Easy-to-Follow Sauerkraut Cake Recipe You’ll Love Making

Looking for a unique and delicious dessert that will have everyone talking? Look no further than sauerkraut surprise cake with sour cream-chocolate frosting! Yes, you heard right – sauerkraut. At first, you may be skeptical of this unusual ingredient, but trust me, it adds the perfect tangy twist to this rich and decadent cake.

Growing up, I would often watch my grandmother Jo whip up her famous sauerkraut surprise cake in her cozy kitchen. I admit, I was a little hesitant to try it at first, but one bite had me hooked. The tender cake is packed with flavor and moistness thanks to the addition of sauerkraut. And the sour cream-chocolate frosting is the icing on the…well, you know what.

This dish is perfect for any occasion – from birthdays to bake sales to just indulging in a sweet treat. Make your friends and family wonder what the surprise ingredient is as they devour each delicious bite. Trust me; this recipe will not disappoint!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting
Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting

If you are a fan of experimenting with new and intriguing culinary flavors, the Sauerkraut Surprise Cake with Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting is certainly something that you should try. Do not fret over the idea of adding sauerkraut to your cake recipe as it adds a moist texture and richness that will leave those taste buds dancing.

This recipe brings together a combination of rich chocolate flavor, light and creamy sour cream, and savory sauerkraut to give this sweet treat an irresistibly unique flavor. It’s perfect for those who may be hesitant about choosing between sweet or savory dessert options as it marries the two perfectly.

Don’t believe me? Give this recipe a shot, and I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Whether you are looking for an inventive new dessert to impress your friends or a unique midnight treat for yourself, the Sauerkraut Surprise Cake with Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting will not disappoint.

Ingredient List

 A slice of sauerkraut cake - surprising, moist, and delicious!
A slice of sauerkraut cake – surprising, moist, and delicious!

Here is a list of ingredients you will need for the sauerkraut surprise cake and sour cream-chocolate frosting recipe:

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of margarine, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz. (1 stick) of unsalted butter or margarine
  • 4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate pieces or chips
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Assemble all these ingredients before you start the recipe to ensure that you have everything you need to create the delicious cake and frosting.

The Recipe How-To

 Chocolate frosting takes this unconventional cake to a whole new level.
Chocolate frosting takes this unconventional cake to a whole new level.

Now, are you ready to get baking? Let’s dive into the recipe how-to.


To make this sauerkraut surprise cake, you’ll need:

  • 1 can of sauerkraut (14 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

All set? Let’s roll up our sleeves and start baking!


Step 1: Prepare Your Baking Pan
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking pan with butter or non-stick spray.

Step 2: Cream the Butter and Sugar Together
In a large mixing bowl, cream together your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Step 3: Add the Eggs individually
Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.

Step 4: Mix in Vanilla and Sour Cream
Next, mix in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Be sure not to overbeat the mixture at this point.

Step 5: Add the Dry Ingredients Alternately
In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the water to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. The sauerkraut goes in next.

Step 6: Add Sauerkraut
Stir in the sauerkraut last by hand just until combined.

Step 7: Bake Time!
Pour your batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
When done allow it to cool completely in its pan.

Let’s frost it up!

Here is what you need:

  • 4 oz. (113g) of unsalted butter or margarine, low heat melted then remove from heat
  • 8 oz. (227g) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 (118 ml) cup sour cream, stir it into the chocolate frosting

While your cake cools off you melt four ounces (or use about half a stick or eight tablespoons) unsalted butter or margarine plus eight ounces/227 grams semi-sweet chocolate pieces on low heat.
Remove from heat, allow to cool some before stirring in one-half cup stirred sour cream frosting to make it creamy chocolatey

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't let the sauerkraut fool you, this cake is a hidden gem!
Don’t let the sauerkraut fool you, this cake is a hidden gem!

When it comes to baking, there’s always room for experimentation. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try out in this Sauerkraut Surprise Cake with Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting recipe:

– Substitute margarine for butter: If you’re looking for a lower-fat option, you can substitute margarine for the butter in this recipe. Just make sure to use a vegan or non-dairy margarine if you want to keep the cake dairy-free.

– Swap out the sour cream: If you don’t have any sour cream on hand, you can use plain Greek yogurt instead. It’ll give the cake a tangy flavor similar to that of sour cream.

– Use German chocolate instead of cocoa powder: For a richer, more complex chocolate flavor, swap out the cocoa powder for German chocolate. You’ll need about 2 cups of chopped chocolate pieces.

– Make cupcakes instead of a full cake: Instead of baking one large cake, this recipe can easily be adapted to make cupcakes! Just divide the batter evenly into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-18 minutes.

– Make it vegan: To make this recipe vegan-friendly, simply substitute the butter and sour cream with vegan alternatives. For the frosting, melt semi-sweet chocolate pieces (about 4 ounces) and 4 tablespoons of vegan butter or margarine over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in a cup of confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and enough non-dairy milk to achieve your desired consistency.

With these substitutions and variations, you can make this Sauerkraut Surprise Cake with Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting recipe your own! Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients – who knows what delicious surprises you might discover.

Serving and Pairing

 Sweet and tangy, this cake will leave you wanting more!
Sweet and tangy, this cake will leave you wanting more!

Now that your Saurekraut Surprise Cake is perfectly baked and frosted with a rich layer of Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting, it’s time to serve and enjoy!

This cake is perfect for entertaining guests, especially if you’re looking for a unique dessert to surprise them with. The Saurekraut Surprise Cake offers the perfect combination of sweet and sour in every bite, making it an ideal pairing with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can even pair this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The creamy sweetness of the ice cream blends wonderfully with the tangy sauerkraut, creating a flavor explosion that your taste buds won’t forget.

This versatile cake is ideal for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays to weekend brunches. It’s also a great dessert option for those who are on a vegan diet or those who have gluten allergies.

So go ahead and slice up your Saurekraut Surprise Cake into generous portions and enjoy it with your loved ones. Don’t forget to take some stunning photos of your creation to show off your baking skills!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A surprising twist on a classic dessert.
A surprising twist on a classic dessert.

Planning ahead can save a lot of time when it comes to baking. The Sauerkraut Surprise Cake can be made ahead and stored for later use. To make this cake, simply wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can also freeze the unfrosted cake layers for up to two months.

To reheat, just take the unwrapped cake out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for an hour before frosting. If you are short on time, you can put the wrapped cake in a 350°F (175°C) preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. For frozen cake layers, allow them to thaw at room temperature before frosting them.

Storing frosted cakes can be tricky as they tend to become soggy or dry when exposed to air. But don’t worry! The Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting recipe has got you covered. It holds up well at room temperature for a day or two – just make sure that the frosting is completely set before covering with plastic wrap.

For longer storage, store frosted cake in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for up three days. But take note that refrigeration can change the texture of your cake, so bring it back to room temperature before serving it.

Now that you know how to properly store Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting, you can easily whip up this delightful dessert at any time- even on short notice!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Combine two unlikely ingredients and see the magic for yourself.
Combine two unlikely ingredients and see the magic for yourself.

When it comes to baking, even the smallest details can make the difference between a mediocre cake and a showstopper. So here are a few tips to ensure you get perfect results with your sauerkraut surprise cake and sour cream-chocolate frosting recipe:

1. Use room temperature butter: Softened butter creams more easily, which gives your cake a fluffier texture. Leave the butter at room temperature for about an hour before starting the recipe.

2. Drain and rinse the sauerkraut well: While sauerkraut may not seem like a typical cake ingredient, it is what gives this cake its unique flavor and texture. To avoid any unwanted sourness or bitterness, be sure to drain and rinse the sauerkraut well.

3. Sift dry ingredients: Sifting flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together will ensure even distribution and prevent lumps in your batter.

4. Blend sour cream well: Sour cream adds richness and helps keep the cake moist, but it needs to be blended properly with other ingredients before adding to the batter.

5. Melt chocolate pieces with low heat: To prevent chocolate from seizing up, melt it over low heat in a double boiler or microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth.

6. Cool completely before frosting: Cakes that are still warm will cause the frosting to melt and slide off. Be patient and let your cake cool completely before frosting.

Follow these tips and you’ll have amazing results with this unique sauerkraut surprise cake and sour cream-chocolate frosting recipe that’s sure to surprise and wow your family and guests!


Now that you know all about the ingredients and how to make this unique cake, you may have some questions about the recipe. In this section, I’ll answer some of the most common questions that people have about Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting Recipe.

What is the frosting on German chocolate cake made of?

German Chocolate Cake Frosting is a delectable blend of caramel custard mixed with shredded coconut and chopped pecans. This creamy frosting is made with a few simple ingredients such as evaporated milk, egg yolks, sugar, and butter. Trust me, this easy recipe will leave your taste buds begging for more.

What does adding sour cream to cake mix do?

According to Wilk, a culinary expert, sour cream is a high-fat dairy product that can enhance the texture and flavor of baked goods. Using sour cream instead of milk in a cake recipe can make it more moist and decadent. The fat content in ingredients such as butter, cream, and lard can shorten gluten strands, making the baked goods tender and soft.

Can you use sour cream instead of water in a cake?

Boxed cake mix can be transformed into a moist and indulgent dessert when combined with mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, or melted ice cream. The secret to elevating this already convenient mix is to experiment with ingredient substitutions such as swapping out oil for butter or using milk instead of water. These simple modifications can make a significant difference in the final taste and texture of your cake.

Why is it called German chocolate frosting?

The moniker “German’s Chocolate” originates from a man named Sam German. During 1852, he created a variety of sugary baking chocolate which he sold to the Baker’s chocolate company. They eventually decided to name it after Sam German himself. However, the name did not gain widespread fame until the year 1957.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting Recipe is a unique and tasty addition to your baking repertoire. This recipe offers a balance of savory and sweet flavors that will surprise and delight your taste buds. Using sauerkraut adds a distinct tanginess to the cake but doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. The sour cream-chocolate frosting complements the sauerkraut cake perfectly.

This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves to experiment with unique flavors and wants to impress their friends and family with an unexpected dessert. It is also great for those who want to try something new but are hesitant about the strong flavor of traditional sauerkraut dishes.

So, don’t be afraid to try something new or experiment with different variations of this recipe. Whether you’re using German chocolate, vegan chocolate, or just a standard cake mix, this sauerkraut surprise cake is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and bake up this delicious treat! You won’t regret it!

Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting

Sauerkraut Surprise Cake and Sour Cream-Chocolate Frosting Recipe

I can't believe I cut this recipe out of Better Homes & Garden 30 yrs.ago & just found it & made it! It is very light (I didn't make the frosting) & very easy. I can't wait to tell my men they've eaten sauerkraut for dessert, (you'd never know it). The recipe calls for a 13x9x2 pan but I used a Bundt pan adding approx. 15 min.Also prep time does not include frosting.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Dessert, For Large Groups, Kosher
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 372.4kcal



  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained,rinsed,& finely snipped

Optional Frosting

  • 1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar


  • Cake:
  • In large mixing bowl, cream butter (or margarine)& sugar till light.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Add Vanilla.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder,soda,salt& cocao powder.
  • Add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating after each addition.
  • Stir in sauerkraut.
  • Turn into greased& floured 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
  • Bake in 350° oven 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool in pan.
  • Frost with sour cream-chocolate frosting.
  • Frosting:
  • Melt one 6 oz.
  • package semisweet chocolate pieces& 4 tablespoons butter or margarine over low heat or in the micro.
  • Remove from heat& blend in 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla& 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Gradually add sifted confectioners' sugar to make spreading.
  • consistency.
  • Beat well.
  • Frost.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 118g | Calories: 372.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 58.7g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 14.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.6g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 312.7mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 43.1g

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