Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake

I know, I know. You probably looked at the title of this post and are thinking “blechh” right about now. You might not even be reading this post because why on Earth would you want to know how to make a chocolate cake with sauerkraut?? Well…because it’s good? And unique? Seriously. I saw the recipe a few months ago and instantly thought of my dad. He’s a sauerkraut lover and not a huge dessert fan, so I figured this would be the perfect cake for his birthday.

Don’t worry; you don’t actually taste the sauerkraut! It’s main purpose is to add some moistness to the cake and while it pretty much tastes like a normal chocolate cake, the sauerkraut sure does make it unique!

Here’s what you need for the cake and frosting:


  • 3/4 C sauerkraut firmly packed
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 11 T unsalted butter (1 stick + 3 T)
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 C cold coffee


  • 1 lb. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 2 T corn syrup
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T vanilla

First, you’ll want to rinse the sauerkraut really well to get rid of the vinegary taste. Drain it and dry it a bit, but not too much. Chop it up so it’s nice and fine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa.

In a larger bowl, beat the butter until it’s soft and then add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating so it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs at a high speed

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, alternating with the coffee and beat until it’s all blended together. Now fold in the sauerkraut.

Put batter into two 9-inch cake pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake cakes at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Now you’re ready to make the frosting. Using a double boiler (or a makeshift one like mine) melt the chocolate chips. You’ll need to put boiling water in the bottom pan and the chocolate chips in the top pan.

Keep over the heat and stir until the chips are all melted. Then stir in the sour cream, corn syrup, honey, and vanilla.

Now frost the top of one of the cakes.

Place the other cake on top and frost the top and all around the edges.

I put some sprinkles on top because I thought it needed a bit more pizazz and that’s all I had in my kitchen (they were pink…sorry Dad!).

The cake turned out to be quite good. It wasn’t as amazingly moist as I was expecting , but it had a really good flavor to it and the frosting was fabulous. Next time I’d probably make sure my sauerkraut was a little more wet when I added it in. I’m happy I actually tried this recipe out and that my dad enjoyed it. You couldn’t even tell there was sauerkraut in the cake unless you looked really closely. And even then it looked like coconut!

This recipe also reminded my sister and I of a beet cake our mom used to make that was incredible. In the meantime, Julia, a freelance writer for the Boston Globe who Chels and I met at the WBUR Public Radio Kitchen “eat-up”, sent us her favorite beet cake recipe. I’ll definitely be trying it soon and reporting back!


*And the winners of the Banana Nut Cheerios Giveaway chosen by Random.Org are:

  • Modern Maven
  • Sara
  • Megan

Enjoy your gift basket and Banana Nut Cheerios!

10 Responses to "Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake"

  1. VeggieGirl says:

    What an intriguing ingredient for a cake!! Love it.

  2. Susan says:

    If you hate sauerkraut, would you hate this cake or does it just make the whole cake a different flavor.

  3. Darius T. Williams says:

    The cake is probably super moist and I bet you don’t even taste the sauerkraut.

  4. Louise at Livin Local says:

    I’m a big lover of recipes that sound just too odd to be true. Honestly, this one may just push the limit … but then there is all that chocolate and sour cream on top. Mmmmmm!

  5. Kelly says:

    Very interesting. I could see how the sauerkraut would add a great deal of moisture. I’ve seen recipes using prune baby food before for moisture but this is the first sauerkraut recipe I’ve seen.

  6. Jen says:

    Very unique! I like it when we can sneak in unexpected ingredients to add an element of surprise. 🙂

  7. Kevin says:

    I would never have thought to use sauerkraut in a cake. I will have to try it.

  8. Megan says:

    Wow. I never saw this… maybe I skipped reading this because I saw sauerkraut in cake. :o( It does sound like it was good though!

    I’m excited to see that I won. Let me know if you need any info from me.

  9. Laensa says:

    We tried this recipe. We accidently added too much coffee so we just added some more flour to make the mix more heavy. I thought this cake was delicious it was so moist and dense. You should come read all about our experience.

  10. Laura says:

    I tried this and it was great! Most of my family is deathly allergic to eggs, so I did this and a 1/4 cup of apple sauce to sub for the eggs and it was amazing! By far the best egg free cake the family has ever had. Thanks for posting it

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