This is a simple, quick cake to make. Baking it in springform pan minimizes the pan prep and assures a very nice presentation without having to dig slices from a pan.  Ganache is easy to make and much quicker than frosting a cake.

This recipe makes a moist, chocolate sour cream cake. It is not light and airy; more like a pound cake but not as dense. It is very good.

Instead of layers, this cake is made in a glass-base springform pan. When the ring is removed from the cake, you have a very nice presentation. Instead of frosting the cake, simply pour this thick chocolate ganache over the cake.

This marble cake is attractive enough for a special occasion. It has much more chocolate than vanilla though the vanilla marble is very attractive once cut. (See the all-chocolate variation below.)


1 3/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup Belcolade dark cocoa 22/24 or equal


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Continue beating until the mixture is light and cream colored. Add the vanilla and milk.
  3. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not beat more than necessary. Add one-half of the sour cream and mix in. Repeat with another one-third of the flour, then half the sour cream, and then the remaining flour.
  4. Remove about one-third of the completed batter to another bowl.
  5. Add the cocoa to the two-thirds portion of the batter, folding in with a spatula until smooth.
  6. Spoon one-half the chocolate batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan. Then, spoon the vanilla batter on top of the chocolate batter in three or four pools. Spoon on the remaining chocolate batter. Hold a knife vertically and cut through the batters to create a swirled effect. Do not stir but cut the knife through batters every three-quarters of an inch or so to create the swirls (less is better).
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake tests done with skewer or toothpick inserted in the center. Remove the cake to a wire rack and let it cool for five minutes before removing the ring.

All chocolate variation:

Simply skip the steps of removing part of the vanilla batter and swirling the two batters together. Increase the cocoa by one tablespoon.

For the chocolate topping:

1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup pure dark chocolate chips or other good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Bring the cream to a boil. Place the chips in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chips and stir to melt. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Set the chocolate topping aside to cool until it is of a thick pouring consistency. (The chocolate should barely pour.)
  2. Pour the chocolate over the cooled cake letting some of it drizzle down the sides. If you have any leftover chocolate, warm it slightly and drizzle it in a few random lines over your serving plates for a nice presentation. (If you chill the plates first, the chocolate will set up nicely when drizzled on the plates.)
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