Nicholas Anelka and Frank Lampard helped themselves to two apiece while Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda and Michael Ballack all chipped in as Carlo Ancelotti’s side ran riot in their first league outing of 2010.
Substitute Bolo Zenden and Darren Bent netted second half consolations for the injury-hit visitors.
Steve Bruce, looking for a first win in eight Premier League games partnered Kenwyne Jones with England hopeful Darren Bent in an attacking 4-4-2 formation.
In the absence of their African contingent, Chelsea opted to play Anelka as a lone striker supported by Joe Cole and Malouda.
The home side began much the brighter and wasted no time in breaking the deadlock.
Michael Ballack sent Anelka on his way having picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and the Frenchman provided a cool finish past Marton Fulop on eight minutes.
Chelsea’s defence has been unusually porous this season and Sunderland could have been level straight from the restart.
Petr Cech was hesitant when coming for a teasing centre and was fortunate to see the ball avoid the attentions of Sunderland’s frontline.
But the game was all but over as a contest inside 20 minutes.
Malouda was afforded far too much room and his firm drive beat Fulop to double Chelsea’s advantage.
Sunderland were unable to cope with the pace and purpose of the home side’s attack but their third came from the unlikely source of Ashley Cole.
With a typical marauding run forward the England left-back showed great composure in the area to deftly flick over Fulop on 22 minutes.
Shell shocked Sunderland rallied and began to compete in the middle of the park but Chelsea were always a danger on the counter attack.
There was no respite for Steve Bruce’s beleaguered defence as Lampard made it four on the half hour mark.
Cole provided a teasing cross into the Sunderland box and Lampard slid in to claim his tenth goal of the season.
Sunderland’s best chance of the half fell to Daryl Murphy but his shot was well blocked by Cech minutes before the interval.
Chelsea began the second half in the same vein and were able to break down Sunderland’s whimpering backline at will.
Within minutes of the restart Anelka could have bagged his second but was denied by an outstanding save from Fulop.
The Sunderland keeper had endured a torrid first half but brilliantly flicked Anelka’s effort onto the cross bar.
However he was soon picking the ball out of his net once again as Ballack added a fifth.
Sunderland’s defence once again failed to spot Chelsea’s midfield runners and the German took full advantage to place his header beyond Fulop on 50 minutes.
In a breathless passage of play the visitors did manage to claw one back.
Substitute Zenden, replacing the anonymous Steed Malbranque, showed a rare touch of class in the final third to fire past Cech for his first goal in Sunderland colours.
Anelka was not to be denied his second of the day and capitalised on hesitant goalkeeping from Fulop to add Chelsea’s sixth with 20 minutes still to play.
And he should have had a hat trick with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining but somehow found the sprawling Fulop from four yards out.
Joe Cole should have scored in the closing stages but hit the post from six yards.
Lampard did add a seventh minutes from time as he headed home Anelka's cross.
But the action was still not over as Bent bundled home Sunderland's second in the final minute. >>>from goal.com. for full result, see on the left side.