Make Ahead

Chocolate Bundt Cake

June 19, 2021
58 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves Bundt Cake
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • 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
  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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Home cook, food blogger, cookbook author, wine lover, avid traveler, and mother of two young children. Check out my books: The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life (2012), and The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year (2015), Running Press.

497 Reviews

Sarah February 13, 2024
Holey Moley is this an amazing cake! I love my great grandmothers (depression era) chocolate cake recipe but this brings it to a whole new level. It was up against some very biased family opinions and handily won. And easy (like hers)! Wow. Thanks ♥️
harrisson February 14, 2024
This has been my go to cake for over 30 years since I learned it as a pastry chef in a country Inn in PA...and it was not new then. It will adapt to a layer cake and cup cakes too...just have to adjust the time...Especially elegant as a layer cake with real buttercream frosting...always a hit.
Barbara December 26, 2023
I make this frequently as a layer cake, usually with a chocolate ganache. Fabulous cake.
Ren0477 December 24, 2023
Easy recipe with delicious results! I cut the cake in half to add a layer of raspberry puree spread and drizzled on chocolate glaze. The results were holiday cheer.
harrisson December 24, 2023
FYI this c0mes fr0m Hershey's, 0rig0na11y on the label 0f the c0c0a, ca11ed "B1ack Magic" cake, Can be used f0r 1ayer cake, bundt cake, cup cakes, and a r011 cake, adjust the baking times s0rry f0r the w0nky keyb0ard..not w0rking
Tonantzin January 31, 2024
I love a versatile cake mix. Thank you for this information.
Sunshineisland October 2, 2023
Super easy , simple measurements and very yummy - made twice second time skipped the dusting inside the pan - way better- did not stick
judy March 24, 2023
This was really good. ( reduced the sugar to 1 1/2C and it was plenty sweet. I also used yogurt in place of half the milk, as I did not have buttermilk. I substituted vinegar and extra baking soda for the baking powder, as I am allergic to baking powder. With all those substitutions, this was an amazing cake. Oh, I baked it in an 11x7" pan as I do not have a bundt pan. It was amazing. We added in walnuts, dark sweet dried cherries and coconut. Will put this in our rotation. I love a cake that I can make so many changes to, and it still comes out perfect. Thank you.
Jeannettesversion August 19, 2023
Are you rating the recipe as written or with your substitutions?
Karen W. November 11, 2023
Good to know this cake can hold nuts & fruit—great additions!
Mary G. March 20, 2023
Wow! This cake is incredible. Recipe and instructions were spot on. So easy to make and AMAZINGLY moist and delicious. I will definitely be making this again and soon. My guests and my family loved it. Yum!
[email protected] March 14, 2023
Made this for my birthday and it was wonderful. I believe the baking time is off as it didn't take 45 minutes to bake but rather 65 minutes. It is a very moist cake and while I was nervous that the batter was too thin, it baked up beautifully. Reminds me of the cake my mother always made with a 'cooked' frosting. I made it as a bundt cake but I will try it as a layer cake and make my mother's cooked frosting...should be great!
Rebecca Z. March 5, 2023
As a child, I had a recipe for a chocolate cake similar to this from my grandmother; but it called for Hershey's cocoa (which is acidic) instead of Dutch cocoa (which has been neutralized) and left out the coffee, replacing the volume of liquid with all sour milk.

I recall now that the 4-min. mixing time is essential.
zingyginger December 30, 2022
As others have mentioned this recipe is from the back of a Hershey cocoa from more than 10 years ago & is available on Hershey's website as the Black Magic Cake. There you can find their tip on making sour milk, the various pan sizes you can use & the corresponding timing in the oven, including how to use this recipe for cupcakes (it's in the answer section). This recipe is versatile but it was developed for Hershey's natural cocoa so if using "dutched" cocoa, you'd have to double the baking powder & cut the baking soda in half to keep the center from sinking, when making a layer cake.
Hina328 November 30, 2022
First time making the recipe! My little one used the potty for the first time and it was cause for celebration. I used a combination of black cocoa and dutch process as well as coconut oil instead of a veg oil. I baked cupcakes instead of a bundt and after 26 minutes, they were perfect! We added a couple of chocolate chips to the tops before baking, but after tasting I don't think it was necessary.

I love chocolate cake and this recipe was so easy, I will be adding it to my rolodex. Thank you, Kelsey!
harrisson November 26, 2022
First class Rx that I learned as a assistant Pastry chef at an Inn in Pennsylvania thirty years ago...always came out prefect. We made larger batches of layer cake versions to freeze for future birthday cakes at the Inn. It can also be adapted to cupcakes.
Caroline November 26, 2022
This cake comes together quickly, but It is decadent. It has excellent flavour, a moist and tender crumb, without anything that isn’t necessary. It is my new go to chocolate cake!
Ame November 1, 2022
I had this cake as a child, and just loved it! This cake is very rich chocolate, easy to make and you might want to eat the whole cake!!! If you love chocolate, then you will fall in love with this!!!
shamaa April 5, 2022
Perfect Chocolate Cake
HungryHungryLaura March 5, 2022
Been making this exact recipe for over decade and it never misses. It’s perfect. I don’t dust with powdered sugar, opt for hand whipped heavy cream instead.
Muhlyssa December 9, 2021
Big hit. Easy! Stays moist for days. Needs no frosting. Is just perfect as is. Used buttermilk and espresso from an instant powder.
NXL August 15, 2021
Very good, moist chocolate cake. The coffee makes a huge flavor boost. Powdered sugar sprinkled on top soon disappears.
cocoloco June 19, 2021
Delicious. Put slightly less sugar (1 1/2 cup) + used a combo of cocoas, including black cocoa for a deeply rich colour. Tasted divine with some cream on the side!
cocoloco June 19, 2021
Forgot to mention, I diluted sour cream with some milk to replace the sour milk (buttermilk is less available in the UK), and it turned out fine. Not too sweet, not dense either.
Irene January 2, 2021
Great cake. This is EXACTLY the same recipe as the one Ina Garten made famous called Beatty’s chocolate cake. Not Hershey’s cake recipe. I’ve made it in two 9” round pans and as cupcakes. They are ok as cupcakes only bc they stick to the papers so much.
As a bundt or layered cake it is much better the next day. I recommend baking one day in advance. The chocolate flavor really develops over time. Also to intensify the chocolate flavor you can bloom your cocoa in the hot coffee (I use water bc I don’t want to caffeinated my kids). You just whisk cocoa and some of the sugar in the hot liquid and add it w the eggs.
Nancy K. March 28, 2021
I use decaf coffee. It’s virtually—if not exactly—the same as a Hershey’s recipe my family has used for decades.
M W. December 24, 2020
Check +++. I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was a hit - moist, perfect crumb and intense chocolate flavor. A few recommendations: be sure to mix for the entire four minutes, an extra two tablespoons of flour helped with the consistency, I like to substitute 1/4c Greek yogurt in the sour milk mixture (1/4 yogurt, 3/4 milk, 1TBS Apple Cider Vinegar) + don’t doubt the old school “clean cake tester” trick: it’s a moist cake but if you don’t bake until the tester comes out clean it’s more likely to collapse.