Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake


This month we’ve been posting recipes that mean LOVE to us in one way or another. I could not let February pass by without making this special cake. It’s one of those favorite foods from my childhood and I actually still have a recipe card for Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake written in my 8th grade handwriting!

It all started on Hood Canal where our extended family shared a house on the beach. We’d spend a couple of magical weeks there every summer playing with our cousins – swimming, water skiing, digging for clams, playing board games and just hanging out. The weather wasn’t always good, but the food at the canal was always amazing, thanks to our hard-working moms.

There always seemed to be a Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake tempting us on the kitchen counter. The trick was to get a piece when the cake was still warm. The gooey chocolate chips tasted so good!  The Oswalds are notoriously big eaters… we would simply huddle up football-style around the kitchen counter and devour the cake straight out of the pan.

I don’t think a Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake ever lasted more than a few hours. It just didn’t stand a chance in that house.

Annika, the baker!

Since I am hanging out with my cousin, Kjell, and his family this week, (and I had leftover sour cream in the fridge from making Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada Bake) it seemed like the perfect time to resurrect this old recipe.

Annika, my niece and baking assistant, helped me mix everything together and the cake was in the oven in no time. (No wonder my mom liked to make this recipe!)

Kjell, eating his second piece of cake...

Soon the kitchen was smelling like cinnamon and chocolate and Kjell and I were reminiscing about our summers at the canal. And once again, we ate our cake before the chocolate chips had a chance to cool.

It tasted just like we remembered.

Absolutely delicious.

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: A Passionate Plate
Serves: 8
An old family favorite everyone loves!
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream (okay to substitute low-fat or non-fat)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar until well blended.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and incorporate well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  5. Combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture just until blended.
  6. Mix in the sour cream.
  7. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with non-stick spray, then pour the batter into the pan.
  8. Scatter the chocolate chips over the top of the batter and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. sugar.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the cake is light brown and begins to pull away from the pan.
  10. Store at room temperature – do not refrigerate.



  1. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for putting up this recipe. I am so grateful! It was a childhood favorite and I lost it. My mom used to make it before we went camping. It would sit in the tent until dinner and sometimes the chocolate chips would be melting when we ate it. Delicious!

  2. […] butter, a big bowl of fresh dungeness crab meat served with cocktail sauce and lemon, and homemade sour cream chocolate chip cake. We bought the salmon and the corn at the store, but the clams came from our beach and we always […]

  3. Helen Oswald says:

    Mary, I’m so glad you decided to feature Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake. I’ve been baking this Oswald family favorite since the late 60’s-early 70’s, when I found it in the Sunset Magazine Entertainment Cookbook. The orginal recipe is called “Sour Cream Chocolate Bit Cake”, but, whatever the name, it’s a wonderful treat for any occasion. We use to double or sometimes triple the recipe to satisfy all the “chow hounds” who’d show up on a summer weekend at the Hood Canal summer place.! Two summers ago my Granddaughter, Lauren (age 7 at the time), summed it up nicely by saying, “this is the most awesome cake I’ve ever eaten”!

    I could use a piece or two right this minute.

    • Mary Miller says:

      I made two cakes this past week and both were gone in a day. Turns out this cake is just as good as an après ski snack as it is after water skiing! Thanks so much for sharing the history of the cake. Sunset recipes are the best.

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