Darn Good Chocolate Cake


chocolate cakeOkay chocolate cake lovers (yes, DAD, I’m talking to you!) here it is. The cake you’ve been waiting for… a rich, moist, chocolate chip filled cake frosted with smooth, silky chocolate ganache. Ooh la la! This is one Darn Good Chocolate Cake.

This recipe comes straight out of The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook and it’s been one of my favorites for a long time. Since you start with a chocolate cake mix as the base, it’s very simple, virtually fool-proof and nice to bake with kids.

If your dad is a chocoholic (like mine), this might just be perfect gift!

To see what I gave my dad last year, check this out: Homemade Hostess Cupcakes.

Darn Good Chocolate Cake APP

Darn Good Chocolate Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cake, Chocolate
Author: The Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook
Your kitchen will smell like chocolate heaven while this cake bakes. Eat it warm from the oven or cool and frost with ganache (recipe included).
  • Vegetable spray & flour OR bakers spray for misting the pan
  • 1 package (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 package (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly mist a Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray and dust with flour (or spray with baking spray). Set pan aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, warm water, and oil in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more. The batter will be thick and well combined.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and stir them in gently.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and starts to pull away from the side of the pan, 40 to 50 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Run a long, sharp bladed knife around the edge of the cake.
  11. Invert it onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  12. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache.
  13. Place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
  14. Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil.
  15. Immediately remove the boiling cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  16. Let stand 1 minute, then stir to combine.
  17. Let stand at room temperature until it is thick enough to work with.
  18. Frost the cake, using the entire batch of ganache.
  19. Store frosted cake in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature to serve.



  1. Mary Ann Dunn says:

    How would you adjust this recipe for high altitude baking?
    Darn Good Chocolate Cake

  2. j says:

    I make this cake all the time and it is always a show stopper. The only thing I do different is add two tablespoons of Hershey Special Dark chocolate, one tablespoon pure vanilla extract and also a heaping tablespoon of Folger’s instant coffee crystals. All of these ingredient give it more flavor. The coffee making the chocolate richer in taste. I don NOT ice that cake. Serve it with whipped cream and oh my goodness is it ever yummy. Thanks for sharing this

  3. Kathryn Wallace says:

    Best cake EVER!!!!! I use the sugar free chocolate pudding and it works great!! I also dust the bunt pan with unsweetened chocolate powder instead of flour so I do not get the white residue flour can sometimes leave behind. A friend of mine from work who never swore told me “this isn’t darn good – it’s DAMN good.”

    • MaryMiller says:

      Hi, Kathryn – So happy you and your friends loved the Darn Good Chocolate Cake. It has certainly been a go-to recipe for me for many years now, especially for my chocolate loving friends’ birthdays. Thanks for sharing your feedback! – Mary

  4. chacha says:

    This cake is SINFUL to make and eat and I have used this recipe for cakes-cupcakes-tortes 3 layered cakes etc. The ganache is awesome also. I am looking through the CHOCOLATE cookbook by Ann and It has sooooo many ideas to use Simple Cake Mixes and make them DECADENT. I just got your email how funny that was to see this cake on your list.
    You go girl

    • MaryMiller says:

      Chacha – I agree 100%! This is one of the best chocolate cakes ever. I have also used this recipe for layer cakes and cupcakes. It’s almost embarrassing, since it uses a cake mix and pudding mix, but hey – it is awesome! I love Ann’s recipes, too. Have you tried her panache frosting recipe?

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