Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting and Filling

Updated 10.12.21.

As I’m making my way through blogs of yore, I’m finding that I’m doing a pathetic job in updating some of the categories, cakes and frosting being one of them. The biggest issue I’m having with cakes and/or frosting is that I have no one to share a cake with during a pandemic. I suppose that isn’t totally true as I could share with my neighbors. But it’s not like I can give them a quarter of a cake or even a few pieces of cake every other day. 

In updating this recipe, I decided to try the frosting with a chocolate zucchini layer cake that I’ve been wanting to make for a few weeks now. It’s been soooooo long since I’ve made a layer cake (I really cannot remember how many years) that it took a lot of motivation to get me going on this project, but when I did get going, I remembered why I used to love making cakes: it’s a form of artistic expression.

Here’s what I said about this frosting back in 2013:

I’ve made chocolate sour cream frostings before. Knowing how well they’ve gone over, I decided to revisit the sour cream frosting when making my most recent chocolate layer cake. This frosting took the cake, so to speak.

I dressed the cake with only one layer of this filling (spread it between the middle two layers of the cake before I added the powdered sugar to make it a frosting for the outside of the cake). I had at least one coworker mention she thought the cake should have been completely frosted and filled with this stuff.

I know I’m a salt fiend, but I honestly thought this frosting was too sweet after I added the powdered sugar. So I added a few pinches of salt. That seemed to work perfectly. I actually add salt to most frostings and find that I don’t mind a slightly salty taste. But … I am a salt fiend! So use your best judgment when adding salt to this or any frosting recipe.

One thing to keep in mind when working with this frosting is that it’s going to harden as it begins to sit, naturally since solids (chocolate chips and butter) make up most of the ingredients. This means you have to work quickly to frost a cake or continue to beat the frosting every so often to loosen it up and make it pliable for frosting.


  • 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ c. butter, cubed
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3-½ to 4-½ c. powdered sugar
  • salt, to taste (optional)


  1. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. (If using to fill a cake, you can fill at this point.)
  3. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until light and fluffy. (If you’ve already made a dent in this frosting by using it as a filling, you’re going to want to adjust the amount of powdered sugar you add to an appropriate amount.) Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe rating: 


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