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Mrs. Hart's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Mrs. Hart's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

This is my great-grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe. I was never able to meet my great-grandmother, but I have learned so much about her by studying the recipes she has handed down for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. The cake is both decadent and light as a result of separating the eggs and folding in beaten egg whites at the very end. I added the fresh raspberries because they lend a lovely layer of flavor and brightness to the cake.

TIPS: Having an organized workspace will make the cake making process go smoothly. Prepare dry ingredients, butter mixture, melt chocolate, and beat egg whites, then put the cake together.


Special Equipment: two 9-inch round cake pans, a stand mixer with a paddle and whisk attachment

Mrs. Hart’s Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Recipe makes 8 to 12 servings. Total time 2 hours and 30 minutes (cooling time included). Active time 50 minutes.



  • 1 teaspoon shortening, for greasing pans
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting cake pans
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 pound fresh raspberries


  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake pans. Grease interior of two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of pans, then grease the parchment. Dust interior of each pan with cocoa powder. Set pans aside.

  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and sift into a bowl. Set aside.

  3. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl until creamy. Cream granulated sugar and butter together with a stand mixer on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, or until it has increased in volume and is a creamy yellow color. Add egg yolks and then vanilla, beating at high speed to really blend the mixture into a smooth, uniform batter. Add chocolate and mix until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the paddle and the sides and bottom of mixing bowl, then mix again to ensure there are no lumps.

  4. Put mixer on low speed, and add small amounts of flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with small amounts of buttermilk. Add baking soda dissolved in boiling water. Beat cake batter on medium high speed until smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes.

  5. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold egg whites into the batter until there is no trace of egg whites left.

  6. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before loosening the edges and turning cakes out onto cooling rack.

  7. For the frosting: Cream butter and chocolate with a stand mixer on medium-high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fully combined and a light consistency. Add salt and then powdered sugar, bit by bit, mixing until uniform. Add vanilla and sour cream, then beat until smooth.

  8. Once cake is fully cooled, ice the first layer with frosting. Stack the second layer on top of the first, then frost entire cake with a generous layer of frosting. Decorate with raspberries.

Recipe first featured on Ranch To Table Season 2 Episode 2: Cold Day on The Ranch on the Magnolia Network.



Photos: Brian Skope

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