The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake

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This chocolate bundt cake is a rich and fudgy chocolate lover’s dream. The moist, tender crumbs and dense cake-y texture are hard to resist, and will literally melt in your mouth, and the creamy chocolate glaze adds another layer of sweet chocolaty goodness.

chocolate cake on a white plate

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Chocolate bundt cakes are special cakes. They are easy to make to satisfy a chocolate craving, but their gorgeous domed shape and intricate patterns makes them feel like special occasion cakes. The secret to this moist bundt cake, and what puts it at the front of the pack when it comes to the best chocolate bundt cake recipes, is using a combination of Dutch-processed cocoa powder and coffee to give the cake an intense, next-level chocolate flavor.

The generous drizzle of glaze on top turns glossy and smooth when it sets, and the entire cake looks like it came from your favorite “fancy” neighborhood bakery. This cake is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth, and impress your guests.

What is bundt cake?

Bundt cakes are cakes that are made using a specialty baking pan called a bundt cake pan. These cake pans, which became popular in the US in the 1950s and 60s when Nordic Ware introduced them, give cakes a high, elevated look, and a thick, almost doughnut-like shape. Bundt cake pans are also known for their mold’s eye-catching patterns, which range from a simple fluted design to seasonal harvest and holiday themes.

How to Make It

Make the Cake:

  1. Prep the coffee and cocoa. Heat brewed coffee and cocoa powder in a small saucepan, whisking frequently. When combined, let cool.
  2. Make the batter. Combine sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk in the bowl of a standing mixer, followed by the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour, then add the cooled coffee. 
  3. Bake. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 60 minutes.
  4. Cool cake before glazing. When the cake is cool, flip it out onto a cake stand. 

Make the Glaze:

  1. Melt the chocolate. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then combine with the melted butter. 
  2. Add powdered sugar. Sift in half the powdered sugar, and add the sour cream. Continue stirring, and add remaining powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. 
  3. Thin the glaze. Add coffee and whisk for a glossy glaze.
  4. Glaze. Pour the glaze over the surface of the cake. Allow the glaze to set before serving.
adding chocolate cake mixture to a bundt pan

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

  • Brewed Coffee – Adding coffee to chocolate baked goods makes all of that chocolaty flavor even more rich and intense.
  • Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder – Dutch-process cocoa powder has smooth, chocolaty notes, and deepens the cake’s color.
  • Sugar – Sugar brings unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder to life.
  • Kosher Salt, Baking Soda – Standard cake ingredients. 
  • Eggs – Eggs are the binding ingredient in this recipe, and provide the cake with a moist texture.
  • Egg Yolk – An extra egg yolk adds extra richness to the bundt cake.
  • Buttermilk – Creamy, tangy buttermilk balances all of the decadent chocolate, and gives the cake a nice crumble texture. 
  • Vegetable Oil – Neutral vegetable oil helps to create a super moist bundt cake.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – Vanilla plus chocolate equals a match made in bundt cake heaven!
  • All-Purpose Flour – No specialty cake flour for this recipe, just a simple pantry staple.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • Unsweetened Baking Chocolate – Roughly chop the chocolate to speed the melting process. Use an unsweetened baking chocolate so the glaze doesn’t get too sweet when you start adding the powdered sugar.
  • Unsalted Butter – Use unsalted butter to control the salt in the glaze.
  • Powdered Sugar – To sweeten the glaze, and give it a shining, glossy finish when it sets.
  • Sour Cream – Tangy sour cream creates a balanced chocolate glaze that is just the right amount of sweet.
  • Brewed Coffee – Any type of coffee with work. Make sure the coffee is room temperature so it integrates easily.
chopping baking chocolate on a cutting board

Make Ahead

This incredibly moist chocolate bundt cake can be made the day before you’re ready to ‘wow’ your guests. Store the cake unglazed in a tightly-sealed container at room temperature or refrigerate, and add the glaze before serving. 

How to store

Store the baked and glazed bundt cake at room temperature for 4 days in a sealed container. Leftovers can be stored for 1 to 2 days in an airtight container.

Recipe Tips

  • If the chocolate glaze is a little too thick, add a splash of hot water to smooth things out and achieve a texture and consistency that’s perfect for pouring over the cake.  
  • Patience is key when it comes to removing the bundt cake from the baking pan. Make sure the cake is totally cool before attempting to turn it out of the pan.
  • Don’t be shy about spraying every nook and cranny of the bundt pan. It will make removing the cake in one beautifully formed piece so much easier. 

Variations

  • Try different glazes – A simple vanilla glaze is supremely satisfying on top of a piece of moist chocolate bundt cake. Those who love chocolate and berry fruit flavors together could try a strawberry or raspberry glaze. 
  • Use different toppers – A dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream add a nice contrast to the chocolate in this bundt cake. 
  • Add buttercream frosting – If you’re wondering if you can frost a bundt cake instead of using a glaze, the answer is yes! Try piping a chocolate buttercream frosting or vanilla buttercream on top. 
bundt Cake just out of the oven
Bundt Cake on a white cake plate

FAQs

Do I need to use a chocolate ganache? 

Using a chocolate ganache or a chocolate glaze isn’t required in this recipe, but it does add more dreamy chocolate flavor. If you want a sweet, chocolatey cake, but want to skip the glaze or ganache, try dusting the top with a little powdered sugar instead. Just make sure the cake is completely cool first. You could also indulge in a piece of this cake with no topping at all, and enjoy each moist, crumbly bite with a warm cup of coffee or tea.

How do I drizzle glaze on a bundt cake?

Drizzling the glaze on a bundt cake to create that beautiful cascading glaze effect that we all associate with these delicious cakes is easier than it looks. Simply position your bowl and glaze over the top of the cake, and begin spooning the glaze on the surface. Aim to place the glaze near the outer rim of the cake, and slowly pour/spoon your way around the entire cake.

More Easy Cake Recipes

a slice of Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

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bundt cake on a white cake plate
4.18 from 117 votes

The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe

This chocolate bundt cake is a rich and fudgy chocolate lover’s dream. The moist, tender crumbs and dense cakey texture are hard to resist, and will literally melt in your mouth, and the creamy chocolate glaze adds another layer of sweet chocolaty goodness.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Saucepan
  • Stand Mixer
  • Bundt Cake Pan
  • Cake Stand

Ingredients 

Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, at room temperature

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle the inside with flour.
  • Make the Cake:
    Combine brewed coffee and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool back down to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • When the the coffee mixture is nearly cool, combine sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low until evenly combined, 1 minute.
  • Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract and mix on low for 1 minute. Add flour and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add cooled coffee mixture and mix on medium for 3 minutes. (Note: The batter will be very runny and should pour easily.)
  • Pour into bundt pan and bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 60 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool completely before flipping it out onto a cake stand. At this point you can keep the cake at room temperature or refrigerate it (covered with plastic wrap) for 1 day.
  • Make the Glaze:
    Put chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water directly; or use a double broiler). Heat, stirring frequently, until fully melted.
  • In another bowl, melt the butter (I do this in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring between each).
  • Whisk melted butter into melted chocolate until fully incorporated. Sift in half the powdered sugar. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine.
  • Sift in the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until smooth (you’ll have to use some elbow grease here!). When fully mixed, the glaze should be thick and shiny.
  • Add coffee and whisk again to create a glossy glaze. (A couple times, I’ve had to add a splash of additional hot water to get the glaze smooth and creamy.)
  • Pour the glaze over the surface of the cake, letting it drip down the sides and middle.
  • Let the glaze set for at least 1 hour before serving.

Notes

Make ahead – The cake can be made ahead and stored in a well-sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Add the glaze just before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $5.00
Calories: 396
Keyword: baking, chocolate, chocolate cake, dessert, easy dessert recipe, kid-friendly recipe, make with kids, party and entertaining, party recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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69 Comments

  1. cake looks good but i would try making a peanut butter frosting and putting it but have not to soupy or thick

  2. Best chocolate cake habds down… I’ve made this cake several times for my family. My 88 year old grandmother says it’s the best she’s had. I recently tried it as cupcakes. They were amazing!!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of the BEST chocolate cakes I’ve made EVER!! Excellent recipe. I have sensitivity to dairy so substituted buttermilk for can full fat coconut milk and it was incredible. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi, I have used this recipe often and everyone loves. Absolute best chocolate cake. Quick question, I would like to try a vanilla variation of this recipe. All the vanilla bundt recipe’s that I have seen, all look too try. If I were to try a vanilla variation with this recipe, what would I need to change? Would leaving out the chocolate/coffee mixture change the texture and if so what should I substitute for the liquid component? Any ideas?

    1. Sam – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the cake. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I have not tried making this as a vanilla cake, so I’m not sure if it would work or not. I’ve tried making my One Bowl Chocolate Cake in a vanilla version, and can’t ever get the recipe to work, so I’m not sure if it will work here. If I were guessing, I’d start by using water instead of coffee and reducing that liquid measurement (maybe by half?) to account for the fact that there will be less dry ingredients after removing the cocoa powder. I’d also increase the vanilla extract to 2.5 tsp just to be sure there’s solid vanilla flavor. I’d love to hear how it goes if you do try it!

  5. 5 stars
    My husband baked this cake for my birthday last year and it was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. I’m a chocoholic and have tested many recipes in the past.
    This weekend is my birthday and I just resent him the link!
    Even he and our kids (who all usually prefer vanilla cakes) loved it. And everyone remembers the glaze fondly!

  6. 5 stars
    This was the richest, deepest chocolate cake I have ever baked. My mother only baked from scratch but this easy, and I mean EASY, scratch cake has become the hit of my house. I baked it twice this weekend to see if it came out any different-Nope. I was concerned at how heavy it was(in actual weight) but it was the same on the second baking. I actually ate approximately 1/6 of it before I frosted. The frosting was a bit heavy after enjoying the wonderful chocolate flavor alone. Honestly a little powdered sugar for effect would be enough for a show stopping dessert. I bought a new Bundt pan and a new can of Guittard(the only chocolate I use) chocolate and couldn’t wait to try this recipe. The frosting was better on the second day and I will use a cream cheese one next.

    1. Hi Emma – I’ve never tried this with gluten free flour, but there are some really great blends out there, so I think it might work. Just be sure to use a gluten-free flour that’s a 1:1 sub for all-purpose flour. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. This is the best homemade cake I’ve ever made! I love cooking + baking from scratch… but cakes I resigned to box years ago. Most homemade recipes lacked – big time. This was, and still is spectacular.

    FYI, yes the batter is ‘extremely runny’. So much so I almost tossed the whole thing. But it bakes perfect.

    I made this with my kids for Christmas desert. Relatively simple. In the future I’d probably even use the microwave to heat the coffee and cocoa in a large Pyrex measuring cup. I didn’t have all the ganache ingredients so I made, and piped on a simple, loose, vanilla buttercream. This is going to be our new Xmas desert tradition!!

    1. Wonderful! Thanks so much for the note, Karen! And for the note about the runny batter. I’m going to add a note about that in the recipe now, since it can definitely make you think the recipe has gone wrong. But it always bakes up great! What a fun tradition!