You’re probably used to piling your sauerkraut on top of a hot dog or folding it into a salad, so it’s probably surprising that chocolate cake made with this tangy, fermented cabbage is a longstanding tradition, according to The Spruce Eats. We know what you’re thinking. A salty vegetable mixed with a chocolate cake? As weird as it sounds, it works, and here’s why.
According to the blog An Affair from the Heart, sauerkraut helps make chocolate cake moist, rich and fudgy. The sour element helps balance the sweetness of the cake – just like sour cream, another common ingredient in chocolate cake, does. The saltiness of kraut also brings out the chocolate flavor (via The Chocolate Journalist). And since the sauerkraut is moist, it helps bring moisture to the cake, preventing it from drying out. The Spruce Eats notes that after baking, kraut does not retain its strong flavor profile, and anyone savoring the dessert will likely think the strands hanging in the batter are coconut flakes. So the next time you want to change up your chocolate cake routine, grab a jar of sauerkraut and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.