23 June 2009

Recipe: Sour Cream Chocolate Spice Cake With Penuche Fudge Frosting

From Denny: Featured recently in our local newspaper, this retro recipe was a big hit. I'd include the link to the newspaper except that it's useless as a link since they started archiving their recipes after a week and then force you to pay for them. For years the recipes were easily available and always free - long before this economic downturn.

This is a cake that would taste better the second day so the cinnamon and chocolate flavors could mellow out some. The flavor notes are brassier the first day, calming down to perfection by the second day. Try making the cake layers first and frosting on the second day (takes up less room in the fridge).

I've always had a soft spot for a chocolate cake made with sour cream as they play well together. Give this version a try! The brown sugar in the icing is a divine pairing with the chocolate cake portion. Maybe it's the molasses spun back into the processed white sugar to make the dark brown version. A small amount of molasses does not over power but rather adds a note of depth to food. (I even use dark brown sugar in my spaghetti and marinara sauces! Oops! The Secret is out...)

Enjoy this yummy cake. If you are a huge frosting fan you might want to double up on the batch for this cake as the news folks complained the frosting recipe was a bit skimpy. I'm not a fan of frosting unless it's a ganache so this recipe of a thin amount of frosting is fine with me. You decide what you like, enjoy!

Sour Cream Chocolate Spice Cake With Penuche Fudge Frosting

From: “The Country Fair Cookbook” by Alison Boteler

Makes: one (8-inch) 2-layer cake


1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa

1-1/2 tsps. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsps. cinnamon

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

1-1/2 cups sour cream

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Penuche Fudge Frosting (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two (8-inch) round pans with baking parchment.

2. Combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in large mixing bowl.

3. Add butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla and beat at low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula and beat at high speed 2 minutes. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and beat 1 minute longer.

4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

5. Cool layers completely. Remove from pans and peel off baking parchment. Fill and frost sides and top with frosting.

Testing note: Cake is moister and mellower tasting the second day. It does not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but it does need to be covered with a cake dome or plastic wrap. I found that 35 minutes was an adequate baking time.

Penuche Fudge Frosting

From: “The Country Fair Cookbook” by Alison Boteler

Makes: enough for one (8-inch layer cake)


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 cups powdered sugar


1. Melt butter in large saucepan. Blend in brown sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly.

2. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring.

3. Stir in milk and return to boil. Remove from heat and cool until mixture is lukewarm to touch.

4. Slowly whisk in powdered sugar. Place pan in bowl of ice water and beat until frosting is of spreading consistency.

5. If frosting becomes too stiff to spread, beat in a few drops of milk.

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