A light chocolate cake is not a contradiction in terms; it's a splendid anytime snack. Here, some of the flour in our basic recipe is replaced with a half-cup of cocoa powder for a deep chocolate flavor. Sour cream creates a tender crumb, and buttercream frosting gets whipped until airy with an electric mixer. Last but by no means least: Sprinkles make everything joyous. 

Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2021

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

prep:
35 mins
total:
2 hrs 10 mins
Yield:
Serves 10 to 12
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Ingredients

Cake
Frosting

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-by-13-inch or 8-by-12-inch baking pan with butter. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Butter parchment.

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  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Combine eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just to combine. Add butter and vanilla; beat to combine. Add sour cream; beat until smooth.

  • Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (for 9-by-13-inch) or about 40 minutes (for 8-by-12).

  • Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Using parchment overhangs, lift out of pan and let cool completely on rack. (Cake can be made to this point and stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day.)

  • Frosting: Beat together butter, confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and milk on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spread over top of cake. Decorate with sprinkles. Frosted cake is best the day it's assembled, but can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day. Return to room temperature before serving.

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