Chocolate WASC Cake (doctored chocolate cake mix)

This is the chocolate version of the WASC recipe. Starting with a box mix and adding in some extra ingredients, you can get a great tasting cake in a flash that tastes almost like scratch. Shhh I won't tell. This recipe makes two 8" round cakes that are 2" tall. 
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 8 cups
closeup of slice of chocolate wasc cake with chocolate ganache

Chocolate WASC Is The Easiest Way To Make Box Mix Taste Like Scratch

Chocolate WASC is the chocolate version of our popular WASC recipe that with an addition of a few ingredients, your box cake will taste almost like scratch. The texture is light and fluffy but is still sturdy enough to carve a cake or stack into for a wedding cake. Chocolate WASC is a great option if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into baking a chocolate cake recipe from scratch.

closeup of slice of chocolate wasc cake with chocolate ganache

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

One of the ingredients that makes this cake so dang good is the sour cream. It adds a nice tang to the flavor and an extra level of moistness. Sour cream is a popular ingredient used in a lot of chocolate cake recipes giving it a similar flavor that you might get from using buttermilk or mayonnaise.

Chocolate Cake With Coffee

I like to use coffee as my liquid instead of water because the coffee brings out the chocolate flavor. Your batter will smell like strong coffee but don’t worry, it won’t taste like coffee. You don’t have to use coffee, you can use water or even milk if you want.

chocolate wasc with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips on top

How To Make Chocolate WASC

Chocolate WASC starts with a nice chocolate-y box mix. I usually use Duncan Hines chocolate fudge cake but devils food cake will also do nicely. Just pour the contents of the mix into a bowl and add in your extra ingredients. Just ignore the instructions on the back of the box and use the recipe below instead.

Mix all your ingredients together until combined and then mix vigorously for two minutes. I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment but you can also just use a bowl and a spoon.

I tweaked this recipe to contain melted butter so that when you chill it the cake is a bit firmer and easier to handle.

close up of chocolate cake with slice cut out of it

Why not just make it from scratch?

I get this question a lot. A LOT. I get it. If you’re going to go through all this trouble of adding so many ingredients to a box mix, why not just make it from scratch? I used to think the same thing. But over the years of teaching countless bakers of all skill levels, I have learned that a lot of people are super intimidated to bake from scratch. They have little to no knowledge of how to measure, how to mix or even what a good scratch cake should taste like. 

The thing about box mix is it isn’t just the same ingredients as a cake from scratch. A box contains emulsifiers that basically make the cake bake up perfectly no matter what you do to it. The problem? Those emulsifiers make the cake taste a bit fake. Like eating strawberry flavored candy. It’s good but doesn’t exactly taste like a real strawberry right?

So adding in these extra ingredients gives you the best of both worlds. A recipe that makes the baker do more than just opening a box but the emulsifiers still ensure that the cake bakes up successfully and the added ingredients make the cake taste more like homemade. Thus giving the baker much-needed confidence and a bit of a taste of what a homemade cake tastes like so if they choose to take a leap two baking from scratch, it’s not so scary. 

close up of a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips on top

Chocolate WASC Cake For Cupcakes

This recipe works great for cupcakes and rise up perfectly. I get about 36 cupcakes from one box.

I like using my chocolate buttercream for this recipe. The yummy flavor pairs perfectly with the chocolate cake without it being too heavy. If you’re looking for other yummy chocolate cake recipes, check out my guinness beer cake which is the epitome of decadent.

Other doctored box mix recipes you might want to try!

WASC (white almond sour cream cake)
Strawberry cake mix recipe

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8 cups

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
closeup of slice of chocolate wasc cake with chocolate ganache

Chocolate WASC Cake (doctored chocolate cake mix)

This is the chocolate version of the WASC recipe. Starting with a box mix and adding in some extra ingredients, you can get a great tasting cake in a flash that tastes almost like scratch. Shhh I won't tell. This recipe makes two 8" round cakes that are 2" tall. 
4.95 from 90 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 390kcal

Ingredients

Chocolate WASC Recipe

  • 1 box (1 box) Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 5 oz (142 g) Ap flour 1 cup
  • 2 oz (57 g) cocoa powder 1/2 cup
  • 12 oz (340 g) cold coffee 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 oz (57 g) vegetable oil 1/4 cup
  • 4 oz (113 g) melted butter 1/2 cup
  • 3 large (3 large) eggs
  • 6 oz (170 g) sour cream 3/4 cup
  • 7 oz (198 g) sugar 1 cup
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) salt
  • 1 Tbsp (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

  • 16 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 16 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Chocolate WASC Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 335℉. Prepare two 8" round cake pans. I prefer to use cake goop. 
  • Add all dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add in the rest of your ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute. 
  • Stop and scrape the bowl and then mix on medium for two minutes. 
  • Pour batter into your cake pans and bake for 30- 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few sticky crumbs clinging to the toothpick. 
  • Let cool a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. Let cool fully and frost. 

Chocolate Frosting

  • Place the heavy whipping cream into a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally to prevent burning. Do not walk away!
  • Heat cream until steam is rising from the surface but it isn't boiling.
  • Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Add in salt and whisk until smooth. If you have any un-melted lumps, you can use an immersion blender to get them out.
  • Pour chocolate into a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap let cool at room temperature until a peanut butter consistency. If chocolate is too firm, you can microwave for 10 seconds and then stir with a spatula or whip with a hand mixer.
  • Frost cake as desired.

Notes

Don't worry about any of the ingredients on the back of the box, just use the ingredients listed in the recipe. 
This recipe makes enough batter for three 6"x2" cakes or two 8"x2" cakes (round). 
This recipe makes 40 cupcakes with about 1.25 ounces of batter per cupcake tin. 
You can use dark beer in place of coffee or just plain water. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 390kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 26g (40%) | Saturated Fat: 15g (75%) | Cholesterol: 67mg (22%) | Sodium: 353mg (15%) | Potassium: 250mg (7%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 22g (24%) | Vitamin A: 488IU (10%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 68mg (7%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

chocolate WASC

chocolate WASC

chocolate wasc cake

Chocolate WASC is the chocolate version of our popular WASC recipe that with an addition of a few ingredients, your box cake will taste almost like scratch. The texture is light and fluffy but is still sturdy enough to carve a cake or stack into for a wedding cake.

116 comments on “Chocolate WASC

  1. Should the sour cream and eggs be room temperature or cold?

  2. Liz I noticed one picture shows a Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge cake mix and another Shows Dark Chocolate Fudge. Which do you use? Would they taste the same? I’m having trouble finding Chocolate Fudge.

    1. I prefer the duncan hines but also have problems finding it sometimes. Both taste good but I think the duncan hines is slightly better

  3. I bought my Duncan Hines chocolate fudge
    at Walmart 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This cake was so so good. I made it for a birthday at work, everyone raves about it. My husband loved it too. Will definitely make again

  5. 5 stars
    I made cupcakes following the Chocolate WASC recipe with a box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix. For the 1 1/2 cups of coffee, I used 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. I was nervous it would be too sour (since the recipe also called for 3/4 cups of sour cream), but the cupcakes were delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE your WASC cake so I can’t wait to try this one. I have a question about the frosting – my frosting will not get to a thick enough consistency to spread. Any ideas?

    1. Thank you! Check out my chocolate ganache recipe and video, you’ll have to leave the ganache overnight to get it to a spreadable consistency.

  7. How can I use this recipe to make a German Chocolate Cake?

  8. Hi Liz! I noticed your White WASC cake was baked at 350 F for 2 8″ round cakes but the chocolate WASC cake is baked at 335 F. I baked the chocolate cake for 35 mins and its still jiggly in the middle. Didn’t have this problem with the white cake though. Do you think I should bake them at 350 F next time? I love your recipes by the way!

    1. If the cake is still jiggly just bake for longer. Every oven is different 🙂 Or you can bake at a higher temperature if you choose. These are just the times and temperatures that work best for me.

  9. 5 stars
    I truly am impressed 🤩 I made the WASC 2 wks ago & it was so good that I decided that would be the only thing I’d let people order 🤷‍♀️ Then I made this tonight, IT’S JUST AS GOOD 🤯 I had to bake for 45-50 mins, but was perfect when it came out. I’m so happy! Thanks for sharing all of this knowledge & deliciousness with us 💜

  10. Hi Liz, quick question. The recipe says 2-8 inch cakes but in the video you say 3-8 inch cake pans. Which is correct? I’m hoping it’s actually 3 pans 🤗

    1. You can use either! Depends on how thick you want the layers to be. If you use 3, just bake for less time.

  11. Hi sorry I see that someone asked if you can sub buttermilk for sour cream? Is it the same amount? Thanks

  12. Hi Liz! I already use a similar chocolate WASC recipe, but I like your addition of butter and cocoa powder. Is there any reason I shouldn’t use dutch process cocoa in this recipe? That’s all I happen to have right now. Thank you so much!

  13. 5 stars
    Baked for a get together last week. The Chocolate fudge cake was wonderful!! A big hit with everyone there. Can’t wait to try the White cake.

  14. Hi Liz!
    Thank you so much for all your hard work and sharing all your amazing recipes with us! I have made many of your recipes, all with great success.

    I tried this recipe, followed everything to the T, oven thermometer showed 335F, used two 8×2″ Fat Daddio pans and beat on speed 4 of my kitchenAid stand mixer for exactly 2 minutes, scraping halfway between.
    They took 46min to bake but had giant…and I mean GIANT deep cracks across the top…could it be that mixing for two minutes on medium is too long and it aerated the batter too much and thus the air tried to scape mid baking ad caused the cracks?

    In your Red velvet cake, you only mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

    Shall I only mix for 1 minute on medium speed next time? Please tell me how to fix the cracks 🙁

    Thank you Liz!

  15. This was the best!! My family loved it, especially my husband ( the birthday boy) I don’t think I can bake another box cake and just follow the directions on the back. I definitely will be baking this again. Thanks! Note: I had to bake it at 325* for 5 additional minutes.

  16. Hi, can you use this with a devils food cake mix?

  17. 5 stars
    This is my go to cake recipe, people just absolutely love it. The coffee brings the flavor of the chocolate out and I have had people in my family who do not like chocolate cake love this one!! Thanks Liz!

  18. 5 stars
    So moist. Not hard to put together. Did not require a hundred ingredients. It was for a wedding..everyone praised…ME..so I..THANK YOU

  19. 5 stars
    I just made this cake today. I had to substitute the sour cream for Greek yogurt, because I didn’t have any. This cake is perfect, it is so delicious and will be my go to chocolate cake. Thank you for this recipe!

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