Chocolate Bundt Cake

January 24, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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.Kelsey Banfield

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.The Editors

Serves: bundt cake
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 45 min


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup 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
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 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.

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Reviews (450) Questions (36)

450 Reviews

Melanie December 16, 2018
Just made mini bundlets with this recipe, and wow! The crumb is tender and tasty. I agree with other bakers who caution against over baking. I baked a pan of 12 for 13 minutes and they were perfect. Used Valrhona cocoa powder because it was what I had in the pantry.
Nicole S. November 18, 2018
My first time making bundt cake was over this weekend for a dinner party. This recipe was INCREDIBLE! The cake is fudgy, decadent, and super moist but somehow light. I’ll make this cake for years to come, fabulous recipe.
Lemoni November 8, 2018
Has anyone made this as a layer cake with frosting? Is it enough batter for 2 9" rounds?
harrisson November 9, 2018
maybe several hundreds....and cup cakes too. It was a staple in several restaurants where I worked as a pastry chef. And, it freezes well. the Rx has been around for decades from the back of the Hershey's cocoa box sand is called "black magic" cake.
Lemoni November 9, 2018
To clarify, do you mean that you've made this recipe into two 9" round cakes several hundreds of times?
harrisson November 9, 2018
Angela Z. October 11, 2018
I've made this cake multiple times and it's always turned out great! I plan on making this cake this weekend but I don't have a hand mixer with me at this time. How long should I hand whisk the cake batter?
Sonia P. October 11, 2018
Hello there... is this cake possible to make it like cup cake? or shall i change any ingredients or measurement? I need to make a batch and this cake is super good..
harrisson October 11, 2018
I have made this Rx into bundt, layer and cupcakes many times. Use cupcake papers that I spray a little release in the bottom of each one. Oven racks in upper and lower middle. Bake at 350 for a total of 19 to 22 minutes, rotating and exchanging the cupcake pans halfway through. It will depend on your oven but watch them because they can over bake easily. The cupcakes are lovely moist and chocolaty....and they freeze well if carefully wrapped.
Valine T. September 23, 2018
Not too sweet, super moist, total winner!
Denise D. March 13, 2018
Follow the recipe, every step, measurement, ingredient and you will not be disappointed. This cake is delicious. Hershey's cocoa powder for the win!
anaevas January 1, 2018
I was super excited to try this recipe. I was loving how easy it was to put together, but the cake ended up sticking to the burnt pan and the flavor was not as chocolate-intense as I had hoped. I followed the recipe to a T - the only thing I did different was that I did not have buttermilk, so I made my own but with skim milk... also I may have beat the batter for five minutes instead of four. Could those two factors Have made that big of a difference? I followed the instructions and tried to unmold on a cooling rack as soon as the cake was ready and out of the oven. Should I have waited a little more to unmold? Perhaps I should try with a better quality Bundt pan ?
Ann-Marie D. January 1, 2018
There is a ton of oil in this recipe so I would say get a new Bundy pan. Also though I though it was chocolaty my French and Polish friends didn't even think it was chocolate! What? This is essentially the Hershey recipe doctored.
Tara C. January 1, 2018
I’ve made this cake countless times & the bundt Pan I use is a cheapo from the grocery store. I always butter & dust with cocoa power as it says to do & it’s never once stuck for me. Also-I normally let mine sit for a bit before I remove from the pan-at least 5–10 min. I believe the original recipe calls for soured milk & I just use whatver milk I have on hand, so I don’t think that would’ve made a huge diff.
anaevas January 1, 2018
Hi Tara! Thanks! I buttered the pan thoroughly and dusted with cocoa powder as well! My instinct told me to wait for the cake to settle a bit before trying to remove from the pan, but I guess I was too impatient. I will wait next time... :)
anaevas January 1, 2018
Hey there! I loved the texture of the cake: as promised, it was dense, not dry at all and it looked great. I expected a deep chocolate taste, especially after the addition of coffee, which I know brings out the chocolate flavor. It tasted a bit like cake from a box, which is not my cup of tea. I would have loved a soft-chocolate center or something, but that's just me. Not sure I would make it again because of this.
Jenny Y. January 1, 2018
Hi there, in addition to generously buttering/cocoa-ing the entire surface of the bundt pan, I always wait until the cake is completely cooled before turning it out. I usually have very little stick to the pan afterward.
Jenny Y. January 1, 2018
Oh, also I usually make a chocolate ganache topping to intensify the chocolate flavor and sometimes use a stout or other dark beer to replace the coffee. But coffee has worked equally as well. Hope this helps!
anaevas January 2, 2018
Thanks for the excellent advice. I like the idea of a chocolate ganache to pour on top of the cake.
harrisson December 13, 2017
Buttermilk, sour milk, soured milk i.e. milk that has had splash of lemon or vinegar added.....all supposedly work the same in adding acidity to the rx that works with the Baking soda as a leavener. I have made this with plain whole milk and the remaining ingredients; it works because the coffee also is acidic. However, I like the buttermilk rx results the best
amg December 13, 2017
Can someone please tell me what sour milk is? Buttermilk? I've been cooking/baking a very long time and never seen this listed as an ingredient.
Marcie S. February 7, 2018
Milk with vinegar or lemon juice added usually to replace buttermilk
marina February 9, 2018
kefir, buttermilk, milk gone bad - any milk that has soured :)<br />
englishtea60 November 19, 2017
Wondering if leaving the eggs out would affect the recipe? Would really like to make it but allergic to eggs.<br />
Jennifer K. November 20, 2017
Might be interesting to experiment. Common egg substitutions would be 1/2 of a banana, or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, or 3 tablespoons peanut butter (each is equal to one egg). You can also try ground flax seeds (1 TBL mixed with 3 TBL of water, blend until thick). Let us know if you try it, just curious.
BavarianCook November 12, 2017
This is a crowd pleaser. Thank you for this tasty recipe. I used buttermilk instead of sour milk and agree with the other comments about dusting the heavily buttered pan with cocoa. That way it will unmold just fine.
socalfoodie September 29, 2017
How many servings do you get from this cake?
Tara C. September 30, 2017
I would say 10-12. People will want seconds, I promise, so be sure to allow for that😋
Jazzy B. August 29, 2017
Its been 7 years since I started baking this and it is still as gorgeous as the first time! Everyone who's had it loves me a little more :P<br />Thank you!
Jenny D. July 16, 2017
Can I use self rising flour?<br />
Lainie July 7, 2017
I made this cake for the first time yesterday for an event this afternoon. It is a good thing I had read in the comments that the batter was very liquid as I was a little worried. I should not have worried - the cake was wonderful and I had no problems with sticking after using butter and cocoa to prepare the bundt pan.
sophiamae July 3, 2017
I've been making this cake for years - Hershey's black magic cake is it's name. As far as I can see the ingredients are copied other than 1/2 tsp salt omitted.
onePotWonder April 30, 2017
I'm confused about the 'freshly brewed' coffee. Does that mean I'm adding it hot, or should it be room temperature?
Tara C. May 1, 2017
I've made this multiple times & I always took "freshly brewed" just to mean not coffee that's been sitting around for a day;) therefore I add it room temp. & FYI black tea works beautifully also:)
onePotWonder May 1, 2017
Thanks, Tara! I made it with room-temperature coffee last night and it was so delicious. Might try tea next time.
Ann-Marie D. April 6, 2017
I've made this cake countless times, no less than 30-40 times without exaggeration. Today for the first time, someone told me she didn't find it very chocolaty and had a neutral taste! I was shocked! I'm sure many of you would defend this cake to the death like I would!
harrisson April 6, 2017
I have learned that "everyone's" olfactory receptors are NOT alike....the chocolaty flavor would be determined by the person's physical ability to perceive an aroma and thus the odd or unusual response to a flavor will happen. I'm with you, this Rx is my go to chocolate cake for 25 years.....btw, it's a Hershey's invention called "Black Magic Cake".
Cyndi C. February 11, 2017
Can I substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil?
meghanclare January 9, 2018
This is very similar to Ina Garten’s Beatty’s chocolate cake. I use coconut oil in it all the time and it comes out very nicely. I will say it’s a little more moist with the veg oil but it’s still very good with the CO.