Fulfill all your chocolate cravings with this moist, flavorful and totally rich Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe. Easy to make with one special ingredient that will bring out the best chocolate-y flavors! I bet you can’t guess what it is…
Rich Chocolate Bundt Cake
This is a rich, nearly pound cake, chocolate bundt cake recipe. A comforting buttery dessert, it hits the spot for chocolate cravings and chocolate lovers.
A Bundt cake is a type of cake baked in a Bundt pan, which has a distinctive ring or fluted shape. These cakes are known for their moist and dense texture and often feature a variety of flavors and glazes. Easier than a layer cake, this delicious chocolate bundt cake is just as impressive.
Why Are They Called Bundt Cakes?
Bundt cakes are so named because they are baked in a Bundt pan, which is a distinctive type of cake pan known for its ring or fluted shape. The name “Bundt” itself is derived from the German word “Bund,” which means a gathering, community, or alliance. The idea behind this name is that the cake is often meant to be shared and enjoyed with a community or group of people.
The Bundt pan was popularized in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s by Nordic Ware, a company that manufactured kitchenware. H. David Dalquist, the founder of Nordic Ware, created the Bundt pan in 1950. It was initially made of aluminum and featured a circular, fluted design. The Bundt pan’s design helps distribute heat evenly, resulting in a cake with a moist interior and a crisp, browned exterior.
The Bundt cake gained popularity when it won second place in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. This brought widespread attention to the Bundt pan and its unique cake, and since then, it has become a classic American dessert and more decorative pans have become available.
What’s in a Chocolate Bundt Cake?
The key ingredients for chocolate bundt cake are pretty straightforward and simple. Standard as far as cakes go.
- Unsalted Butter- Salt dries things out and brands can vary on salt content. Always bake with unsalted and then add salt as needed. Also, don’t skimp with cheap butter- it is the base for the is cake. Use a good butter.
- Sugar- This is a rich cake, but not an overwhelming sweet cake. While it seems like a lot of sugar, this is also a LARGE cake and needs to balance out unsweetened cocoa.
- Eggs– Creates structure and stability in the finished product.
- Vanilla extract– use a good quality vanilla extract, not the imitation stuff.
- Buttermilk– no buttermilk? No problem! Using this adds fat and also moisture, but there are several buttermilk substitutions if you don’t have the real deal. You can also use heavy cream, it just won’t have the same tang.
- All Purpose Flour– Proteins that make up gluten and thus, structure and stability.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder– This is a chocolate cake, so I highly recommend using a good quality cocoa powder. A Dutch processed will give you fudgier results, while natural will be little more crumby.
- Baking Powder– Leavener to add fluff.
- Salt– Salt is essential in baking to bring out natural flavors and provide acidity.
- Instant Espresso (Espresso Powder)– Um, excuse me? Read on…
Coffee in Chocolate Recipes
At first you might reread this, but yes, I add coffee, espresso in this case, to my chocolate bundt cake. To many of my chocolate recipes, actually.
You see, coffee helps to bolster and amplify rich chocolate flavors and very rarely tastes like actual coffee.
Using instant means that the coffee is intensified in a small amount of liquid, much more potent than just 1/2 cup of brewed hot coffee. Please remember that the caffeine will stay in the baked good, so if you are serving to pregnant woman, children or just don’t want caffeine in your after dinner dessert, use a caffeine free instant coffee.
If you are really opposed to coffee you can substitute with an additional 1/4 cup of water or skim milk. Buttermilk is a little too thick to be a good swap.
How to Make a Chocolate Bundt Cake
Making this chocolate cake recipe is super easy! I like to break it down into three steps: making, baking and garnishing.
- Prep. Preheat the oven and grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan with vegetable shortening. Mix the flour and cocoa powder together and then flour pan, tapping out excess. Using cocoa powder to flour will prevent it from having a white residue after baking, matching it perfectly with the chocolate sponge.
- Dry Ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, fine sea salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream. In a large bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachments, beat the butter for 3-4 minutes or until it pales and is light and fluffy. Add the sugar, continuing to mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, until yolk just disappears.
- Make Espresso. Dissolve the instant espresso in 1/4 cup hot water. Add instant espresso and vanilla into wet batter until just combined.
- Wet Ingredients. Alternating on low speed, add the buttermilk and dry ingredients until just mixed. Pour the cake mix into prepared bundt pan.
- Bake. Place the bundt pan in the center of the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes. Use the toothpick test or cake tester at 60 minutes. Keep in mind that baking time will vary based on the shape and size of the pan and your oven. Watch closely!
- Cake Cool & Invert. For best results, remove and cool on a wire cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Invert, tap the outside a few times with a wooden spoon, then release and flip.
- Garnish & Top. Allow the cake to cool completely before topping peaks of cooled cake with hot fudge sauce, dusting with powdered sugar and garnishing with fresh fruit.
This cake is divine without any topping at all or just a light dusting of powdered sugar, but if you want to take it a notch further, try fudge sauce, chocolate ganache, a simple powdered sugar glaze and sprinkle some mini chocolate chips. I also like caramel sauce, because, well caramel and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
You can even top it with crushed pieces of candy like Snickers or Twix. Just make sure to do the sprinkling while the icing or fudge is still tacky.
Other types of frostings can also be used, like a cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting or vanilla buttercream. A basic powdered sugar glaze is also delicious. Make is a chocolate glaze with a tablespoon of cocoa powder or just using chocolate syrup, like Hershey’s, on top of the cake.
Powdered sugar can be applied right before serving, otherwise is tends to absorbs into the soft cake. I use fudge sauce and powdered sugar here.
Commonly Asked Questions
The Bundt pan’s distinctive ring or fluted shape ensures even distribution of heat while baking. This results in a cake with a consistent texture throughout, with a moist interior and a nicely browned crust.
Grease with vegetable shortening because it has a high smoke point and won’t burn as fast as butter. Then combine flour with cocoa powder and flour the pan, tapping out excess.
A Bundt cake is distinguished from a regular cake primarily by its distinctive shape, which is typically round with a central hole or “Bundt pan” design. While the ingredients and flavors can be similar to a regular cake, the Bundt cakes unique shape allows for even baking and often results in a more visually appealing and easily sliceable dessert.
How to Store Chocolate Bundt Cake
To store a chocolate Bundt cake, follow these steps:
- Cool Completely: Allow the chocolate Bundt cake to cool completely in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.
- Wrap Well: Once the cake has cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure the wrapping is airtight to prevent the cake from drying out or absorbing any odors from the fridge.
- Store at Room Temperature or in the Fridge: You can store the wrapped chocolate Bundt cake at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. If you need to store it for a longer period or in hot and humid conditions, it’s advisable to refrigerate it for up to a week, but this will also dry it out. If you are making it for a special occasion, like a birthday party, best bake it not more than 24 hours ahead of the event.
- Freezing (Optional): If you want to store the cake for an even longer time, you can freeze it. First, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Or break into small pieces and wrap individually. Place it in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Frozen chocolate Bundt cakes can typically be stored for 2-3 months. To thaw, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Avoid Moisture: Be cautious about condensation when transferring a refrigerated or frozen cake to room temperature. Allow it to come to room temperature while still wrapped to prevent moisture from forming on the cake’s surface.
- Heat. Towards the end of your cake’s life, you can place it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to resoften the butter.
Just be realistic and know that your rich chocolate cake with moist crumbs will always be the best enjoyed 1-2 days after baking.
More Chocolate Recipes
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Cake Pan Prep:
Chocolate Bundt Cake:
Cake Pan Prep
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with vegetable shortening. Mix the flour and cocoa powder together and then flour pan, tapping out excess. Set aside.
Chocolate Bundt Cake
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, fine sea salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachments, beat the butter for 3-4 minutes or until it pales and is light and fluffy. Add the sugar, continuing to mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, until yolk just disappears.
- Dissolve the instant espresso in 1/4 cup hot water. Add instant espresso and vanilla into wet batter until just combined.
- Alternating, add the buttermilk and dry ingredients until just mixed. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
- Place the bundt pan in the center of the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes. Use the toothpick test at 60 minutes.
- Remove and cool on a wire cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Invert, tap the outside a few times with a wooden spoon, then release and flip.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before topping peaks with hot fudge sauce, dusting with powdered sugar and garnishing with fresh fruit.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments and rating!
**Mini chocolate chips or peanut butter chips are also a good choice!