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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream

A slice of chocolate cake and scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plate


For the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake:

2 cups flour
2-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

For the Dark Chocolate Frosting:

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon boiling water
2-1/4 cups butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2lbs. chocolate chips, melted and cooled

For the Caramel:

1 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Custard base
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks


Cake Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two 9-inch cake rounds.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in water, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and continue to beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure batter is completely mixed. Divide between prepared pans. Bake 30–35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. 

Combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until cocoa powder has dissolved. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, powdered sugar and salt on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate chips, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in cocoa powder-water mixture until frosting is smooth. 

Caramel Preparation:

Heat sugar in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to heat evenly until sugar melts and turns dark amber. Add cream a small amount at a time, whisking continuously until caramel dissolves. Mixture will spatter. Strain caramel through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in salt and vanilla. Set aside.

Custard Preparation:

Bring milk, cream and sugar just to a boil in a heavy sauce pan, stirring occasionally. Lightly whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add half the hot-milk mixture to the yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into the sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until custard coats the back of the spoon. Pour through a strainer into the reserved caramel, stirring to combine.

Base can be refrigerated up to one week. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.