Chocolate Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

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With that rich, soft, and uber-moist traditional Southern velvet cake texture, this double-layer chocolate velvet cake recipe with cream cheese icing simply melts in your mouth.

A fork breaking off a piece of chocolate velvet cake.

This chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is my WOW cake recipe among my girlfriends. They always want it whenever we have a cake-eating occasion. It has served as a birthday cake more times than I could possibly count. It was even a baby shower cake once!

So, what makes this cake so much better than other chocolate cake recipes? Well, for one, it’s packed full of rich and delicious chocolate flavor. We’re talking about a dark chocolate fudge cake mix, along with cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Yes, it’s a must-bake treat for chocolate lovers. Why stop at one when you can have triple the chocolate?

Other ingredients include milk, oil, sour cream, eggs, and butter flavoring to make a cake with that unmistakable red velvet cake texture. It’s fluffy, soft, and extremely moist thanks to the combination of sour cream, oil, and milk. When paired with the decadent cream cheese frosting, each bite just melts in your mouth, it’s SO good. Are you ready to give it a try yourself? And if you are a chocolate love like me make sure to check out some of these other recipes Chocolate Depression Cake (Egg and Dairy-Free), Chocolate Pound Cake with Fudge Glaze, Triple Chocolate Cake (a.k.a Chocoholic Cake), Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, and Chocolate Snackin’ Cake.


Labeled ingredients for chocolate velvet cake.

Recipe Ingredients

Chocolate Velvet Cake

  • Chocolate cake mix
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Chocolate chips (or chocolate morsels)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cocoa powder
  • Butter flavoring

Labeled ingredients for cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Vanilla extract or butter flavoring
  • Margarine or butter
  • Cream cheese (here’s our easy-peasy recipe for homemade cream cheese).

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Chocolate Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Grease cake pans with cooking spray.

Grease your cake pans with shortening.

I just take a paper towel and fold it into fourths and dip it into my shortening, then use that to spread it into my pans for less mess.

Sprinkle cocoa powder into greased cake pans.

Sprinkle about a tablespoon or so of cocoa powder into your pans.

Distribute cocoa powder around greased pans.

Shift it around until the cake pans look like this.

Add eggs, milk, and oil to mixing bowl.

In your mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and oil.

Add cocoa powder to mixing bowl.

Add cocoa powder.

Add cake mix and sour cream to mixing bowl.

Add in the sour cream and then pour in your cake mix.

Mix chocolate velvet cake batter at medium speed.

Mix this for about two minutes at medium speed.

Fold chocolate chips into cake batter.

Pour in your chocolate chips.

Eat one yourself, you deserve it.

Chocolate velvet cake batter.

Here’s our chocolate velvet cake batter, ready to go!

Evenly pour cake batter into prepared pans.

Spread the chocolate mixture evenly between the two prepared pans.

Now what I do is take hold of each side of the pan and then kind of hit it on the counter several times.

This helps get air bubbles out of your batter as well as spreads it evenly in your pan.

Baked chocolate velvet cake.

Cook until done (about 25 minutes).

Notice how mine is still a little wompy-looking? Well folks, welcome to my little trick!

Place wet dish towel on cake to make it more uniform.

Wet a dish towel and place it on top of your chocolate velvet cake while it is still hot.

Press down evenly over the top of the cake.

And this will make it much more uniform and flat!

You won’t always have to do this but some days, when you’re trying to make a cake and kids are just chatting away, you’ll find yourself with a wonky cake layer and you’ll thank me for this little tip 😊.

Cool chocolate velvet cake.

The magic number here is 10.

You want to let your layers cool for 10 minutes in the cake pan and then turn them out onto cooling racks or your countertop, lined with waxed paper or the like. You can also just turn them out onto a large plate if you prefer.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

To make cream cheese icing, place softened cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl.

Alright, let’s make some cream cheese icing!

First, place the softened cream cheese and margarine in a mixing bowl.

You want to make sure that your cream cheese AND margarine are softened and at room temperature. Set them out several hours before making this. 

Mix together cream cheese and butter.

Mix your cream cheese and margarine until well blended.

This mixture tends to want to cling to the sides of your bowl, thereby avoiding your beater altogether.

We’re going to outsmart it by scraping down the sides before we add our sugar.

Dump sugar into the mixing bowl.

Dump in all of your sugar.

Most recipes for something like this will tell you to add it gradually, blending well after each addition. Puleeze, I have kids barking at my heels to lick an icing spoon, we don’t have time to add anything gradually.

Just dump it all in there and then turn your mixer to its lowest setting until it gets mixed a bit, then you can turn it up to medium to finish the icing off.

Add butter flavoring to mixing bowl.

Yummy! This is almost done but needs to be blended some more. First, let’s add our secret ingredient (because it smells heavenly, but could smell even better).

Pour in the butter flavoring.

Take a moment to breathe in through your nose… and then blend until well combined and the icing is nice and creamy smooth.

Cream cheese icing mixed together.

Like this.

Decorating the Chocolate Velvet Cake

Add cream cheese icing to cake stand before icing the cake.

The first thing I do is spread a bit of icing on my cake platter to secure my cake.

Add first cake layer and cover with icing.

I place my first layer, top side down, onto the platter and put a big old glob of icing on top.

Good icing should always be served, used, and referred to in “globs”, don’t you think?

First cake layer iced.

Spread that around well, being careful not to let your spatula or spreading knife touch the cake because then it will get crumbs in the icing where folks can see it.

However, at this point in the game, the cake tastes good and it smells good and I don’t really think anyone will give a hoot if you end up with crumbs in your icing. Remember, YOU bake the BEST cake!

Add top cake layer.

Place your top cake layer on the top side down.

Add icing to top cake layer.

Glob more icing on top of it.

Spread icing over top cake layer.

Spread that around on the top…

Add cream cheese icing around the sides of the cake next.

Then start bringing it down the sides like this.

When I get to where I need more to put on the sides, I just glob it on top of the cake and start spreading it down from there again. I’ve never put the icing on the sides of my cake directly but have seen it done and it looked kinda painful.

Chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

By this point, I was just ready to cut the cake.

Besides, the kids looked like they might gang up and attack me if they kept having to smell it.

So add a quick dusting of chocolate shavings and let’s serve!

Slice of chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

Hello there gorgeous!

Slice of chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese icing.



Leftover chocolate cake will last in the fridge for up to 1 week. Just make you store it in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap. You can freeze the unfrosted cake layers for up to 3 months, but I wouldn’t recommend freezing the iced cake.

Recipe Notes

  • It doesn’t really matter what type of chocolate cake mix you use. I look for the darkest colored one I can find but I have made this with milk chocolate, Devil’s Food, classic chocolate, and other flavors of cake mix. Just get a chocolate one and if you have a type of chocolate cake mix in your pantry, use that, it’ll be fine.
  • Butter flavoring is my secret ingredient in a multitude of baked goods. I find mine in the craft department at Walmart, but they also sell it under different brands on the baking aisle. However, feel free to just use vanilla extract in its place, both in the cake and in the icing.
  • For even more chocolate flavor (bet you didn’t think that was possible), substitute the cream cheese icing for my creamy chocolate frosting.
  • On the other hand, if you want to forgo the frosting, simply dust your cake with powdered sugar and serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM.

 You may like these other delicious cake recipes:

Chocolate Depression Cake (Egg and Dairy-Free)

Chocolate Pound Cake with Fudge Glaze

Triple Chocolate Cake (a.k.a Chocoholic Cake)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Chocolate Snackin’ Cake

Slice of chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

Chocolate Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

With that rich, soft, and moist Southern velvet cake texture, this chocolate velvet cake recipe with cream cheese icing melts in your mouth.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, chocolate


Chocolate Velvet Cake

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix I use Duncan Hines
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 tsp butter flavoring can substitute for vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder plus more for dusting pans

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick softened margarine or butter
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1-2 tsp butter flavoring can substitute for vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Grease pans with shortening and dust with cocoa powder.
    2 tbsp cocoa powder

Chocolate Velvet Cake

  • Combine all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, except the chocolate chips. Mix for about two minutes or until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans and let cook until done (about 25 minutes). Let the cakes sit in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.
    1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup oil, 3 eggs, 1-2 tsp butter flavoring, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Soften the cream cheese and margarine by leaving them out on the counter until they reach room temperature. Then combine the two in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Add the flavoring and mix some more until well incorporated and the icing is creamy. Ice the cooled cakes.
    8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 stick softened margarine or butter, 1-2 tsp butter flavoring, 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioner's sugar
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. Well now I’m in a pickle, hmmmm peanut butter pie or Chocolate Velvet cake??? He really prefers pie… and I could purchase a cake carry from Wally World so he could take that home and share with his roommmates right??? (of course there might be 3 small slices missing) 1 for Mom, 1 for me and 1 for my roommate!

  2. Yummo!! I have been saying for a while now I need to make this cake! I work in an elementary school cafeteria, and I had never heard of a chocolate cake with white icing til I went to work there 9 years ago…they are sooo good!! I will be making this cake soon! 🙂

  3. This looks wonderful. Sunday July 8,2012 is my husbands birthday I guess he can celebrate with Southern Plate.

  4. Can’t wait to try this. Two of my favorite things chocolate and cream cheese. Well no make it three things… it starts with a mix!!!!!

  5. Thanks for another awesome recipe! I baked this as cupcakes and just wanted to share that I forced 24 cupcakes, so it would have made more. The first batch I filled the cups 3/4 of the way – took about 18 mins to bake and they were puffed and nicely shaped. The second pan I filled the cups 7/8ths full (Lazy girl didn’t want to bake another few or waste the batter). The second batch didn’t rise correctly, smooshed over the side, took much longer to bake to the point they were getting black edges but still not done. The frosting was great! Thanks for sharing your southern girl cooking secrets – I can’t wait to bake my next wompy cake to try your trick!

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