Chocolate Bundt Cake

By • January 24, 2010 • 318 Comments

Author Notes: Knowing my love for chocolate, my friend Hilary made me a version of this cake for my birthday one year. The recipe was inspired by something similar she had tasted in a restaurant during college. I've since made adaptations to her recipe and often take this to friends for special occasions. In the past I've added frosting or glazes, but have come to like it best with just powdered sugar on top.KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Food52 Review: If Betty Crocker had a sophisticated, seductive cousin, this would be her signature cake: it's pure deep, dark, fudgy goodness. Because KelseyTheNaptimeChef's cake uses oil instead of butter, plus a fair amount of coffee, it emerges from the oven incredibly tender and moist. In fact, we noted that it has a texture similar to that of a British steamed pudding. The best part is that you can throw this together in 15 minutes, and it will be out of the oven in another 45 -- making your total time to greatness about an hour.A&M

Serves bundt cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • 1 cup freshly brewed strong black coffee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a bundt pan and dust the inside with cocoa powder, set aside.
  2. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer on low add the milk, coffee, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla one at a time. mix until everything is incorporated. Then, with the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once all of the flour mixture is added, mix the batter for a full four minutes on medium speed.
  4. Then, pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Then, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Tags: decadent, sweet, travels well

Comments (318) Questions (30)


14 days ago suzanne

the recipe calls for sour buttermilk what they are asking for?


13 days ago Bec

I think so - I'm in Australia where buttermilk isn't readily available. So I used yogurt, which was lovely. I think the sour milk/ buttermilk requirement is for the acidity to react with the baking power and soda in order to get a rise in the cake. So something that fills that role should be fine. Also keep in mind a couple of other commenters mentioned that the quantities of baking soda and baking power ought to be reversed. I have done this every time I've made the cake (3-4 times at least) and it has been great.


18 days ago Emma

Freakin amazeballs!


28 days ago Kaphut

Whipped this puppy up yesterday afternoon. Followed recipe to the letter and it was a "piece of cake!" (pun intended, to make. Stirred up a bit of ganache to drizzle over it, although it wasn't necessary at all. Ganache is just fun and easy to do and drizzling it over cake is kind of Zen therapy after a demanding work day. Called the neighbors over later in the evening and we definitely enjoyed every crumb with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream AND a glass of milk! So moist and yummy. Even better today!


about 1 month ago Charlotte

I'm a newcomer to this site and this is the first recipe I've tried, and I swear, it is without exaggeration my favorite thing I've ever made in 20 years of cooking. It fires on all cylinders - chocolately, but not too rich; perfectly moist; travels well; needs no embellishment at all (although a little bit of whipped cream won't hurt).

My toddler has gotten a taste for dessert after trying this ("zert, mama, zero"). I've brought this on myself...


2 months ago Linda

I made this cake for a friend's luncheon. It was OK but not great. BUT tasting it a couple of days later it was delicious and moist. Seems like the cocoa needed a few days to develop it's flavor. Now this will be a couple-of-days-make-ahead cake.


3 months ago FlyingChef

Hi Lorelu! I've used coconut oil one time (ran out of veg. oil) but everyone gave it a big thumbs down :-( . Personally, I don't like the taste of coconut with my heavenly chocolate. As I've commented, this recipe is nothing but… divine.


3 months ago Bec

As another perspective on this... I used coconut oil every time and everyone has always loved it :) I believe, though, that coconut oils can vary a lot so perhaps Flying Chef and I had different types of coconut oil (and perhaps different tastes) which leads to the difference. Best wishes to you both.


3 months ago harrisson

In this Rx oil is the best choice; oil gives a better and moister crumb. Butter would not improve the flavor and possibly could ruin the outcome. The Rx also freezes well. We make up 5 or 6 rounds at a time, wrap when cooled and then freeze them. They can be thawed, split in half and frosted with a good buttercream to make an excellent Birthday cake.


3 months ago lorelu

has anyone replaces the vegetable oil?


3 months ago Sabine Gagnon

Is there a reason you want to replace the veg oil? At first, I thought butter was always better but that is not the case with this cake. It's impossibly moist and delicious just as written.


4 months ago Nargess

what is sour milk? can i make it? or can i just use regular milk?


4 months ago Nargess

I just saw a comment below that someone used regular milk. thank you


4 months ago Gotowanie Girl

I made this cake this weekend and it was a huge hit. It stayed moist for the entire weekend. I served it with whipped cream. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the contest win!


4 months ago ILuv2Cook

Ummmm, Kathy,,,meowwwwww, it is what it is, Grouchy aye???? Usually when I don't get the jest of something,,,,I GOOGLE :)


4 months ago BakingTara

@Kathy Cooks. I'm sorry, my husband is on hospice and I didn't have time to read the previous 300 comments. But I want to tell you that I have absolutely no problem with someone downloading a good cake recipe. I'm just surprised that I, who rarely bakes cakes, knew what it was right away, and Kelsey and Food 52 didn't. Anything is possible I suppose, but I still feel that such a decades-old recipe should not be given first prize for best chocolate cake only because it was downloaded. BTW, I did not enter this or any other contest, so this is not sour grapes. I just don't think it's fair. At least the other sites explain how to sour milk, and the different pan sizes one can use.


4 months ago Kathy Cooks

@BakingTara: If you had read the previous reviews you would have seen that there was no intention to defraud. I for one am happy that Kelsey downloaded this cake as it has given me, as well as my guests, many hours of pleasure.


4 months ago BakingTara

Can't believe this was awarded first prize for chocolate cake -- not because it is not a good cake, but this is a direct word for word copy of an established cake, known as a Black Magic Cake. I googled Black Magic Cake in quotes and got 134,000 responses. It is on Allrecipes, on the Hershey's website, etc. This cake has been around for decades. This direct copy should not be award a prize for best chocolate cake. At least, that's how I feel.


5 months ago Leigh Cheri

Yummmm...I have made this cake twice now for 2 different parties and each time a hit! So moist which allowed for me to cut slices for a platter and no worry of it drying out. For the 2nd time, I did use a strong espresso which made it is tad richer and I love an espresso -chocolate mix. I am thinking the the 3rd time I will include a bowl of fresh whipped creme fraiche on the side and surround the cake with fresh strawberries as we are getting to the season. This is a keeper!


5 months ago M Schriever

Has anyone tried making this into cake rounds? I'm curious to find out how many rounds and what size this batch would yield.


5 months ago FlyingChef

This was simply divine on its own, definitely a keeper! Even the kids didn't mind it without any frosting. I've made this several times. Thank you for sharing.


5 months ago Natalie Stetz

Holy crap was this cake good! This recipe made me look like a superstar on Valentine's Day. I made it exactly as the recipe describes and served it with marshmallow whipped cream, raspberries and blackberries and decorated it with a few flowers (carnations). I wish I could post a picture of it that I took! It had a great depth of chocolate flavor without being too sweet (the marshmallow whipped cream added additional sweetness if one wanted it). And, as other's have said, it's a really light cake on the palate. Really, really good - thank you so much for this recipe.


5 months ago Molly McClellan

Just made the cake for our Valentine's Day looks wonderful and I'm sure it will taste even better. Since I seem to have a cream cheese surplus, I plan to make a cream cheese glaze for it. On another note, after cruising through all of the comments posted about this recipe from day one...Kelsey, I cannot believe the amount of guff you have had to endure about this recipe. Thank you for sharing it.


5 months ago Lisa

I made this cake the day before serving it. It was so moist that it absorbed all the powdered sugar I dusted it with. I dusted it again right before my guests arrived and it soaked up the sugar a second time. So I had to dust it a third time right before serving. It was a big hit and it kept very well.