Makes two 9-inch cake layers; 12 to 16 servings

This basic chocolate cake recipe provides a great starting point for your own culinary creation or one of our suggestions. The double layers make for a pretty presentation—the rest is up to you.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until blended. Beat in eggs. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; beat until combined.

Step 2

In another bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk and sour cream.

Step 3

Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to butter mixture, about a third of each at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated (batter will be very thick). Scrape batter equally into two buttered and floured 9-inch round cake pans and spread level.

Step 4

Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks and remove pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Chef's Notes

To melt the chocolate, break it into small pieces and place in a small microwave-safe bowl; cook in a microwave oven at half power (50%), stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Ratings & Reviews

rainboltmrv's Review

March 21, 2013
I agree with the other two reviewers. I also made this for the raspberry chocolate cake. It was very dry and little flavor. A box cake would have supplied the necessary elements for an outstanding raspberry chocolate cake with much less effort and expense. Definitely would not use recipe again.

ra2636's Review

February 11, 2013
I wish I had read the review before I made the cake. It was the worst cake I have ever made. They were dry and tasted little choclate flavoured cardboard. What a waste of time and money.

Imen24's Review

June 26, 2010
Made this for the raspberry chocolate cake. This cake is awfully dry! It had a decent consistency, but unless you are doing something with a LOT of cream or filling, it is just too dry. A good point is the amount of sugar. It isn't superfluously sweet so you could add in that extra sweet filling without overwhelming the flavor. Overall, however, I suggest skipping this one and using a recipe that is proven to come out a little more moist and just control the amount of sugar you put in.