Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Buttercream

I was commissioned to make a birthday cake for my boss, Van. He loves him some chocolate, so I looked through my Cake Mix Doctor book and found a cake that I thought would suit him. The Cake Mix Doctor refers to this cake as her "go to" chocolate cake. Couldn't pass that up. It was moist and easy to bake up and slice! I found the recipe posted on

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake
  • Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
  • Flour for dusting the pans
  • 1pkg (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix WITH pudding
  • 1c sour cream
  • 3/4c water
  • 1/2c vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1t pure vanilla extract


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
  2. Blend the cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
  3. Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
My cakes always take longer to cool. 30 minutes? Lies! I topped the cake off with a Hazelnut (read: Nutella) Buttercream that my friend Natosha makes. It is aaaaaaaaaaaawwwesoooooooooome!

Hazelnut Buttercream
  • 1lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2c milk
  • 1/8t salt
  • 1/2t Vanilla
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1/2c shortening
  • 3/4c Nutella
  1. Beat with electric mixer the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and milk at low speed until smooth.
  2. Add butter, one slice at a time, until incorporated
  3. Add shortening and whip at highest speed 10-12 minutes, until volume increases by at least 50%.
  4. Fold in Nutella by hand.
I made a four layer cake! I've always been nervous about cutting the cake in half, but I have a great long, serrated knife that made it easy. So I sliced those bad boys up put frosting between each of the layers. I kept the cake in the fridge. It sets the frosting nicely, and it's probably for the best since it's a buttercream.

I need to be more diligent in lining up the cakes. I sliced of the rounded tops so that they would be even, but it still ended up relatively lop-sided. I think I have to better keep track of how I uncorked the top of the cake from the bottom so that once it has been frosted I can put the top of the cake back on so that it lines up just how it was removed. You know what I mean?

Van and the clients thought the cake was Van-tastic (hehe). It turned out moist and tasty. If I were to make it again, I would do it in cupcake form and fill the cupcakes with frosting, 'cuz, man, it's good.

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