Friday, January 15, 2010

(Not Just) Another Chocolate Cake

Nope – this one I’m calling Chocolate Breakfast Bundt Cake, because the other day I took it to work and figured the best way to convince a group of nurses starting the morning shift that it’s okay to eat chocolate cake at 6:45 a.m. would be to include “breakfast” in the title. They didn’t complain.

I’ve been searching for a chocolate bundt cake recipe like this for a long time – really dark, practically devil's food dark, moist (of course), and simple. A cake that’s comfortable in its skin and doesn’t feel the need to get all dolled up with frosting. However, this cake wouldn’t complain if you did dress it up in a chocolate glaze or ganache and renamed it Chocolate Dessert Bundt Cake.

Adapted from

Chocolate Breakfast Bundt Cake

½ cup high quality Dutch process cocoa powder*
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
¾ cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate

½ cup powdered sugar
a little bit of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with “Pam with Flour” or grease and flour the pan.

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until incorporated and set aside.

Gently melt butter in a large saucepan. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Add water and remove from heat. Stir in sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk until smooth.

Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture and whisk until well blended and no lumps remain. Pour mixture into prepared Bundt pan. Gently sprinkle chopped chocolate over the surface of the batter.

 (Don’t stir it in because the batter is thin and the chocolate will migrate downward on its own.)

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is just firm to the touch and is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. While cake is cooling prepare the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar with enough milk to make a thin glaze. Carefully invert the warm cake onto a large plate or cake stand. Using a pastry brush liberally brush surface of cake with glaze several times. Cool completely before serving. It might even be better the second day.

Notes on the recipe:

I use Dutch process cocoa powder from Penzy’s spice company. I can’t vouch for natural cocoa powder like Hershey’s or Nestle because I haven’t tried them in this recipe. Penzy’s chocolate is noticeably darker and has a higher fat content. I noticed Hershey’s is selling a hybrid cocoa powder called “Hershey’s Special.” It’s supposed to be darker than the original. Let me know if you try it.

I always spray my Bundt pan with “Pam with Flour” and my cakes always release perfectly. I used to grease and flour but that never worked very well – little pieces of the cake would stick and tear away when I inverted the cake. Also, the flour would inevitably leave a white haze over portions of the cake.


  1. Lynnette,
    Just made your cake and boy, did we eat it. Wow! How do you say amazing x 100? Every bite was unbelievable. I didn't chop the chocolate fine enough so it stayed mostly on the top/bottom. But anyway, was still excellent. I used Ghirardelli cocoa power because I was out of Penzey's.

  2. Oh, I LOVE bundt cakes. Seriously, they are gorgeous, moist, and impressive. They beat a regular cake any day of the week! I am definitely going to try this one out! It looks fantastic :)
    ~ Erin (The Sisters' Cafe)

  3. I just popped the cake in the oven for Carlee's birthday today. We have the Hershey's Special cocoa, so I'll let you know how it turns out.

    In any case, if the cake tastes half as good as the batter, we'll be in for a real good treat!