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Simply The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake

Must Try

This rich, moist, decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake is a show stopping dessert that’s perfect for every occasion, from a backyard BBQ to a holiday dinner. 
Whether you’re looking for a crowd pleasing dessert, the answer to an insatiable chocolate craving, or just a way to get your baking mojo back, I can’t recommend this chocolate cake recipe enough.

A Chocolate Bundt Cake to Make You Feel Like A Baking Champion

The first time I made the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake was in 2012. I was a young married lady and an even younger blogger, slowly teaching myself how to cook and bake and living on the thrill of anything even halfway decent coming out of my oven.
Then this cake happened. For a fledgling baker, tackling a homemade chocolate bundt cake felt like an Olympic task. I remember how nervous I was when it was time to flip the cake out of the pan. Even years later, my palms get a little sweaty during this step.
But there was nothing to fear. The cake popped easily out of the pan and onto the plate. I did a little happy dance, then smothered the cake with the glaze and cut myself a slice.
Sweet heavens. I wanted someone to hand me a medal right then and there. This was the best chocolate cake I’d ever eaten, and by some miracle I had made it myself.
After devouring my slice, I stuck the cake on a garishly red kitchen towel, took some terribly lit photos of it, and posted it on my blog. Because that’s what you did when you were a newlywed with too much free time in 2012. (See the evidence yourself below the recipe!)
Eleven years later, this chocolate bundt cake recipe is one of our most popular and best reviewed posts of all time. My sister-in-law, who has made it several times, said her co-workers didn’t believe she actually made it herself, thinking something this good could only come from a professional bakery.
To that I say, “Pshaw!” You can absolutely make something as good as the local bakery. And once you discover that fact, there’s really no turning back.
You’ll start making Giant Bakery Style Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Sour Cream Cheesecake, and Two Layer Strawberry Cakes and feeling like a baking boss all the time.

Why This Is the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake of All Time
There are three key ingredients at play here that really make this cake special.

The first is brewed coffee, which is like chocolate’s personal hair and makeup specialist, always behind the scenes making sure the chocolate shines. 
The second is buttermilk, which we can thank for giving this cake its tender crumb and subtle tangy flavor.
The third is sour cream, which is featured in the glaze. While perhaps unusual for a frosting, the sour cream makes for a rich, glossy frosting that’s somewhere between spoonable and pourable.

Key Ingredients

For the chocolate cake:

Coffee– Brewed coffee is included in both the cake batter and the glaze. You can use any brewed coffee, including instant. If you don’t like coffee and are worried about the flavor, never fear. The cake doesn’t taste like coffee, it’s just there to enhance the chocolate flavor.
Cocoa powder– Look for unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process.
Granulated sugar
Eggs– We use an extra egg yolk for added moisture, a trick we also use in our Homemade Brownies and Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies.Canola oil- Vegetable oil and coconut oil (melted!) also works.
Buttermilk– Buttermilk’s tangy flavor balances the sweetness of the cake, and the acids interact with baking soda to provide height and lift. You can always use this buttermilk substitute if you need it, but I usually just buy buttermilk and freeze it or use it in one of these recipes for leftover buttermilk.
Flour– This is one of the few recipes where I feel that sifting the flour matters. The flour is added to the batter last, and we want to make sure there aren’t any big clumps.

For the chocolate sour cream frosting:

Unsweetened chocolate– Grab this chocolate in bar form in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Some folks in the comments have substituted dark chocolate, though the frosting will be a bit sweeter.
Butter– I use unsalted butter for most baking, so I can control the amount of salt.
Powdered sugar
Sour cream– The key to that rich, thick, creamy tang! I recommend using full fat sour cream.
More coffee!
Half and half– Heavy cream or half and half both work well to finish off the glaze.

How to Make Chocolate Bundt Cake

Step 1: Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-12 cup capacity bundt pan with butter or use Baker’s Joy spray. Set aside.
Step 2: Boil cocoa and coffee. Place cocoa powder and coffee in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Step 3: Make cake batter. In the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, and yolk. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and beat for another minute or so.

Step 4: Add flour and coffee mixture. Add sifted flour to the sugar mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the cooled cocoa/coffee mixture and beat on low speed for another minute.

Step 5: Bake. Pour into the greased pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cake cool at least 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving tray.

How to Make the Chocolate Frosting:

Step 1: Melt the chocolate. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to a double boiler or heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one.

Step 2: Mix butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and chocolate. Add half the powdered sugar and whisk again. The mixture will seem very thick.

Step 3: Add sour cream and remaining sugar.  Whisk in sour cream and the remaining powdered sugar. At this point, it will seem too thick and a little gloppy. You’ll be questioning every decision you’ve ever made in life, but trust me, dear friends, you’re on the right path.

Step 4: Add coffee and cream. Add coffee and cream and whisk together until smooth and glossy. This takes a bit of time. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded with a thick, glossy frosting that looks and tastes amazing.

Step 5: Frost. Once the cake has cooled, spoon the frosting over the cake, gently prodding it to run down along the sides. Serve or store for when you’re ready to eat!

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

This cake can be made up to 48 hours in advance. In fact, I think it gets even better the day after you make it.
If you’re not serving the cake the day you make it, store it, covered, in the fridge. I always recommend removing it from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving so the cake and frosting can come to room temperature. The frosting will be hard when refrigerated.

FAQs
Can I freeze chocolate bundt cake?
Absolutely! Double wrap the unfrosted cake in saran wrap then foil (or a plastic freezer bag) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature overnight, then frost and serve as usual.
Can I make the frosting a thinner glaze?
This frosting is meant to be pretty thick, but you can thin it out by adding additional cream until it’s a more pourable consistency.
Can I make this cake in a cupcake or sheet pan size?
Yes, we’ve made this in cupcake form several times. Bake at the same temp, and check around 17-18 minutes. It should work in other pan sizes as well. Use this handy pan size conversion chart to see what size pans you’ll need to use.

Can I use a different frosting or glaze?
Yes, the comments are FULL of people who have used all kinds of different glazes. This chocolate bundt cake is excellent with a simple chocolate ganache. You can also use salted caramel sauce or a cream cheese frosting (my favorite recipe is on this Carrot Sheet Cake).
You could also try this topping combo from one of our reviews:
“Yep. You weren’t lying. This really is the BEST chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I made it for my dad’s birthday when he requested a “chocolate on chocolate on chocolate” bundt cake. He raved it very well might be the best chocolate cake he’d ever had, and the rest of the family concurred. I decorated with a white chocolate drizzle, some gold sanding sugar, and a ring of toffee bits around the top. So good. Thank you for this recipe – I can’t wait for a reason to make it again!”

More of our Favorite Cake Recipes
If you love chocolate, but want a one bowl, sheet pan recipe, this Chocolate Crazy Cake is our go-to.
If you’re looking for a citrus version of our chocolate bundt cake, try this Lemon Bundt Cake.
If you need something for fall, try our Pear Bundt Cake or this incredible Apple Cider Bundt Cake.
In the summer months, we highly recommend this Strawberry Bundt Cake.
Have a banana lover? This Banana Caramel Cake is a must try!

For the cake:1 1/3 cups brewed coffee3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder2 1/4 cups sugar1 teaspoon salt2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda2 large eggs1 egg yolk1 1/3 cups buttermilk1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour (sifted)For the glaze:6 oz. unsweetened chocolate3/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)3 cups powdered sugar1/2 cup sour cream (at room temperature)1/4 cup brewed coffee (cooled)1/4 cup half and half or cream
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-12 cup capacity bundt pan with butter or use Baker’s Joy spray. Set aside.Place cocoa powder and coffee in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.In the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, and yolk. Beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and beat for another minute or so.Add flour to sugar mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl once. Add the cooled cocoa/coffee mixture and beat on low speed for another minute. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.Pour into the greased pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cake cool at least 15 minutes before inverting onto serving tray.For the frosting: Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to a double boiler or heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally.In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and chocolate. Add half the powdered sugar and whisk again. The mixture will seem very thick.Whisk in sour cream and the remaining powdered sugar. Don’t worry! It will come together! And it will be magical.Add coffee and cream and whisk together until smooth and glossy. This is a thick, spreadable frosting. If you’d like a more pourable glaze, simply add additional cream or half and half until you reach your desired consistency.Once the cake has cooled, spoon the frosting over the cake, gently prodding it to run down the sides. You might have extra frosting! Save it for individuals to add to their servings or use it as a fruit dip!

This cake keeps really well, and is even better on the second and third day!
If you’re not serving the cake on the same day, store it, covered, in the fridge. It will keep for 5-7 days. Remove it from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving to allow it to come to room temp.
The unfrosted cake can be frozen, double wrapped in saran wrap, for up to two months. Thaw at room temperature overnight before frosting and serving.

Keyword chocolate bundt cake, chocolate cake, chocolate sour cream frosting
Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 407IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg

If it can survive my fumbling 2012 baking skills and pictures like this to become one of my most made and best reviewed recipes, it’s certainly worth a try.

If you’d like to see what other people are saying about this cake, you can check out the comments or read the reviews on this pin on Pinterest!

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