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Rich, moist and not-too sweet Chocolate Bundt Cake!
Chocolate Bundt Cake with plenty of chocolate flavor and a little tang from the buttermilk.
Drizzle this Chocolate Bundt Cake with a simple glaze, or a dusting of powdered sugar for an easy, make-ahead cake sure to please your favorite chocolate lover!
I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I’ve made this cake. And, I’m not sure if all that tweaking was actually necessary or if I just wanted to make it again, and again. Either way, this final version (originally adapted from a recipe on Cook’s Country) is a keeper!
Cook’s Country shared an amazing tip/trick to ensure perfect cake release from your favorite bundt pan.
I’ve tried it twice with great results so I’ll never skip this step when making a chocolate cake … never, ever, ever again. Just ask my family what the cake looked like when I didn’t use this method. When I served it at the last family dinner, we had to scoop it into bowls – one big giant mess!
Sometimes vegetable sprays are worthless, just saying. This Nordic Ware Bundt Pan has a wonderful finish but the intricate design can cause problems if the pan is not well greased.
The method is simple; melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in cocoa powder then brush the interior of the pan with the butter mixture using a pastry brush.
Although it takes a few minutes to ‘paint’ the interior, it’s worth every minute to ensure a great release. Brilliant! Shortcuts don’t always work in baking!
Can you bake this cake in a tube pan or loaf pans?
You don’t need a fancy Bundt pan to enjoy this cake. It bakes well in just about any kind of pan. I also like making this in a tube pan (angel food cake pan) and just dust with powdered sugar.
This cake is also terrific cut into cubes and used as a base for a trifle. Layered with chocolate whipped cream, fruit and perhaps a little raspberry jam. What a treat!
One of my favorite things about this Chocolate Bundt Cake is the not-too sweet flavor.
It’s chocolatey for sure, but not at all cloyingly sweet. The chocolate glaze is made with semi-sweet chocolate chips but you can use dark or milk chocolate if you prefer.
I don’t think you’ll want to skip the raspberries. They’re the perfect garnish in both color and taste. The tart, bright flavor really shines through so have extra on hand when serving.
Can you freeze Chocolate Bundt Cake?
This cake freezes very well sealed in an airtight container. It is best to freeze before adding the glaze. If freezing leftover slices of cake simply layer between sheets of wax paper and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Ingredients for making Chocolate Bundt Cake
For the cake release:
- unsalted butter
- unsweetened natural cocoa powder
For the cake batter:
- unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- bittersweet chocolate – buy good quality bar chocolate for this recipe
- instant espresso powder
- boiling water
- buttermilk – full fat is best
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
For the chocolate glaze:
- semisweet chocolate chips
- heavy cream
How to make Chocolate Bundt Cake:
First prepare the cake release:
Combine the melted butter with cocoa powder and brush on the interior or your 10 or 12 cup Bundt pan.
Next make the cake batter:
Mix the cocoa, chocolate and espresso powder in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Once cooled stir in the buttermilk.
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend well.
Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixture blending well until all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepare pan and bake.
Cool completely before adding the glaze.
Finally prepare the glaze:
Heat the cream and pour over the chocolate chips and salt. Once melted, drizzled over the cooled cake as desired. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
NOTE: This recipe has been adapted to fit a 10-cup Bundt pan but will work fine in a 12-cup pan too.
TIP: The only way you can go wrong with this cake, is to over-bake it.
It goes from ‘not-done-yet’ to ‘dry’ in about 5 minutes so keep a close watch on it. Test for doneness at the least amount of baking time.
If the skewer or toothpick is covered with wet batter, then bake another 2-3 minutes and check again. Moist crumbs are what you want – but don’t assume it needs 5 more minutes – because it probably doesn’t.
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Chocolate Bundt Cake
For the cake release:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
For the cake:
- ⅔ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup well shaken buttermilk
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs room temperature
For the chocolate glaze:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
For the cake release:
- Combine the melted butter and cocoa powder in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Using a pastry brush, paint the interior of a 10-cup Bundt pan with the mixture making sure to get it in the deep crevasses. If the butter hardens, microwave 5 or 10 seconds to melt and continue to brush on the pan. Set aside.
To make the cake:
- Set the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F.
- Combine 2/3 cup of cocoa, the chopped chocolate, and espresso powder in a heat proof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool. Once cool, stir in the buttermilk (before adding to the remaining batter.)
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- If using a stand mixer, fit with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after two eggs have been added, taking care to reach down to the bottom of the bowl as well.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add 1/3 of the flour and half the chocolate-buttermilk mixture. Blend just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl well and add 1/2 of the remaining flour and all the remaining chocolate-buttermilk mixture. Blend again just until incorporated. Add the last of the flour and beat on medium-low until the batter is well blended, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly. Bake for 43-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out with a few crumbs but no wet cake. Do not over bake the cake as it may end up dry and crumbly.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a parchment lined wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare the glaze:
- Add the chocolate chips to a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and salt to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and set aside for 60 seconds. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Cool for a few minutes then drizzle over the cake as desired. Garnish with fresh raspberries. If desired, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar in place of the chocolate glaze.
- Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for longer storage.
Here are a few more chocolate recipes you might enjoy:
Chocolate cakes are always a great choice when you need a dessert that will feed a crowd. Our Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake is a terrific, light and delicious show-stopping dessert everyone loves.
We absolutely adore this delicious Guinness Chocolate Cake – you won’t believe how delicious it is! Maybe beer does make everything better 🙂
I really want to
devour try this Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake. Who wouldn’t love a cake you can snack-on right out of the refrigerator!?
Love this One Bowl Chocolate Cake. So many delicious recipes, so little time!
And finally, these individual Hot Chocolate Pudding Cakes must be fantastic, too. They look wonderful and I can’t wait to try them.
Originally published September 2017, updated May 2021