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

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

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 100 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%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

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. Hello Liz…when baking cupcakes should the temp be at 350 or 335? Thx

  2. Hello,I am new here and I love your recipes but a question please.Can I cover this your method of cake in fondant? Will it hold its shape?

  3. Hello…can I use sweetened yorghurt? And if I have to use sweetened yoghurt,will I reduce the sugar quantity? To what level?

  4. Please can I use brown soft sugar for the chocolate cake recipe in place of the white granulated sugar?

  5. Hello Liz! Thank you for your delicious cake recipes. Question- Can you please tell me if it would be ok to make your wasc cake both white and the chocolate as a half and half sheetcake. I’m not sure if the baking times are the same. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Does this cake still do okay with decorating? Like if I used the buttercream from your white box doctored cake mix? I used your other process to make my cakes but my husband requested chocolate. Thanks in advance!

  7. 4 stars
    Hi Liz, Hope all is well with you and the family. I must say that love you recipes…I tried this the other day and I’ve received many compliments. I just have general question…in this a couple recipes for APF the measurements read 5 oz/1 cup. When I spoon, level and weigh. My scale says 4.25 oz. Am doing I something wrong? The cake seems to be okay but I know that in some recipes and oz can make all the difference.

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing, game changing. I’m relatively new to baking and I didn’t like the taste of homemade or the texture. But this was spot on perfect! Thank you so much! Also, I should add that you also made me feel better about using a box mix. Many feel like if it isn’t completely from scratch or isn’t homemade.

  9. Hi, just wanted to find out, will the recipie work if I dont add the cake mix?

  10. I am about to try this out for a smash cake does the coffee overpower everything or can I leave it out since it is for babies?

    1. You can’t even taste the coffee, it’s to intensify the flavor of chocolate. You can also use water in place of coffee

  11. 5 stars
    my husband who hates chocolate cake will eat this one with no frosting. It is very moist and everyone loves it.

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you for getting back to me. I will take a look at the link 🙂

  13. Hi! How do i make cold coffee? Can you specify the quality of coffee thats needs to be added in water. And is the water boiled and then cooled?

  14. Hi! The cake turned out awesome.. everyone complemented me… it was moist and full of flavour.. the only issue is that it cracked at the top even using cake strip and i had to cut out a large chunk, what could be the possible reason? Its an old oven and i use a oven thermometer to check the temp.

    1. A dome on top of a baked cake is very normal and typically trimmed off. Those are called cake scraps and you can just eat them 🙂

  15. Did you change this recipe recently? I have tried your chocolate wasc before but remember it being a little different. Maybe I’m just crazy?! Haha

  16. Can I use buttermilk instead of sour cream?

  17. If I skip the Almond Extract (due to allergies) for a vanilla cake and use the remaining ingredients you mention with a boxed cake – will it still taste good?

    i want to make a stacked chocolate and vanilla cake for my daughters birthday. I am following you video on first time cake making and decorating.

  18. 5 stars
    Tried this for the first time today – FANTASTIC!

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. True treasure!

  19. I made cake this twice yesterday. First go I used a scale and was super careful about weighing the ingredients. I know my oven cooks cooler so I ended up cooking it quite a bit longer than the recipe stated. Removed from oven, cooled for 20 minutes in the pans. Gently removed the first cake and it crumbled in my hands. Removed the second cake and it followed suit.
    Back to the drawing board, round 2 I did not weigh anything, mix was put into cake pans and again, baked 30 extra minutes. Took out of pans to finish cooling after 30 minutes. I could tell the cakes were super delicate. Put back in pans, wrapped in cling wrap, put in fridge, will ice after work today.

    Took broken cake and threw ice cream over it and ate it. Was absolutely delicious. Hoping the one in the fridge turns out.

  20. Hello!
    Just to follow up, mix 1 minute on low and 2 minute on medium… exactly what I did. I just want this recipe as the cake tastes amazing!

    Thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    Made this today for the first time and it was hit! I had multiple compliments and requests to make again. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes with us. I can’t wait to try more!

  22. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe. I did forget to add the additional sugar in a batch that I made. The cake still baked beautiful and honestly tasted okay just not sweet. I ended up throwing it out because I needed the cake to be right but I should have crumbled the cake up, mixed in some ganache and some other tasty ingredients and make cake pops but I thought of it too late.

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