Heritage Recipes

Sharing old family recipes and traditions

From Marcy Goldman, host and author of www.betterbaking.com.

 Recipe used with permission, from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking,

  (Doubleday 1998, and Broadway Books 2004)

This is a delicate sour cream based chocolate layer cake that for years, my mother attributed to my dad's mother, Annie Goldman. "The best cake I ever had," my mom often claimed, "was your Grandma Goldman's sour cream chocolate cake."  Once she even mentioned that my grandmother made this weekly for my father when he was a young man. Later on, she confided that she thought  the recipe was from the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box and though others made it, my grandma made it best. I was impressed - partly because the cake sounded mouth-wateringly delicious but also because it was those rare things that a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law seemed to have absolute agreement on. Over the years, other family members disputed that this recipe is one of Grandma Goldman’s. But I associate it with her and am loath to relinquish any part of a family myth, especially when it involves one of my fondest people.


This recipe is actually adapted from the outstanding, heirloom one that appeared on the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box  for many years. It is good as a layer cake or baked in a 9 by 13 inch pan, for a more informal cake to serve at Sukkot, and that is the position it is indexed in my first cookbook.

This recipe is offered to Holly, of www.HeritageRecipes.com, to share with her visitors, along with my best wishes for her continued success in this wonderful website.  Incidentally, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking is my loving salute to my, and everyone else’s, grandmother, nonna, nan, baking types, or not.


3 squares unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled

2 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbl. cornstarch

2 tsp.  baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup boiling water


 Double Chocolate Icing:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted and cooled

1/4 cup shortening or unsalted butter (I prefer butter)

 3/4 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine

 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar, measured then sifted

 1/3 cup cocoa, measured then sifted

 1/2 cup coffee or half-and-half


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease two 9 inch layer pans and line with  parchment paper circles or a 9 by 13 inch rectangular pan.

Cream the melted, cooled chocolate with the butter. Add the sugar until fluffy and well blended.  Add the eggs, a bit at a time until mixture is smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients to blend.  Add dry ingredients, along with sour cream to the batter, alternating dry ingredients and sour cream until batter is smooth, mixing on low speed of mixer, scraping bowl often.  Add boiling water.  Batter will be thin.  Pour into prepared pans. 

Bake 35-40 minutes until cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertips.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto cake rack.

Chocolate Icing:

Cream shortening and butter or margarine together with l cup of the confectioners' sugar. Add remaining confectioners' sugar, cocoa and melted chocolate. Whip on high speed, add in a bit of milk or cream to get light, fluffy consistency. If not using right away, re-whip before using. Add additional milk or cream to get correct consistency (a tablespoon at a time).

Join us in sharing old family recipes and memories

Submit Your Heritage Recipe

www.heritagerecipes.com © 2004-2016 | Home | New Recipes | Site Map  
Sharing Old Family Recipes, Traditions and Memories
   The majority recipes at Heritage Recipes have not been tested by us.   Share