Darn Good Chocolate Cake ( Cake Mix Cake)

"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" (recipe #86768). 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 :)"
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Aunt Paula photo by Aunt Paula
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by ksbjackson photo by ksbjackson
photo by paigerbaby26 photo by paigerbaby26
Ready In:
1 layered cake




  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Dust with flour and tap out the excess; set pans aside.
  • Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  • Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
  • Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • On medium low speed, continue to blend for 2-3 minutes more.
  • The batter will be very thick and should look well combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth it out.
  • 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.
  • Another couple of minutes and I think it would have been dry, so keep an eye on your cakes.
  • Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  • Now is the time to start preparing your frosting.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Questions & Replies

  1. I used milk instead of water. What will happen?? I will let you all know once it's done, cooled and iced.
  2. I can only find 13.25 oz cake mix. Will this work?
  3. Any one make cup cakes with this recipe
  4. Can I use a 9x13 pan? Anyone have success with that?
  5. My box cake is 15. Ounces can I use 2 boxes or will this effect the outcome?


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. This is the best way to improve a boxed cake mix. The cake itself was very moist and extra chocolatey. I loved it!
  5. I am not even playing that this cake is sooooo good. Too good! I ate most of it and I honestly do not like chocolate cake. This is a keeper for sure.


  1. I am looking to bake this cake in bundt pan. Can anyone tell me how long to bake and time? Do ingredient measurements stay same?
  2. Starbuck’s Mocha Frappuccino In a glass bottle.
  3. I follow the recipe with Godiva dark chocolate pudding and instead of water I use 1/2 cup Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino I’m glad bottle!!! Amazing every time!
  4. I have made this recipe at least 30 times and I switch up the flavors all the time! Yellow cake with vanilla pudding, lemon cake with lemon filling, and recently funfetti mix with vanilla pudding. They are hits every time. They make great cupcakes too!
  5. One of the most moist cakes I've ever made! Love it. I did use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Maybe next time I'll follow another posters comment and substitute coffee instead of using water. Sounds very tasty.



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