Darn Good Chocolate Cake ( Cake Mix Cake)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe is adapted from "The Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor" by Anne Byrn. It was originally a bundt cake with chocolate chips, but I prefer the look of layer cakes (so much more homey looking) so I switched the cake pan size AND I left out the chocolate chips (because there's nothing worse than ruining the velvety texture of a layer cake than by adding hard chocolate chips to it). This is a dense, moist layer cake. I cut each layer in half so I get 4 layers and slather them with "perfect chocolate frosting" (" Perfect" Chocolate Frosting). The end result is a fudgy chocolate layer cake with tons of frosting (and yes, it is going to be sweet). It is KEY to cut the layers in half. It ends up being a much moister cake this way because the frosting kind of melts into the cake layers forming a kind of fudgy filling in between the thin cake layers. I hope you enjoy it :)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Dust with flour and tap out the excess; set pans aside.
  4. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
  6. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. On medium low speed, continue to blend for 2-3 minutes more.
  8. The batter will be very thick and should look well combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth it out.
  10. Bake for 27-32 minutes (since I switched pans, I started checking the cakes at 25 minutes-- it was like gooey chocolate pudding-- then 3 minutes later it was perfect.
  11. Another couple of minutes and I think it would have been dry, so keep an eye on your cakes.
  12. Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  13. Now is the time to start preparing your frosting.
  14. Run a knife along the edges on the cakes pans and carefully remove cake by inverting it; allow to cool for 20 minutes more on the wire rack right side up.
  15. When the cake layers are completely cool, cut layers in half (save a domed layer for the top-- it makes your cakes look homemade) and frost.


Most Helpful

Terrific cake Taylor! Moist and dense like you said. I made this for a cake decorating class, but I cannot wait to try it in a layer cake. I really liked how it cut so cleanly, no crumbs! Looks and tastes like it came from a bakery. I agree with you about not adding the chocolate chips. I will definately be using this recipe often. Thanks for sharing! Update: I was so impressed with the texture of this cake (I'm into cake decorating) that I have used this formula with other flavors of cake. I made this with a cherry chip cake mix using cheesecake flavored pudding mix, it was awesome. It cuts perfectly and the layers are sturdy enough to divide into more layers, and stay together well while handling for stacking. I'm loving this recipe!

Not-2-Sweet March 04, 2008

Came out moist, chocolatey, and not too sweet! I used a 9x13 pan; It came out so tall I was able to cut it in half and put frosting in the middle! I also used cold coffee in place of the water.

iheartbaking6688 July 06, 2010

Great cake - thank you! I think its the addition of the sour cream that makes the difference because I have made other "box" cakes that call for pudding mix and the texture & taste of this recipe is superior. Also, I had no sour cream so I used 1 cup plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and it turned out perfect. I can't wait to try it again with the sour cream :) EDIT: I just made this again but this time I used a lemon cake mix + sugar free Jello white chocolate pudding mix + 1 cup plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of corn starch. This is THE most delicious cake I have ever tasted and the texture is fantastic, smooth, and moist. I frosted it with a simple home made buttercream in which I added half a pack of pink lemonade Kool-Aid (powder) for that oh so lemony flavor.

Merry Cook April 03, 2009

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