This sour cream mocha cake is tender and delicious. It's easy to make and perfect for just about any occasion (especially with a cup of coffee, of course).
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Some of my first and most vivid memories of cooking with my mum involve baking cakes. She always had the deal that if I helped to make it, I could scrape the bowl for any leftovers. It was a pretty sweet deal to me as I enjoyed helping anyway.
Then when I was a bit older, I remember helping sculpt delicate flowers as part of the decorations for my grandparents' 50th anniversary cake.
Yet despite that, baking cakes is not really my thing. Don't get me wrong, I can follow recipes for cakes with very few issues. We just rarely need a whole cake so I don't make them too often.
Maybe as a result, I don't often play around with cake ideas. Not only are we not huge cake eaters, but I guess I feel like there's more that can go wrong. Which, there kind of is.
But, every now and then I get a bit brave, and it can be so worthwhile. Which was exactly the case with this sour cream mocha cake.
I made a sour cream apple cake a while back which is one my elder son still asks for now and then. This time, I decided it was about time to try my hand at another flavor combination with sour cream.
I know for some, it may not be your most typical ingredient, but it adds such a lovely flavor and texture in baking. It helps coffee cakes like this be wonderfully moist. Combining sour cream with chocolate and coffee is a match made in heaven.
As with many recipes, this is one where it's worth having good quality ingredients. Choose a high-quality chocolate and flavorful coffee. Hood Sour Cream is also the perfect choice as their sour cream is made with real Hood Milk and Cream and has a wonderful, consistent quality and flavor.
Hood has been producing great products for generations, so it's no surprise they are so popular. Plus as well as tubs like I used here, their Sour Cream comes in a squeeze bottle perfect to top potatoes, tacos and more. You'll find them all in the dairy aisle of your local grocery store.
Tips for making this sour cream mocha cake
Once you've got your ingredients, this is an easy cake to make. You do have a couple of things to prepare ahead, but then it all comes together very quickly.
- Make the coffee ahead of time - you can use decaffeinated if you prefer. I used espresso, but strong coffee made any way is fine.
- Grease the pan to make it easier to release after baking.
- Soften the butter to make it easier to beat. You don't want it completely melted, just give it 10 seconds in the microwave to make it a little easier to mix.
- You can make this cake with cocoa powder rather than chocolate, if you like. Personally, I prefer the flavor from real chocolate in there, even if you end up with slight flecks of color rather than solid brown, as you would with cocoa powder. If you use powder, you will need almost the same volume, just add a little water to make a thick paste before adding.
- Melt the chocolate before using so it mixes through as much as possible. You can do this either in 30 second intervals in the microwave or using a double broiler. If you melt it too far ahead, it may harden up again, so just re-heat slightly.
- I prefer brown sugar for flavor here, but you could use white if that's what you have.
- You'll see I have a couple slightly larger air pockets as I probably rushed putting it in the pan (bad habit). If you spoon in smaller amounts at a time, this won't be the case. Plus, you can conveniently drip the frosting over problematic areas.
- Use a skewer to test doneness. It should come out clean, with no stickiness once it is cooked through.
- Let the cake rest slightly before inverting. However, I'd recommend you remove the pan while the cake is still warm. It is likely to come out more easily than when completely cold.
This cake smells absolutely wonderful as it bakes. And while you sadly have to wait that little bit longer to add the frosting when it's cool, it's a wonderful finishing touch.
I've kept the flavors consistent with a mocha glaze, but if you prefer, you could go for something with more of a color contrast, like a brightly colored plain frosting. A sour cream glaze would also be wonderful, of course!
This sour cream mocha cake is wonderfully moist, flavorful and the perfect anytime treat. It's especially good alongside a cup of coffee but find whatever excuse you like. It's perfect for sharing too, and my kids, neighbors and friends were happy to help out.
This is a great cake cake to have ready for any kind of entertaining over the festive period too - easy to make and sure to be enjoyed. Maybe I should bake cakes more, after all. Why not go grab some ingredients and join me?!
Like chocolate? Try these other ideas:
- No bake chocolate custard
- Mini skillet brownie
- Chocolate madeleines
- Plus get more dessert recipes in the archives.
Tools to make this:
I made this cake in my my Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan which worked really well.
Sour cream mocha cake
For the cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 280g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks, 170g, slightly softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar 155g
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup Hood Sour Cream an 8oz/227g tub - I recommend full fat for this
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- ¼ cup espresso/strong coffee 60ml, cooled
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate 90g, melted and slightly cooled (vol of baking chips)
For the glaze
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 15g
- 1 oz bittersweet chocolate 30g
- 1 tablespoon coffee
- ½ cup powdered sugar 55g icing sugar
- If you have not already done so, make the coffee ahead of time and let it cool. Soften the butter slightly and melt the chocolate.
- Grease a 10 cup Bundt pan well with butter. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk them together to mix.
- In a separate medium-large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar so that it becomes slightly glossy.
- Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time, mixing so that it is combined before adding the next.
- Add the Hood Sour Cream, vanilla if using, coffee and chocolate to this butter mixture and mix so that it is well combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir just enough so that it is combined (you want to avoid over-mixing but also not have pockets of unblended flour).
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, flatten off the top and clean any stray batter from the pan. Bake for approx 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool a few minutes before loosening around the edges and inverting onto a cooling rack, removing the pan. Allow it to cool completely before glazing.
- For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate together and mix. Add the coffee then soft in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Stir to combine. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
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Thanks to HP Hood for sponsoring this post.