth splurging on the best quality cocoa powder you can afford, especially if you’re making this for a gift or a special occasion.
I had planned on putting chopped walnuts on top of the cake but the last of my walnuts were pretty old and not tasting so great. Luckily I found some pecans in the freezer and they were the perfect addition. If you don’t like nuts on your chocolate cake, just leave them off. But please, please try the frosting.
This recipe was created after reading through several recipes, including the Sourdough Chocolate Cake from King Arthur Flour, and Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod. I made notes, adjusted ingredients according to what I had on hand and what sounded good to me, and came up with this, which will now be my go-to chocolate cake for every occasion that requires a chocolate cake. My husband, who has been saying over and over “I don’t even like chocolate cake!” as he shoves another piece into his mouth, told me that this is a perfect cake.
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