When I was a kid, we spent nearly every New Year’s weekend with my parent’s college friends, known to us as Aunt Janet and Uncle Bailey. They had two kids who were close in age to us and we always had a ton of fun together. Being as we lived in Southern California, the Rose Bowl game was once on the docket for New Year’s Day festivities.

Before the game we had a picnic lunch. I can’t tell you what we had other than Aunt Janet’s Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake. It was memorable. I’ve wanted to share this recipe with you for a long time but felt like I should first get permission from Aunt Janet. I saw her last week at my niece’s wedding and we had quite the discussion about the cake. Apparently, it came from Sunset magazine sometime in the 1950s.

The cake is super easy to make, travels well, and is just the right little after-dinner treat when you’re eating out of a picnic basket. Aunt Janet claims it’s a great cake to make with your grandkids, and although I haven’t actually had the pleasure of doing that yet, it did get the nod of approval from a certain 6-year-old I know.

I always think of this cake as a New Year’s Cake because that’s when I first had it but, truthfully, it’s good any time of the year, at home or away. As my granddaughter pointed out, it’s more like brownies than cake so if you’re dreaming of a wedding cake kind of flavor you’ll be disappointed, but if you think of it as a brownie substitute you’ll love it!


Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake

6 T. soft butter or margarine

1 C. plus 1 T. sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3 C. unsifted flour

1 ½ t. baking powder

1 T. each soda and cinnamon

1 C. sour cream

1 pkg. (6oz) Chocolate chips


Mix butter with the 1 C. sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir flour with the baking powder, soda, and cinnamon. Blend with creamed mixture. Mix in the sour cream.

Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13” pan. Scatter the chocolate chips evenly over the batter, then sprinkle with the 1 T. remaining sugar.

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until cake just begins to pull away from sides of pan. Serve warm or cooled. Do not refrigerate. Cut in rectangles.