Appalachia Appalachian Food

Chocolate Cake With Kraut – What?

Chocolate cake with kraut in it

From the minute I saw Leon Patenburg’s recipe for Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake I knew I had to try it. I thought it might be tasty. I already know I like cakes made with left over mashed potatoes and cakes made with tomato soup. But chocolate cake made with kraut? I had to find out for sure.

The day I made the cake, I tried to be secretive with my ingredients so I could make the rest of my bunch guess what was in the cake. But The Deer Hunter saw me bringing a jar of kraut up from the basement so I ended up telling him from the start. He said “What!? a cake with kraut?” I said “yep.”

To make a Chocolate Kraut Cake you need:

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sauerkraut (rinsed and drained)

First-cream butter and sugar together.

Chocolate Sauerkraut cake

Add eggs one at a time-mixing well after each. Add vanilla-mix well.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the water-mixing well after each addition.

Stir in one cup of kraut that has been rinsed and drained. If your kraut is coarse in size-I would suggest chopping it to a finer consistency. Most all the kraut cooked up in the cake-but a few of my coarser pieces stuck around.

The best chocolate sauerkraut cake

Pour mixture into a well greased/floured bundt pan-or you can do like Leon and use a dutch oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till done. (it took 40 minutes in my oven)

Kraut chocolate cake

I melted some semi-sweet morsels with a bit of butter and poured it over the cake for an easy icing.

Chocolate sauerkraut cake is good

So was it good? YES! The cake is delicious. Moist, dense, and chocolaty. Its so good you really don’t need an icing. Its the type of cake that goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk.

The hot new band Burnt Toast & Cracklings (Chitter, Chatter, and friends) were over for a jam session the evening I made the cake so I did get to play my game of ‘can you guess whats in the cake’. It was unanimous it tasted so good they didn’t care what was in it.

Ever had Chocolate Kraut Cake?




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  • Reply
    Betty "JO" Eason Benedict
    April 14, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Well there’s Carrot Cake, Prune Cake, and Campbell’s has a Tomato Soup Spice Cake and my favorite Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake…….All odd ingredients but all good! So why not!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    WV Whippoorwill
    May 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Definitely going to try this cake! From seeing the other posts, I guess lots of people like salty and sweet together. Now I know why, even as a kid, I would drink a big glass of cold buttermilk with my brother’s homemade peanut butter chocolate fudge!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings
    April 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Never ate a cake with kraut in it. hmmm… I have enough home made kraut I could try this with.

  • Reply
    April 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I have to admit that my nose curled at the thought of sauer kraut in chocolate cake, but I’ll take your word for it.
    Congratulations on the movie making first place! I SO wish I could see it!!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Oh,WHY in the world???!!!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I did a story on sauerkraut a few years back, and included this recipe. A co-worker made it as a joke on her husband, who is a Wisconsin “cheese head.” Turned out to be his favorite cake!
    My brother and I have done well with this recipe in Dutch oven competitions!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Have had chocolate cake made with mayonnaise or canned tomato soup, but never with sauerkraut.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    April 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Well I never heard the beat.. I bet it is good..I’ll sneak and try it one day..I’m writing it down.thanks for the recipe..

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    April 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    It sure sounds worth a try! I can see how it would be moist.

  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    April 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Kraut cake… actually it doesn’t surprise me… don’t know why but I’ll be it WAS good!

  • Reply
    Rose C.
    April 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I have made this cake before and told my family it was coconut! They ate it and loved it! Once it was all gone I did tell them it was Kraut and not coconut.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    April 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Being new on your site, Tipper, I will soon have a complete cook book writing all the recipes you are giving. I am having agrand time and do not know which one to try first.They all look so good.Thanks so much for sharing. Bob and Inez Jones

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    April 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Haven’t tried the kraut cake, but have heard of it….I think it would be a great substitute for summer zucchini or carrots in the winter…After the kraut is washed and drained I dare say there is much salt and vinegary taste left…Just think how good that would be for you…Vinegar is good for you anyhow…might even not rinse it and barely drain and not add the extra 1/4 tsp salt ro the mix…I’d say that keeps the cake moist like grated zucchini…I love chocolate zucchini cake myownself…LOL
    The person who asked about self-rising or plain flour….I use plain flour or cake flour if the recipe calls for it…only use self-rising if the recipe calls for it…I did substitute one time and left out the baking powder and some of the salt…It barely worked for me..but wasn’t bad…
    I need to get the movie…I wish I could go see it…could you email me about where I can buy the DVD….
    Great post, Tipper

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    April 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Tipper: nope,first a big plate of kruat,then a large piece of chocalotty ,never together.regards k.o.h

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    April 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Nope, never tried anything like that! Years ago I did the tomato soup one, but never mashed potatoes and never even thought about sauerkraut. Chocolate, however, makes it very tempting. I gotta think about this before I venture forward. Very interesting! I think it goes with your violet jelly.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

    One thing for sure, you ain’t
    afraid to try out new receipes.
    I like the name of the new band
    “Burnt Toast and Cracklin’s.”
    With you and Paul and Pap right
    there to guide them, it can’t go
    wrong. Hope they add a banjo to
    all that nice music…Ken

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Yes, we have heard of kraut cake and make it all the time. I was going to send you the recipet for it after you tried the apple pie made without any apples.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I don’t see why not-I’d try the recipe with turnip kraut!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    April 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’ve heard of this cake, but never have looked for a recipe so… I’m definitely going to give it a try. Thanks! Remember mayonnaise cake? That’s one I haven’t had in a while, because I really prefer butter in cakes, well… in everything!
    @ Ed – V8 following yoghurt? I’m with your wife, LOL!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I ain’t much of a kraut eater or a cake eater so I’m gonna pass for now. Ain’t no baker neither. Besides the Cream Cheese Danish I learned from you is such a hit around here nobody wants any other sweets. It’s easy enough for anybody to make, even me. I’ve made the recipe a half a dozen times and I’m still gettin “When you gonna make that Cream Cheese Danish again?” You said you didn’t drizzle on the icing, so I ladled it on and warned everyone not to take a big piece. They’re lovin’ it. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I have made sauerkraut cake for many years and the gang here all like it so I would highly recommend all your readers give this a try —I do believe it will become a favorite of their’s as well.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Chocolate cake with kraut…WHAT? Well, I have tried almost all the recipes you have posted on here and this one…I guess I will give it a try.
    Have you and the girls decided what you will wear to the Oscars? Where is the movie available for sale?

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thank you Tipper for reminding me of this cake. I have had it and it is delicious! I am going to have to make one of these soon. Love the band’s name! I am sure those talented daughters of yours are going to be stars one day!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    April 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This was one of my grandmothers favorite cakes to make for special occasions! We always looked forward to having sauerkraut cake!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I want to try the Chocolate Kraut Cake for sure–and I’ll be passing the recipe on to Janice who still makes the best kraut when “the signs are right”! I’ve done mashed potato cake and tomato soup cake, so why not saeur kraut? Kraut is good with something sweet! When I was a kid, we used to make our supper some winter nights on kraut with sorghum syrup over it, and a cake of hot cornbread (maybe cracklin’ bread) out of the dutch oven cooked by the fire with coals beneath and above on the lid. That bread was soooo good, and the right complement for the kraut and syrup.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:50 am

    well i never!!! it looks good to me, would never ever thought it would taste good though

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Never heard of such a thing, but I’m game. I will give this a go!

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    April 17, 2012 at 8:41 am

    So…..when my wife blanches when I chop up a banana in yogurt and chase with with a glass of V-8, she doesn’t really understand, right?

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

    That cake looks good! Like T.S. Eliot’s “Overwhelming question”, I would like to ask one of my own. Maybe some of the more accomplished bakers out there could answer mine. Which is better when baking cakes or cookies, self-rising or all purpose flour?

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

    This does sound intersting! I can see how it would be very moist, and if the kraut is rinsed it wouldn’t add much of a cabbage taste. Yep, I’ll have to try it! Thanks for bringing us another unusual recipe!
    Congratulations on your movie stardom! I hope we’ll all get a chance to see it someday.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

    It looks good! I wonder if I could use my Turnip kraut? LOL

  • Reply
    April 17, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I absolutely love your recipes and I’m especially glad you have taste tested this one for me. (because I don’t think I would waste a jar of kraut trying it!)

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    April 17, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Do-Whut, saurkraut in a Chocolate Cake, if that don’t beat a hen-a-rootin. I’ll have to try this since I love kraut raw or fried with keilbasa and nothing is quite so refreshing as a chilled glass of a good vintage Kraut Juice. I hope my Cardio Doc doesn’t read this. I love the juice and as the Old Timer would say “It do keep one Ragular.”

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    April 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Sounds like a good cake to me. Course my wife would never eat it if she knew about that special ingredient. (laugh) I may try it without her knowing it. I’d have to buy my kraut though..guess that wouldn’t matter.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Now Tipper, that cake looks mighty fine. I have to confess I already new about it. The Deer Hunter called and told all about it….even catching you coming up the stairs with the kraut. He said it sure was good cake.
    New group eh, Burnt Toast & Cracklins. I guess that accounts for the new faces in the last video. lol
    I ordered one of the DVDs of the movie but I haven’t gotten it yet. I’m anxious to see it. First place is terrific….Hollywood look out!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

    This cake looks like something that is weird enough to try!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    April 17, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Never heard of it! It sounds very odd, although I do like kraut… but it looks delicious and I’m going to try it! I do love your recipes!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 17, 2012 at 7:15 am

    That just doesn’t sound normal. 🙂 I don’t know that I would try it if I knew what was in it, but then I am a fussy eater.

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