Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is cool, dark, moist, and decadent — keep a batch in the fridge at all times!

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is cool, dark, moist, and decadent — keep a batch in the fridge at all times! |

Do any of you remember Sara Lee chocolate cake, the kind that came in the little tin foil pan with the cardboard cover on it?   —  The cake was dense and moist, and the frosting was a thick fudgy layer on top.  We ate it cold from the refrigerator, and you could cut it into slivers and snack on it continuously.   It’s been one of those lingering food memories, and they haven’t made it for ages.  You know where I’m going with this…

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is a remake of Sara Lee's chocolate pound cake and it's irresistable! |

To be honest I wasn’t expecting to nail this right away. I figured the cake would rise too much, be too dry, or too fluffy.  I thought it would be tough to get the texture of the frosting just right, and most of all I was sure it wouldn’t slice as sharply as it did in my memories.  But it all came together, and on the first try!  You are going to love this, even if you have no idea what I’m blathering on about.

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake recipe --- keep it in the fridge at all times! |

Just remember, this isn’t a cake to serve at the end of a meal, or for a special occasion, or anything like that; this is a cake to squirrel away in the refrigerator and attack every now and again with a knife (I recommend leaving it right in the pan at all times.)  It cuts cleanly, with sharp edges, so you can take the smallest sliver if you want to.  No matter, it will melt in your mouth like a piece of fudge, only better.

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake 6

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is the ultimate late night snack! |

The cake part is slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Easy Chocolate Cake, the frosting is my own, and the result is pure nirvana.
One note before you start, I used a 7×11 brownie or tart pan, another type of pan will require different cooking time.

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • for the frosting
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz good semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Spray an 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 brownie pan with cooking spray (you could substitute a 9x9 square pan, but the cooking time will be slightly longer and the cake will be taller)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternating with sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan. Tap pan firmly on counter top several times to force out large air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Don't over bake.
  6. To make the frosting: Heat the cream in a 2 cup glass measuring cup in the microwave until simmering. Add in the chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes, and then stir until smooth and glossy and the chocolate is all melted. If the chocolate isn't completely melted and smooth, zap it for another 15-30 seconds in the microwave.
  7. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and whisk until completely smooth. Pour over the cooled cake. Put the cake in the refrigerator to chill and set the frosting. I like to leave it there for a couple of hours. Serve cold, and store in the fridge.

Making Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake |

What makes this cake unique is the deep dense chocolatey texture combined with the cold temp…there is no better snack in the world.

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is dark, moist, dense, and ultra chocolate-y! |

Yes you can cut it in a neat little square and serve it on a plate like a regular cake…

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake --- keep a batch in the fridge at all times! *

But why?  Just leave it on the top shelf of the fridge and have at it.

Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake is the ultimate late night snack --- keep a batch in the fridge at all times! |


used to make cold chocolate snacking cake (the photos are clickable)

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87 Responses to Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake

  1. Tandra says:

    I finally found a 7×11 pan! Yay! However, it is only 1 1/2 inches deep. Is that deep enough for this amount of deliciousness? Thanks for helping a girl out!

  2. NRS says:

    Just made this. Chilled a couple hours, took a bite (or two or three) and it is so yum!!!! And I love the frosting! Thanks Sue!

  3. Cami says:

    Hi! Can i substitute the sour milk for something else? Maybe yogurt? Here in my country there’s no such thing as sour cream :/

  4. Jelli says:

    This looks blissful! I got sidetracked by Pinterest and stumbled upon this recipe…. and I want to DIVE into my screen right this second. Yummy! I can’t wait to try this. Yes, I suppose I say that to too many bloggers about delish recipes, it’s true. This time I mean it 110%. There is no way that this cake will not be made by me this month. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beth says:

    This snacking cake is amazing!! I’ve made it twice now. I follow the directions to a T, except my chocolate bar for the frosting is only 4 oz. It doesn’t seem to matter. Try this recipe today! You won’t regret it.

  6. Frances says:

    Great job on this recipe – delicious and just the kind of cake I like – more fudge brownie and less cake. The frosting is delicious too. Thanks for this! :)

  7. Kristi says:

    I made this cake and it was indeed delicious! Now I have some icing leftover in a plastic tub in the fridge and am trying to find something else to do with it. I was hoping to think of something different just for the variety but I might well make another cake! (Any ideas are welcome!)

  8. Alicia says:

    Hi. Just found your blog today. This cake looks incredible. I am supposed to bring “something chocolate” to a family get together this weekend. This maybe it! I pinned a couple of your fruit juice ice pop suggestions. Wish I had a cara cars orange pop right now!

  9. Leanne says:

    Sara Lee still has a chocolate cake, but these look like the Brownies they used to make. They were a huge favorite in my family when I was a kid. I loved them so much and wish they could be found now. I must try this recipe!! Thanks for sharing. I love your recipes and your pictures.

  10. jaja says:

    hi can i substitute the all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour?

  11. I wish I had a piece and a glass of cold milk right this minute! Yum!!

  12. Monique says:

    A hit..told the boys it was called a slice of heaven..the took some home too:-)
    Thanks again.

  13. Ha! We had that Sara Lee cake in the UK, too! I remember the leftovers used to go a bit gooey in the fridge and, you’re right, it was really hard to stop taking just one more bite.
    Looks to me like you got the texture of that cake just right … and the frosting doesn’t sound overly sweet which I think for me was the key to that Sara Lee cake.

  14. I love the name of this cake though I have a feeling I might get into some trouble if I had this tucked away in my refrigerator… ;)

  15. Rose says:

    This looks sooooo good. My Sara Lee memories are around their banana cake. I remember as a kid sneaking tastes of that out of the fridge, the icing was always super thick and firmly set and the cake slightly moist and very light. Deliciousness made all the more tasty but the stolen moment aspect of it ;)

  16. Pam says:

    It looks decadent and so delicious!

  17. dina says:

    this looks so rich and delicious!

  18. Joanne says:

    I definitely remember that cake! Though I’m sure your version is WAY better. Looks so dense and fudgy!

  19. Oh yes I do remember this and loved it straight from the fridge! This is now on the “to do” list.

  20. Monique says:

    I love your..JUST REMEMBER notes..
    Happily Pinning away:)

  21. I did a post on the Sara Lee brownie a while back, so I know what you are talking about. My mouth is watering. Can’t wait to try your version!

  22. Mary S says:

    Oh, Sue, this cake is deadly!! But what better way to go!! I have been craving a chocolate cake and I am off to the kitchen to bake my demise!! Thank you so much for posting this gorgeous Snacking Cake.

  23. Cold chocolate is the best. I made a flourless chocolate cake around Valentine’s Day and put it in the fridge but it was so cold and dense it pulled my husband’s crown right off of his tooth! I’ll have to give this a spin the next time we’re craving chocolate cake.

  24. As someone else mentioned, we have the McCain Deep’N’Delicious freezer cake in Canada but it is not very good. In fact, there are billboards around Toronto right now advertising the McCain cake as having “better ingredients now – it’s okay to dig in!” No thanks!

    Your version is the real deal – I’m definitely planning to make this, it looks delicious.

  25. This cake sounds incredibly dangerous! I cannot see it lasting long in my fridge! I never had the Sara Lee cake, but I recall McCain making a deep ‘n delicious chocolate cake that was very similar. Ok, now I’m dreaming about eating this cake!

  26. Jo says:

    Followed a link to this recipe. As the page came up I thought, “Wow that looks exactly like a Sara Lee chocolate cake!” Started reading the page & laughed out loud at what you had written. Way too many Sara Lee experiences to share but I will be making this tonight & sharing with friends tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  27. Wendy says:

    that Sara Lee cake also came as a slab cake and was always my sons fav for birthday cake at school. available at local wholesale food place. we called it plastic cake because i loved to bake and yet here i was buying frozen cake in a plastic wrapper, how bad were we… so i will definitely be testing this out, pity it is sooo hot or i’d do it tomorrow

  28. I don’t see my family that often either, so all kinds of things make me nostalgic when we’re together, or even just when I think of them. I’m so loving the dense texture of this cake, it’s just the kind of thing that I want to nibble away at through out the day; so that when my husband comes home he wonders what happened to the other half of the cake!

  29. Christina says:

    I know decadent is overused with chocolate and chocolate cake…but what else can you say to describle this cake? Maybe luscious! :)

  30. Annabaelle says:

    Question – I love your scalloped edge pan…where did you find this? Also, my cake pan is 9×13. Is that going to be any problem? I really never heard of 8 x 12. Hummm???

    • Sue says:

      I know, I used a slightly unusual pan. It’s actually 7 1/2 by 11 1/2, I just re=measured it, but it’s called a 7×11 pan. I think it’s referred to as a brownie pan. You can substitute an 8×8 or a 9×9 round or square pan. Just watch the baking time, it will take a little longer. I found it at a department store like Marshalls, and you can find them at most big kitchen stores.

  31. Liz says:

    Heaven on a plate!!!

  32. Jessica says:

    I didn’t find this recipe on your page but another one that linked here but I wanted to give you a shout too!! I made this and it is SO amazingly and sinfully delicious… The texture of the cake with the perfect icing… Wow! And I cannot believe how easy it is to make, I really don’t think I should be allowed to make this again unless I’m taking it somewhere to share!! I took a piece before the icing had set fully and it only got BETTER after time in the fridge. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  33. inbalsweets says:

    Perfect!! can i have one? :D

  34. LynnD758 says:

    You are amazing. I added this cake to my recipe box. I will be making this for my husband (haha-like I won’t be eating most of it!) for his Birthday on Sept.8th. He is a chocolate addict!! Thank You for sharing!

  35. GastroStu says:

    If had one of those in my fridge it wouldn’t last long. Looks amazing, thanks for sharing.

  36. mmmm, this looks fantastic! I cant wait to try it. I love your baking pan – its really cute!

  37. Rose says:

    This looks delicious!

  38. grace says:

    this could get real sloppy, real fast. i’ve never seen anything like this, except for my bete noire, which is flourless and richer than william gates the third. this one’s a keeper, sue!

  39. DNT57 in St. Louis says:

    I fondly remember the Sara Lee cakes and iced brownies. I used to cut them in 1 x 1 inch pieces and put them in the freezer. When I came home from a hot Florida school day, I’d pop one in my mouth and instantly cool off.
    Now I have to make this for the memories. THX

  40. I remember a cake like this. This looks amazing. I have sudden urge to go get a tall glass of cold milk.

  41. Love how perfectly this comes out of the pan!

  42. Kathy says:

    Snacking cake sounds wonderful…I like to snack!! This would be a perfect snack with my afternoon tea! It also looks luscious!! Have a lovely weekend!

  43. Your desserts always look so delicious and this is no exception. It has a lovely fudgy appearance.

  44. I love the title and that you were able to nail it on the first try. I attempted a choc creation yesterday of the cake-like variety and it’s so close but not quite there to post. I have plenty of leftovers right now :) This cake of yours looks perfect and even better when in reality it turns out what your mind envisions!

  45. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Oh I do so remember Sara Lee pound cake – and you are right it was snaking cake – I even popped it into lunch boxes I am sure. I had forgotten all about it as I hadn’t seen it around for ages. Definitely a “Pin” as this looks even better.

  46. Stephanie says:

    I love the idea of a snacking cake. And a chocolate one at that. Congrats on getting it right the first time. I don’t remember the Sara Lee cakes. But I’m sure they have nothing on this cake.

  47. Ellen B Cookery says:

    Thanks for taking me down memory lane. This cake looks delicious! Looks like you could teach Sarah Lee a thing or two :)

  48. Eileen says:

    The simplest desserts are really the best, aren’t they? I have to say I would certainly serve this after a more formal meal–no problem! Just put each piece on a fancy saucer and you’re set. :)

  49. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Wow, looks heavenly, just heavenly! What a great cake for the summer served cold! Don’t think it would last long in my refridg, maybe not even long enough to get cold.

  50. I don’t know Sara Lee cake, but this one looks amazing!

  51. Oh my…that looks so fudgy and chocolaty! I also love to leave the knife in my cake pans as we eat…so much easier than grabbing a new knife every 5 minutes ;)

  52. Oh my goodness, that looks amazing! And yes, I remember those cakes very well. I just printed off your recipe so I can travel down memory lane!

  53. hobby baker says:

    Oh, just look at those top edges begging to be evened up. (Our family is the champion of “evening up” a dessert until the pan is clean.) This is begging for a glass of milk and a quiet corner. All to myself. :)

  54. Katie says:

    This looks amazing. I hope you have a wonderful sisters weekend!

  55. Kate says:

    I, too, remember that little chocolate cake. Can’t believe you conjured up such memories and a recipe to boot! Love the leave the knife by the cake in the fridge statement. Truth! The only thing I question in your write up is that the box was pretty small and there’d be a chance the family would snack it up. You are a saint. I say what an EASY little box it was to hide. Cold chocolate cake – it’s the bomb.

  56. Mary says:

    oh my heaven. This looks fantastic. I love cold cake and one that stays perfectly moist like this one would be a dream come true! I’m going to play with this recipe very soon!

  57. Oooooooh, awwwwww, yummmmmm! I am sitting here just moaning about this cake. My name is Tricia and I’m a choco-holic. I need to find a meeting now :)

    • I am back to drool over this recipe again. I am so afraid to make it – I would be at the refrigerator door sneaking a fork full every 5 minutes. This is the kind of temptation that knows me by name – and it calls to me! Really wonderful recipe and beautiful photos.

  58. Anonymous says:

    The Sara Lee cake was my craving during pregnancy and I love it that others remember it as fondly as I do!

  59. I totally remember those Sara Lee icebox cakes, and I loved them as well. Now, I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t serve this up at the end of a meal? It looks dessert worthy to me. In college my girlfriend and I use to make a cake and dig into it with our forks till it was gone. It was the best way to eat a cake, but also the worst as you consumed far too much. I could afford to do that back then, but I don’t think I could now. I know when I make this, and I will make this, that it will be pretty much gone within an afternoon with my crew.

  60. Amy says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about! I used to love the Sara Lee pound cakes too… I think they’re still my favorite pound cake to this day. Must be the chilled factor and the fact that they cut so cleanly (even the smallest slivers). This looks SO good, I’m bookmarking it and hoping to make it soon!

  61. Tabitha says:

    This would be too lethal for me to have around.

  62. Hungry Dog says:

    I absolutely remember the Sara Lee chocolate cake–we would get those and also the pound cakes sometimes. I LOVED them. I may have to give this a try this weekend if I can figure out which pan to use as I don’t have an 8×12. By the way, have a wonderful time with your sisters!

  63. Katie says:

    I haven’t had the cake you’re talking about, but I imagine I would be even happier with this one. Everyone should have a cake tucked away in their fridge for snacking. What a great idea!

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