Today is Lucia Day and the start of the Christmas season! Fittingly, we received half a foot of fresh snow here in the Hudson Valley today, and I have spent the evening cooking for tomorrow’s potluck lunch in the art department I work for. Here’s the first recipe of the night, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake. This has been my mother’s go-to recipe for many years of birthdays and other celebrations—I wonder how many slices I have eaten over the course of my life! It is so simple and delicious, and goes very nicely with a little whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
2-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 heaping tbsp instant cocoa
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients. Take off and reserve 1/2 cup crumbs for top of cake. Add eggs, sour cream, baking soda, and vanilla and mix well (I find it easiest to use an electric mixer). Pour half of the batter into a well-greased tube (Bundt) pan. Sprinkle instant cocoa on top of batter. Mix chocolate chips in rest of batter, and pour that over the bottom half. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top of cake. Bake at 350° 1 hour or until the tester comes out dry.
You’ll want to cut yourself a slice when it’s just out of the oven, but try to resist! This cake is really at its peak at room temperature (or even refrigerator-cold the next day). To serve, invert the cake onto a pretty plate—the crumbs will be on the bottom. You can garnish with a bit of powdered sugar if it’s for a fancy occasion, but it will look nice just by itself.