Unbelievable Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake

Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake - A generous slice of frosted chocolate cake on a white plate.

An unlikely combination of chocolate and sauerkraut yields an absolutely delicious and moist Chocolate Cake. Add cocktail cherries to the middle and finish with a luxurious Ermine Frosting for a real stunner! 

Let them Bake Cake!

From high end multi-layer butter cream dream cakes to simple sheet pan cakes and my childhood favourite, wacky cake, everyone loves cake! Cake is difficult to resist and I spend hours drooling over my CAKE board on Pinterest. I won’t pretend to be a professional cake artist, some days I can barely get the buttercream right but luckily my family is pretty forgiving. Once in a while, I get inspired to try something new and completely out there. 
A dark brown slice of 2 layer chocolate cake on a white plate.

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How To Cook Sauerkraut

The best way to eat sauerkraut is raw on a grilled hot dog, smokie, or pork chop. Cooking sauerkraut decreases some of the healthy benefits of this digestive powerhouse. Sauerkraut is great in so many ways. Our family loves it braised with sausages or even whole pork hocks. However, this Chocolate Cake recipe really shows that sauerkraut can even be part of dessert. If you must cook it…why not add it to chocolate cake?

Overhead view of a cherry covered chocolate cake layer on a white plate with wavy red edges.

Why You Should Add Sauerkraut to this Delicious Chocolate Cake

You might be thinking…has she finally flipped her lid?! How on earth does sauerkraut taste good in a chocolate cake? The answer is, salt. If you have ever had Salted Caramel anything, you know this to be true. Salt really heightens the other flavours that is paired with, including chocolate. That is the whole reason salt is used in every aspect in cooking. 

Side view of a 2 layer unfrosted chocolate cake showing the cherry filling.

So what about the ‘sour’ flavour of the sauerkraut? To be honest, you really can’t taste it. For example, a similar concept is used in the making of the classic ‘Miracle Whip Cake’. Once you get past the odd ingredient addition, you’ll be delighted with the flavour of this cake.

Slice of 2 layer chocolate cake on a white plate with a whole chocolate cake in the background

The Ideal Chocolate Cake Texture

Have you been searching for that perfect Chocolate Cake recipe? Finding a recipe that yields a flavourful cake without having to compromise on texture is difficult. This cake delivers on both flavour and texture and I swear it’s the sauerkraut. 

Slice of 2 layer chocolate cake on a white plate with a whole chocolate cake in the background

The Classic Layer Cake Jam Layer

It’s been ages since I’ve had one of my mom’s layer cakes. Truthfully, she was not great at baking cakes. However, the one thing I loved about her cakes was the thick layer of homemade jam smeared over the bottom layer. For this cake, I smeared the base layer with grape jelly because that’s what I had. On top of the grape jelly, I scattered some of my home made cocktail cherries. As a final homage to Black Forest Cake and my German heritage.

Overhead view of a half chocolate cake on a white plate with wavy red edges

Sweet Recipes from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

Authentic Homemade Sauerkraut

Chai Layer Cake with Pistachio Buttercream

Pin Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake HERE.

A two photo PIN image with a slice of 2 layer chocolate cake on top and a slice of two layer chocolate cake in the the foreground with a whole cake in the background


Yield: 10 servings

Unbelievable Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake

Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake - A generous slice of frosted chocolate cake on a white plate.

An unlikely combination of chocolate and sauerkraut yields an absolutely delicious and moist Chocolate Birthday Cake. Add cocktail cherries to the middle and finish with a luxurious Ermine Frosting for a real stunner!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2/3 cup butter; softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sauerkraut; drained and very finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter; room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (optional)
  • 30 cocktail cherries
  • 3/4 cup jelly (cherry, raspberry, etc)



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans by greasing with butter and lightly dusting with flour. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until they become light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix in completely between each addition. Add vanilla.
  4. Sift dry ingredients over the wet ingredient bowl and mix to incorporate well, drizzling in the extra water.
  5. When the batter is smooth and well mixed, add in chopped sauerkraut and mix in. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula, if needed.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes and test with a cake tester. If it comes out clean, then the cake is done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.


  1. Whisk flour, milk and granulated sugar in a small pot.
  2. Heat and whisk over med-high heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then stir until it becomes thick and like a thick pudding.
  3. Remove from heat and cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap. Let cool completely.
  4. With a mixer, beat the butter until soft and whipped. Add salt and vanilla.
  5. Gradually drop in the milk/flour mixture and incorporate into the butter well.
  6. When all the milk/flour is incorporated, add the cocoa and combine.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of icing sugar if you like the frosting a bit sweeter.

Assemble the cake by spreading the jelly across the top of the bottom later. Cut the cocktail cherries and spread them evenly over the jelly. Add the top cake layer and frost generously with the frosting.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1524Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 180mgSodium: 925mgCarbohydrates: 155gFiber: 4gSugar: 113gProtein: 11g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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  1. Jo S.

    Can this cake be made in a 9″ x 11″ glass pan? Thank you.


    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of a 9 x 11 pan. It’s either 9 x 13 or 7 x 11. The volume of two round 8 inch pans is approximately 12 cups. A 7 x 11 pan will hold 10 cups of batter and a 9 x 13 pan will hold 14 cups.

  2. grace

    Any chance I can use a box mix? Trying to keep busy during these times of THE SHUTDOWN! 😷😳


    1. Bernice Hill

      To be honest, I’m not actually sure as I’ve never done it before. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

  3. Dana Hutton

    Great recipe! The best chocolate cake I have ever eaten was made with sauerkraut by a Russian relative when I was 10 or so. I think I overcooked this one a tad. Left it in for an additional 6 minutes until my toothpicks came out clean. I also baked it in two eight inch glass cake pans and don’t know if that made a difference.
    I wanted to note that there isn’t an amount listed for the granulated sugar in the frosting ingredients. I had to look up a similar recipe to gauge that.


    1. Bernice Hill

      Hmm, yes I think glass would make a difference. Funny, most people think this recipe is super weird and I haven’t heard of too many people having tried it before. Thanks for letting me know about the frosting…will fix asap!

  4. Jaclyn

    When it comes to things that I never thought I would be putting in cake, sauerkraut was right up there… but you have made me a believer! Yum!


    1. Bernice Hill

      haha! I know, crazy right? I may be more open to it because my mom used to make a fabulous tomato soup cake. Also a strange cake ingredient!

  5. Taryn

    I never would’ve thought to put sauerkraut in a cake! Unbelievably good!


    1. Bernice Hill

      We loved it..my son picked up on the extra flavour right away. He has a really great palate.

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