Sandy's Chocolate Cake


'I held this velvety, rich cake on my lap during the 4-1/2 hour drive to the Greatest Cocoa Cake Contest at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January,' recalls Sandy Johnson, who lives on a dairy farm near Tioga. 'By the time we got to the judges table, I was almost too tired to care if I won.' But win she did! Topping 59 other entries, Sandy's impressive layer cake with creamy frosting took first place!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
12 servings


  • 3 cups packed brown sugar

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup baking cocoa

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ⅓ cups sour cream

  • 1 ⅓ cups boiling water


  • ½ cup butter or margarine

  • 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate

  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in water until blended. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, in a medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Cool several minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Frost cooled cake.