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Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake (Williams Sonoma Copycat!)

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This rich, dense Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake is a copycat of the famous Williams Sonoma recipe. Perfect for those chocolate cravings!

slice of williams sonoma sour cream chocolate bundt cake with whipped cream on white plate

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Serve this Williams Sonoma Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake after a dinner of One Dish Ranch Chicken Veggie Bake or Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup.

overhead shot of chocolate bundt cake in pan

SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • Flour – all purpose flour
  • Cocoa Powder – you’ll want to use unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking Powder – leavening agent to help the cake rise
  • Baking Soda – without it, you’ll have a dense, heavy texture
  • Salt – to balance the sweet
  • Butter – use unsalted, room temperature butter
  • Sugar – granulated sugar
  • Eggs – room temperature, large eggs
  • Vanilla Extract – EXTRACT, not imitation, please
  • Sour Cream – sour cream makes for a light and moist cake texture
  • Bittersweet Chocolate – I like to use Ghirardelli baking chips, because I always have those on hand, or a bar of good baking chocolate
  • Water – to make the glaze
  • Chocolate Liqueur – Godiva chocolate liqueur can be pricey. Make your own with this homemade chocolate liqueur recipe.

mixing bowl filled with cake batter

WHY DO YOU USE SOUR CREAM IN BAKING

Adding sour cream to your cake batter creates a light & moist cake. I like to use full fat sour cream, but light will work as well.

DO YOU COOL A BUNDT CAKE UPSIDE DOWN

I like to cool my bundt cakes right side up on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I like to flip them upside down onto the rack. If you’re lucky, they’ll slide right out!

williams sonoma chocolate bundt cake on white platter

CAN YOU MAKE A BUNDT CAKE IN A REGULAR CAKE PAN

Yes, you can bake a bundt cake in a regular cake pan. Most bundt cake recipes (this one included) call for a 10-12 cup capacity bundt pan. So, if you want to make a 9-inch round cake, you’ll have to divide the batter into two 9-inch pans and bake for less time. Or, you can put the entire recipe in a 13×9 pan, which should take about the same amount of time. Either way, bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

WHY IS MY BUNDT CAKE STICKING TO THE PAN

To avoid your bundt cake sticking in the pan, make sure you properly grease the pan before you start. I have good luck with non-stick spray (often Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray or just Target brand baking spray). Once greased, sprinkle with flour or, in this case, cocoa powder, to match the chocolate cake. If it still sticks, gently run a knife along the edges to release any spots that are sticking.

slice of williams sonoma sour cream chocolate bundt cake on serving knife

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE GLAZE FOR BUNDT CAKE

This recipe calls for a really simple, 3-ingredient, glaze for the cake. Water, sugar, and chocolate liqueur. Now, chocolate liqueur can be a bit pricey. You can either make your own (recipe linked above) or swap it out with something like brandy. All you do is add all three ingredients to a small saucepan and stir over low heat until dissolved.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU MAKE SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE

  • Hand Mixer – as much as I love my stand mixer, I find myself reaching for my hand mixer more often than not.
  • Stand Mixer – in this recipe, when you’re adding flour, sour cream, and eggs in parts, it’s nice to have your hands free.
  • Bundt Pan – there are SO many pretty bundt pans in different shapes. I really need to add more to my collection.
  • Spatulas – I love using spatulas for everything. They’re especially helpful in scraping down the sides of the bowl while mixing.

single slice of sour cream chocolate bundt cake on white plate topped with whipped cream

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slice of chocolate bundt cake with whipped cream on white plate

HOW TO MAKE A CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE

Williams Sonoma Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
This rich, dense Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake is a copycat of the famous Williams Sonoma recipe. Perfect for those chocolate cravings!
4.39 from 101 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 357 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream full fat
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate melted & cooled

For the glaze

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon chocolate liqueur or Brandy

Instructions
 

To make the cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray your bundt pan with non-stick spray and flour or sprinkle with cocoa powder.
  • To a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (30-45 seconds).
  • Gradually add the sugar while beating on low until blended.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is light & fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and making sure they're fully incorporated before adding the next. The mixture will be thick and creamy after 1-2 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Reduce speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream. Flour/sour cream/flour/sour cream/flour. Mix until just blended with no lumps of flour remaining.
  • Gently fold in the melted chocolate.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  • Check for doneness after 50 minutes. Some are done at this point. Mine takes closer to 1 hour. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

To make the glaze

  • While the cake is cooling, to a small saucepan over low heat, add the sugar and water and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate liqueur.
  • Once cooled, flip the cake onto a piece of parchment/wax paper and brush the warm cake with the glaze.
  • Let cool to room temperature and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Video

Notes

Make sure you're properly scooping and measuring the flour - spoon into the measuring cup and level off. Don't scoop directly from the bag/container - it packs in too much flour.
Use regular unsweetened cocoa powder (like Hershey's). 
Start with room temperature butter, eggs, and sour cream for best results. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 357kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 124mgPotassium: 200mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 550IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 1.8mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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Originally published November 24, 2011

Reader Interactions

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  1. Irene R. says

    Great recipes

  2. Kitty says

    3 stars
    The cake was beautiful and smelled divine. I followed the directions exactly. My husband and I both thought the flavor was over the top. However it was not moist and actually dry.
    As I said, I followed the directions.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Kitty – I’m sorry to hear it was dry. I haven’t had that happen before! Was it good topped with some ice cream, at least? That’s how I usually save things 😉

  3. Connie says

    Can I use this recipe for mini bundt cakes? If so, how do I adjust the baking time?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t tried it in a mini pan but I would check them at 20 minutes. They probably need 20-30 minutes.

  4. Debbie says

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday since he is a chocolate lover. This cake is easy and has a rich chocolate flavor. The glaze really makes this cake a whole new level of yummy.

  5. Ana says

    3 stars
    The batter was incredibly creamy and it the chocolate flavor was wonderful, but it was dry as another reviewer stated. Just wondering if 1 hour is too long at higher altitude. I’m wondering if I should have started checking for doneness at 50 or 55 minutes.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m going to add a note because I can’t replicate the dryness & I’ve even brought in other testers. Thanks for reporting back.

  6. Kris says

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my sons birthday and it turned out perfectly! I love the flavor. Rich, but not overly sweet. It had a nice texture, spongey and moist. Would definitely recommend to others and I will be keeping it in my recipe book to make again. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you so much for reporting back! Happy birthday again to your son =)

  7. Donna says

    Read reviews and made it anyway. I’m sorry but this is the driest cake I’ve ever had. Even added a bit more sour cream, butter and melted chocolate. Started checking 20 minutes early and pulled it out as soon as knife was coming out barely clean. Maybe it’s a matter of taste? Four people had it and all agreed. Sad since the batter looked so promising.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I don’t know if it’s an altitude issue or what but there are a TON of excellent reviews on Pinterest & I’ve successfully made it so many times and can’t replicate the dryness.

  8. Mary M says

    I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but I’m making this for someone who is. The batter was lovely, light and fluffy, until I added the melted chocolate; it became thick and sticky. I just took the mini bunt cakes out, so I can’t verify how they turned out. My question is do you think the cake would still work if I didn’t add the chocolate at the end?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Mary. I haven’t tested that way. How did your minis turn out? I also haven’t tested those.

    • Mary Marty says

      3 stars
      Unfortunately, like some of the other reviews, mine were also dry. In fact, I picked up one of the mini bundt cakes, and it crumbled in my hands. I baked them for 20 minutes as recommended. Bummer.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out. Something is clearly going wrong for some people but I haven’t been able to pinpoint what the common denominator is. I even hired a professional recipe tester and we couldn’t replicate the problem.

  9. Pat says

    4 stars
    This was my first attempt at baking a Bundt cake. Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully. Really tasty and moist. Thanks, Melissa!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you, Pat! I have to say, I get nervous when reviews for this one come in because like 20% of people have issues and I can’t figure out why! Happy to hear you got the results I get 🙂

  10. Darlene Kilson says

    5 stars
    My cake turned out good

    • Melissa Williams says

      Happy to hear that, Darlene! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  11. Deb says

    3 stars
    Unfortunately, even though I followed the directions exactly as written, the cake is indeed very dry. I kept checking the temperature so I didn’t over bake. I had high hopes that it would be moist but that is not the case.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Where are you located? I’m wondering if elevation plays into this one because I’ve had it tested so many times (outside of myself).

  12. Arcie says

    My cake looked and tasted wonderful, but mine was dry too. I’m a very successful baker, but was disappointed with the dryness.

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