Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Filling for 100 Guests

Source: Adapted from Wilton discussion forums, Sprinkle Bakes original frosting recipes

102 servings


It's a good idea to read the recipe through once from beginning to end before starting. Please note that the cake ingredients will be divided. You'll make two successive batches of cake batter. A standing mixer is recommended, or use a jumbo mixing bowl and a 7 speed (or higher) electric hand mixer. The directions are written assuming you have a single oven and two of each size cake pans, but if you have a double oven and more than two pans each, by all means - use them!


Chocolate cake

4 boxes (16.25 oz. each) Betty Crocker SuperMoist Devil's Food cake mix

4 cups/500g all-purpose flour

4 cups/796g granulated white sugar

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

3 tsp. salt

5 1/3 cups water

2 cups canola oil

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

4 cups/32 oz. full fat sour cream

12 large eggs


First batter batch:

Place 2 boxes of cake mix, 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of cocoa and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a extra-large mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine. Add 2 2/3 cups of water, 1 cup of canola oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 cups of sour cream and 6 large eggs. Beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all of the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Beat for 1 minute longer.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Spray two 10x2-inch round cake pans with Bake Easy flour based spray. Divide batter between cake pans, filling them about three-quarters full. You may have some leftover batter - place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Soak the Bake Even cake strips (see supplies) in warm water and attach to the sides of the cake pans. Set oven timer for 30 minutes and place the cakes inside the oven. The cakes will not be done when the timer goes off, but it's good to peek through the oven window to see how things are progressing at this point. Set the timer for 10 more minutes and check progress again. Thereafter, check at 5 minute intervals (if needed) until the cake tests done with a toothpick tester. Let cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them out on wire racks to cool completely. Remove Bake Easy strips from pans. Wash and dry one of the 10-inch pans. 


Second batter batch:

Place 2 boxes of cake mix, 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of cocoa and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a extra-large mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine. Add 2 2/3 cups of water, 1 cup of canola oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 cups of sour cream and 6 large eggs. Beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all of the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Beat for 1 minute longer.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Spray one 10x2-inch round cake and two 8x2-inch round cake pans with Bake Easy flour based spray. Divide batter between cake pans filling them about three-quarters full. If you lack a little cake batter filling the pans, use the reserved cake batter in the refrigerator (if not, use the reserved batter to make yourself a few cupcakes later - you deserve it!). Soak and attach Bake Even strips to the 8-inch cake pans and place them in the oven. Cover the 10-inch cake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Bake the 8-inch cakes for 25-30 minutes, adding additional baking time until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let them cool in the pans 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack. Bake the final 10-inch layer as before, attaching soaked Bake Easy strips and checking the cake periodically after an initial 30 minute baking time. Cake is done when a toothpick tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, as with the previous cakes.

When cakes are completely cool, torte each layer evenly (meaning, cut them in half horizontally). Each cake layer should now be two layers. Cover the layers generously in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for assembly.


Fillings and frostings:

A few notes about these components. You'll need to have both filling and frosting made up for assembling the cakes. Also, please do not to freak out about the amount of butter in these frostings. Keep in mind that this cake serves a little over 100 guests, and that each guest will be enjoying a 2-inch piece of cake. Yes, pounds of butter go into these elements, but nobody will be eating pounds of butter at once. Also, you'll have extra frosting after covering the cake. You always need extra frosting in case accidents happen during delivery.


As for the cream cheese, I occasionally buy off brand, but never EVER when I'm serving to a crowd this size. I have good working knowledge making this filling, and Philadelphia brand cream cheese has the best flavor and texture. No one's paying me to say that, I truly recommend using it.


Cream cheese filling

1 lb/ 452g unsalted butter, softened
8 cups/880g confectioners sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablesepoons vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter and sugar on low speed until just incorporated. Switch to medium-high speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese 1 piece at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and salt; mix again. Cover the finished frosting with a damp tea towel so that is doesn't crust or dry out.


Vanilla buttercream

2 lbs/ 904g of unsalted butter, softened
4 lbs (two 32 oz. bags/ 907g each) confectioners’ sugar 
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Milk or heavy cream, if needed

For the frosting, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 5 minutes.Add vanilla extract and beat again for another 5 minutes until the frosting color has lightened in color and is fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and mix again on the highest setting for 3-5 minutes. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency. Cover the finished frosting with a damp tea towel so that is doesn't crust or dry out.

Assembly, finally!

Get in your most focused, zen-like state for this part of the process. It's not rocket science, but you do need full presence of mind for a successful outcome. Also, make room - and I  mean a LOT of room,  in your refrigerator to store this cake. I have a second cake-dedicated refrigerator and it took up the entire lower half.  


Again, here are the supplies you'll need.


Your choice of sturdy cake stand 

1 ten-inch cake drum

1 ten-inch plastic cake separator plate

1 eight-inch plastic cake separator plate

2 packages bamboo dowel rods 

Large off-set spatula

Cake turntable (optional, but very helpful to use)


Tier 1: This first photograph is from a different cake recipe, but it illustrates how I filled this cake (refer to blog post please). The cream cheese filling is a little softer then the vanilla buttercream, so the buttercream does a good job of keeping the cream cheese filling wrangled in. First thing, put a dot of icing on your 10-inch cake drum and add one torted cake layer. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip (or no tip at all) with some of the vanilla buttercream. Pipe a line of butter cream around the top edge of the cake (like in picture #1), making an enclosed circle. Place 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese filling inside the circle and spread evenly. Top with another torted layer. Pipe a line of vanilla cream on top of the second layer and fill with 1 1/2 cups cream cheese filling as before. Place a third torted layer on top of the second layer - take care to line the cake edges up as evenly as possible (no matter how hard you try, it won't be perfect - just do the best you can). Cover the top of the cake with vanilla buttercream. 

Cover the entire cake with a slightly thicker-than-usual crumb coat. We're making this layer thick because this is chocolate cake, and we don't want ANY brown crust showing through. Place this first tier in the refrigerator to set, about 1 1/2 hours. 


Tier 2: Place a dot of icing on the the 10-inch plastic cake separator (this is what it looks like, in case you've forgotten), stack and fill and frost the remaining 10-inch cakes as before. Place in the refrigerator to set. 

After the cakes chill and the frosting is dry to the touch, measure a wooden dowel against the bottom cake tier (the tier on the cake drum). Score the dowel with a pair of scissors just below the top of the cake tier. Break the dowel at the scored mark.  Repeat the process with the remaining dowels. Press 5-6 dowels into the cake vertically, and in a circle within 2-inches of the outside of the cake. Place one in the center of the cake also.The dowels should not stick up from the top of the cake, and if they do then you'll need to trim them shorter. Reserve the remaining cut dowels for later use.

Stack the second cake tier on top of the doweled first tier. Press tier 2 down into the first tier until the legs on the plastic separator are embedded into the cake. Try to line up the edges as much as possible. Cover the entire cake with a thick layer of vanilla buttercream. I usually spend a ton of time on this part, trying to get the outside perfect, but I don't mind a few frosting swirls showing. It makes the cake look more delicious, if you ask me.


One way to achieve smoother icing is to warm your spatula in hot water, wipe it dry, and then smooth on the frosting. You'll immediately see a difference in how the frosting glides across the surface. The heat melts the butter in the buttercream as it smooths on.


Examine the cake and determine the front. This is purely for decorating purposes for this cake, as some of the fondant daises slightly cascade to the front right. That said, all cakes have one side that looks slightly better than the other. Place the best side to the front. If your cake is going to be displayed in the center of a room where people can examine it up close on all sides, then budget for lots of extra frosting/perfecting time. Whenever I have the front of my cake chosen, I mark it in some small way. You can see that I've used a small daisy in picture #10 to remind myself where the front is. 

When the cake is frosted to perfection (or near perfection) place it in the refrigerator to set. 1 to 2 hours time should do it.

After the cake is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. Grab the 8-inch plastic separator plate and center it on tier 2. Press it down so the legs insert into the cake, and then remove it. Dowel the cake with the reserved cut dowels between the leg marks. Place one dowel in the center of the cake also. Place the cake back in the refrigerator while you work on the top tier. 


Tier 3: Place a dot of icing on the 8-inch plastic separator cake plate. Center a torted 8-inch cake layer on the cake plate, pressing down slightly so the icing dot with adhere to it. Pipe a line of vanilla buttercream in a circle on the first layer (as before with the 10-inch tiers) and fill with 3/4 cup cream cheese filling. Repeat process with remaining layers. Again, frost the entire tier with a thicker-than-usual crumb coat and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours. 

When the top layer (tier 3) is set (icing is firm and dry to the touch), line up the 8-inch tier's plastic separator legs to the leg indentations made previously on top of the cake. Press the top tier down into the cake. Frost the top tier with vanilla buttercream. Take this time to further perfect the icing on the cake, and fill in any gaps that separate the bottom large tiers from the smaller top tier. Place the finished frosted cake in the refrigerator until time to decorate.  

If making the fondant decorations, please refer to the corresponding blog post for instructions. Below is my guide to cutting each layer.


















Comments