Not Too Sweet…Just Right

I like to have a couple of go-to recipes that can be whipped up in a pinch.  Last Wednesday, I discovered that it was my friend Kim’s birthday…she likes to keep it a secret, but she should’ve known better ;).  So, for our weekly gathering I wanted to make her something special…I gave her the option of chocolate or lemon…she chose wisely…yes, chocolate.  I reached into my holster (aka my recipe box) and pulled out the Cocoa Sour Cream Cake recipe a dear friend had shared with me many years ago (Debbie, does it seem that long ago???).  I have a beautiful bundt pan, that adds to the visual impact of the cake. 

My first tip for this type of cake…many recipes will tell you to grease and flour the pan.  I have had some difficulty with this, actually with this very recipe…in this very pan.  I found that when I liberally floured the pan (to prevent sticking), the finished cake had clumps of flour in the details…not so pretty or appetizing.  I decided I would try sugaring the pan, it works beautifully :).  I first spray with a nonstick cooking spray (this pan is too detailed for my usual butter treatment).

See how intricate the pan is…it was intimidating at first, but I think I have the hang of it now…go ahead and add sugar, turning the pan and patting it to move the sugar around to cover all of the nooks and crannies.

Keep it up until it is all covered.

Tap it over the sink, upside down, to get the excess out.  Now, set it aside and whip up the batter.  I am going to warn you in advance…this batter is delish!  It smells like chocolate mousse & I couldn’t resist a taste (despite the raw eggs).  Put the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the mixer…

Beat until creamy…

Time to add the sour cream…

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients…

You will alternate the dry ingredients with the buttermilk…

I leave my mixer on low while adding…if I stop and start the dry stuff goes everywhere, creating a fine dust layer over the kitchen.

I did the alternations in fourths.

What you end up with will make you want to get a spoon and start eating…resist this urge…you can get your fix with the beater, the bowl, and the spatula ;).  Pour it in the bundt pan and into a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.


I let the cake rest in the pan for 10 or so minutes before I flipped it onto the serving platter.  I definitely did not let it cool completely…it is way too good warm. 


 For a little extra oomph, I sprinkled it with powdered sugar and a light dusting of cocoa.  This is also fabulous with a glaze of chocolate ganache or a dollop of freshly made whipped cream…perfect for Valentine’s day, too.  What will you top it with???


Today’s secret revealed…did you know that if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, in a pinch you can ‘sour’ the milk with white vinegar or lemon juice?  You put one tablespoon of either into a measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup line with regular milk :).    I routinely am out of buttermilk, so I have used this in a variety of recipes…works like a charm!



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Not Too Sweet…Just Right — 35 Comments

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