Moist Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe (With Sour Cream)

This chocolate coffee cake recipe is moist, rich, and full of flavor. It’s perfect for a special occasion or a simple weekend treat. Best of all, it’s made with sour cream, which gives the cake a wonderfully moist texture.
Helena Shaw
chocolate coffee cake

Why Add Coffee to Chocolate Cake?

Adding coffee to chocolate cake may seem like an odd combination, but trust us, it works. The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee. If you don’t have any coffee on hand, you can use water instead. Just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid called for in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.

How Long Does Sour Cream Coffee Cake Last?

This cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If you need to store it for longer than that, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before freezing. Ready to look at our recipe for the perfect chocolate coffee cake?

Moist Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature;
  • 1 cup sugar;
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted;
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, sifted;
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder;
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda;
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • 1 cup sour cream;
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee or water;
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter;
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips;
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream;
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. Add cream and coffee (or water) to the butter mixture alternately in three additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix using an electric mixer just until combined after each addition (batter will be thick).
  5. Reserve 1/4 cup chocolate chips for topping; stir remaining chips into batter until evenly distributed throughout.
  6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula or spoon.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.
See also:  Cream Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe With Crumble Topping

For Frosting:

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips together, stirring constantly until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in cream and vanilla extract until combined.
  3. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
  4. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, spread the frosting evenly over the top.
  5. Top with the second cake layer, spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake.
  6. Sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup chocolate chips over top.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream;
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.


  1. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until it just begins to simmer.
  2. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over top. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth and combined.
  3. Let cool slightly before pouring over cake or serving as a dipping sauce for strawberries or other fruit. Enjoy!

How to Store Chocolate Cake

Store this chocolate coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Be sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap before freezing.

Can I Use Natural Cocoa Powder?

We recommend using natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed, for this recipe. If you do use Dutch-processed cocoa powder, omit the baking soda and reduce the amount of baking powder to 1/4 teaspoon.

Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of your favorite chocolate pudding mix instead of cocoa powder (omit salt in this case). Simply add it to the dry ingredients before mixing with wet ingredients. But be warned: using pudding mix will result in a sweeter cake. Adjust sweetness to taste by reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe, if desired.

See also:  Pumpkin Coffee Cake With Crumb or Streusel Topping

Ready to try your delicious chocolate coffee cake?

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