Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

I started the journey to this chocolate cake with a chocolate pound cake as my goal. After I shared the strawberry swirl cream cheese pound cake last month, I received more than a few requests from readers asking for a chocolate pound cake recipe. I was almost as stunned as you were to realize that I didn’t have one in my repertoire yet. I set out to remedy that, but was more than a little underwhelmed by the recipes that I was finding. They were all severely lacking in the chocolate department; most just threw some cocoa powder into a regular pound cake recipe. That wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted chocolate, for crying out loud! I turned my attention to finding a fabulous, moist chocolate Bundt cake and find it, I did! I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I topped it with chocolate fudge icing. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t eat a naked chocolate cake!

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

Let’s be honest, here. There’s absolutely nothing worse than a dry chocolate cake. Yet, there are few things in the food world better than a dense, moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake. The secret? Packing the cake with moisture and making sure you don’t overbeat it. In this recipe, both boiling water and sour cream are used to ensure that the cake doesn’t dry out. They do a fabulous job, as this is, hands-down, one of the two best chocolate Bundt cake recipes I’ve ever seen (the other being the fabulous Root Beer Float Cake).

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

The recipe for this cake didn’t call for an icing or frosting, just a mere sprinkle of powdered sugar, but I had to dress it up. I settled on a boiled chocolate fudge icing that is very reminiscent of the icing used on Texas Sheet Cake. As in, I would prefer to just sit with the pot of icing and a spoon and call it a day.

The cake and icing combo makes for a very rich dessert, but I think it would be just perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to offset the chocolate flavor. (Somehow my new freezer doesn’t have vanilla ice cream stocked yet, a tragedy!). You could also serve the cake with whipped cream or fresh fruit. Or eat it plain. For breakfast. Bill Cosby approves and I won’t tell.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

While I think I’ve officially retired my search for a chocolate pound cake recipe given the sheer fabulousness of this cake, if you have a chocolate-lovers chocolate pound cake recipe, please feel free to share it below or send it to me!

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

One year ago: Boston Baked Beans and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake
Two years ago: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Three years ago: Black Forest Cake
Four years ago: Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Five years ago: Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A fabulous dense, moist chocolate bundt cake topped with a rich chocolate fudge icing.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
¾ cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 eggs, at room temperature

For the Icing:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
3¾ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Stir together the 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder until fully dissolved. Using a pastry brush, coat the entire interior of a standard 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Stir together the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate and espresso powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and whisk until everything is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then whisk in the sour cream. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add one-third of the flour mixture and half of the chocolate mixture and mix until just incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the chocolate mixture. Finally, add the last of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium-low for 30 seconds to thoroughly combine the batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.

6. Make the Icing: In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the butter, cocoa powder and evaporated milk to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and whisk continuously until the mixture becomes smooth, about 30 seconds.

7. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. (The icing will begin to harden quickly after it is removed from the heat, so it's important to work quickly with it.)

8. The cake can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

(Cake recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated; Icing recipe from Ryan Bakes)

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81 Responses to “Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 20, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Wow it looks so moist, dense, rich and everything you’d want in a pound cake. I made some mini cream cheese pound cakes last month (not chocolate) and added the cream cheese to keep them from drying out so I can appreciate the sour cream you used. I bet it helps a ton!

    And that icing. I would just need a bowl and a spoon with that like you said you would :)

    Reply

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on June 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

    That fudge icing looks to die for!

    Reply

  3. sara on June 20, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Yum! This looks awesome – love it! :)

    Reply

  4. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on June 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Beautiful moist chocolate cake, girl! I have a recipe dating back to the late 1980s that calls for water, melted chocolate, cocoa and sour cream. (The chocolate melts in the water and doesn’t seize due to the high amount of water.) Now, I have to pull it from my files to see how close they are! Truly made the most moist and tender chocolate cake I ever baked. Gorgeous photography! xo

    Reply

  5. ashley on June 20, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Starbucks has posted their recipe for their cinnamon chocolate pound cake. Its amazing, moist, chocolate filled and has a yummy topping. I would recommend trying their recipe. http://www.starbucks.com/blog/recipe-chocolate-cinnamon-bread/1181

    Reply

  6. Angelina on June 20, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Why do you post these awesome things while I’m at school?? Doesn’t matter…what matter’s is that. This. Cake. Is. To. Die. For. Six words for ya! <3 xoxo

    Reply

  7. Bev on June 20, 2013 at 6:33 am

    This looks yummy and will try it soon. However is 3/4 ounce of cocoa correct?

    Reply

    • Ginny on June 20th, 2013 at 6:48 am

      I think is 3/4 cup of cocoa.

      Reply

    • Michelle on June 20th, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Hi Bev, I’m sorry for that error; it’s 3/4 cup. I’ve made the correction in the recipe above.

      Reply

      • Bev on June 20th, 2013 at 9:34 am

        Thanks for the correction. You can tell who’s the chocoholics!

        Reply

  8. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on June 20, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Mmmm…these cake looks delectable! I need to give it a try asap!

    Reply

  9. Janie Larson on June 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

    This looks awesome and I am going to try it this weekend. The ad about Rachael Ray losing 47 pounds that kept popping up while I was scrolling through the recipe didn’t discourage me at all!!

    Reply

  10. Pru on June 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Oh chocolatey goodness.. That’s a beautiful thing. I cannot wait to try this.. <3

    Reply

  11. Tieghan on June 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

    The chocolate fudge icing is calling my name!! This sound like a chocolate lovers dream!

    Reply

  12. Tracey on June 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I think I made CI’s “light” version of this cake and it was very good, but something tells me this one is even better :) This is definitely a chocolate lover’s dream!

    Reply

  13. CJ on June 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Is 3/4 oz. correct? That seems like a miniscule amount, and difficult to convert. Should it be 3/4 cup? This looks so good, and I want to make it! But, I want it to turn out. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 20th, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Hi CJ, I’m sorry for that error; it’s 3/4 cup. I’ve made the correction in the recipe above.

      Reply

  14. marie @ little kitchie on June 20, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Can’t ever go wrong with a good chocolate cake! Yum!!

    Reply

  15. Jamie @lifelovelemons on June 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

    can i have some? and by some i mean all?

    Reply

  16. Mary Ann on June 20, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Oh, my, this recipe looks FABULOUS… pinning and trying it!

    Reply

  17. Maria on June 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Now I want chocolate cake for breakafast!

    Reply

  18. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on June 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

    This is wonderful! I think the icing on top is a great addition!

    Reply

  19. Yvonne on June 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Oh, my this sounds delish. I am making it today!

    Reply

  20. Melanie on June 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Usually I could take or leave chocolate cake… But when I crave it, only something super fudgey will satisfy. This will go in the arsenal, for sure!

    Reply

  21. Tara on June 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Dumb question: what’s the difference between cocoa powder and unsweetened cocoa powder? I’ve only ever seen the latter.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Hi Tara, All cocoa powder should be unsweetened; just be sure not to substitute something like “ground cocoa” unless you make sure there are no added ingredients; a lot of times sugar gets added to mixes like that.

      Reply

      • Tara on June 23rd, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        Thank you! Thought maybe I had missed something somewhere! :)

        Reply

  22. Amy on June 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Oh yum! All I can think about is making this cake over the weekend. Question though- when making the icing, are we to bring the butter, cocoa powder and evaporated milk to a boil or put it in a bowl? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 20th, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Boil ;-) Recipe fixed!

      Reply

  23. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on June 20, 2013 at 10:12 am

    This cake looks so moist and chocolatey. Delicious!

    Reply

  24. Leah | So, How's It Taste? on June 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Drooling over ALL THAT CHOCOLATE!

    Reply

  25. Renee on June 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Love your recipes! Saw this & mouth was watering. I’m hoping you post a lo mien recipe soon… Your Chinese food recipes are better than our local restaurant!

    Reply

  26. Nessa on June 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Need this! I love, love, love making and eating bundt cakes, so I hope to make this ASAP :)

    Reply

  27. Maria on June 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Oh, this one gets made SOON!

    Reply

  28. Cat Davis | Food Family & Finds on June 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

    That is such a pretty cake! I think the only thing I would change is a vanilla frosting instead of chocolate.

    Reply

  29. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on June 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Chocolate on chocolate = one happy girl!

    Reply

  30. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on June 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    That frosting especially looks unreaaaal! Yum!

    Reply

  31. Abbe@This is How I Cook on June 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    This looks awesome. The recipe sounds very similar to my chocolate fudge birthday cake that I’ve made now for over thirty years. And I love Texas Sheet Cake frosting. What a winner!

    Reply

  32. Laura@bakinginpyjamas on June 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Your bundt cake looks delicious and that icing, yum!

    Reply

  33. Becca from ItsYummi.com on June 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    sour cream is the PERFECT ingredient for a moist Bundt cake! I found a great chocolate sour cream Bundt cake recipe, very similar to yours, on the Leite Culinaria site. I adapted it and blogged about it here: http://www.itsyummi.com/chocolate-sour-cream-bundt-cake/

    SO SO good!

    Reply

  34. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on June 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    As an official member of Chocoholics Anonymous (lol) I absolutely approve of this cake! That icing looks so dangerous.

    Reply

  35. Nikki @Seeded at the Table on June 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Oh my! Looks wonderful! It would have to be very chocolaty for approval in my book, too, so I”m glad you did the legwork! :)

    Reply

  36. Jenny on June 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    This looks like chocolate heaven :)

    Reply

  37. Leen on June 20, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Love your site! I am a new fan and loving it!
    Instead of a bundt pan, what size pan in round or square would you suggest? I am ashame to say that I don’t have a bundt pan…

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Hi Leen, I have some pan conversions on this page: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/conversions/. As you can see, a standard Bundt pan is 12 cups of capacity. You can go through the other pan sizes to see what might work for you based on the pans you have available.

      Reply

      • Leen on June 23rd, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Thank you Michelle!
        This is my next project… Have a beautiful day..
        Leen.

        Reply

  38. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on June 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Oh my! This looks so amazing!!

    Reply

  39. Bob @ Cooking with an Evolved Dad on June 21, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Made this last night and it was great — and even had a small piece for breakfast this morning!

    Reply

  40. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on June 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

    This looks so rich and Delicious!

    Reply

  41. Rubana on June 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Whenever I try any of your recipes, they come out great! Absolutely delicious, every single one. You’re my go-to for desserts, now. My husband and I upgraded our old Weber to the Genesis S-330, looks very similar to the one you linked to. The Genesis line is amazing! Can we look forward to some grilling recipes in the near future?

    Reply

  42. Karen on June 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Since a can of Evaporated Milk is so big…and your recipe only calls for 6 Tbsp. for the frosting, I wouldn’t want to open a can and end up wasting the rest of it…so, is there a substitute for the evaporated milk? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Hi Karen, Although I haven’t tried it, you could give whole milk a try. Or half-and-half.

      Reply

  43. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on June 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I agree that pretty much every cake is better with icing. This one looks amazing. I like to eat the cake out from under my frosting first, to increase the cake to frosting ratio.

    Reply

  44. Amy on June 22, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Do you think this cake would work with gluten free flour mix? Looks incredible!

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Hmm, I’m not at all familiarized with gluten-free baking, so I really can’t give you a good yes or no answer. If you use gluten-free substitutions often, I would say give it your best shot, if you think this is something you would usually use the mix for. If you try it, definitely stop back and share your feedback!

      Reply

  45. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious on June 23, 2013 at 12:31 am

    This looks like absolute perfection! Please pass me a slice, or two! :)

    Reply

  46. green tea powder on June 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

    It is very delicious food. I like it so much. I think it will very tasty with strawberry.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

  47. Endy on June 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    This looks awesome! Want to try it today but I only have dark brown sugar. Do you think that will work?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 24th, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Yes! I actually ran out of light brown sugar and used dark brown for half the amount in the recipe.

      Reply

  48. Moira on June 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    You’re so right about the difference between a dry and a moist chocolate cake! It looks delicious-and the photos are gorgeous!

    Reply

  49. Andrea Hickman on June 25, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I just had to make this the day you posted it. My family loves it! It was one of the best chocolate cakes we have ever had. Off to the store to get more butter to make one for a family gathering this week! Thanks for posting this!

    Reply

  50. Yvonne on June 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Just tasted this cake and I am in heaven! Made it last night, let it cool overnight and frosted it this morning. It is beyond delicious and will definitely be made again…and again. With a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of black coffee it can’t be beat. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  51. Yvonne on June 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Forgot to tell you…I only used 3/4 ounce cocoa and it was still fantastic!

    Reply

  52. Nusrat Azim on June 28, 2013 at 12:34 am

    God bless the Brown Eyed baker ! My my ! what have I just seen ! Extreme cuteness all over !

    Reply

  53. Bev on June 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

    This cake was delicious! And I’m happy to say that my cake looked just like yours. It’s a little bit harder to put together that have poundcake, but worth the effort. It’s even better the next day.

    Reply

    • Bev on June 29th, 2013 at 10:00 am

      **than a pound cake

      Reply

  54. Noah on June 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Could you swap the water out for rum to make an awesome rum cake?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 1st, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      I definitely think you could! Let me know how it goes!

      Reply

  55. Deneen on June 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Just baked this cake today – one note: I highly recommend letting the cake cool all the way before removing it from the pan. Or at least more than 10 minutes. I waited the 10 mins and when I turned it over it completely fell apart. My experience baking had me questioning this, but I wanted to follow the recipe exactly the first time around. Unfortunately I won’t be able to take it to the dinner party I’m going to tonight. Fortunately, it’s so yummy that my family will be eating the bits til it’s gone!

    Reply

  56. AA on July 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Amazing cake! Tender (even though I slightly over-baked it), very chocolate-y, and very elegantly not too sweet. I used Ghiradelli cocoa which gave it an almost coffee-like note even though I skipped the espresso powder. I also split it into three different containers so that I could more easily share: a 3 cup bundt pan, a 2 cup loaf pan, and a small round glass bowl. The fudge frosting was delicious too although I liked it better with gingerbread cake than on this chocolate cake. I might try a bittersweet ganache glaze next time and maybe a sour cream-based vanilla ice cream. And it was delicious for breakfast with fresh apricots and milk — didn’t need any coffee. :)

    Reply

  57. Tudylou on July 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    The cake was delicious. Take the time to sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar…my frosting was a flop! Ended up throwing this away and not using it for my husband’s birthday cake…so sad1

    Reply

  58. Carolyn on July 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Do you think I could use oil for the butter to make the cake more moist?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 5th, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Hi Carolyn, I have not tried that, so I can’t guarantee the outcome, but if you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

      • Carolyn on July 5th, 2013 at 11:32 am

        First of all, I made this cake for 4th of July and it was delicious!! The cake isn’t very sweet but the frosting is and it rounds it all out. I wanted to use some oil, but not for all of the butter because then it wouldn’t be as fluffy. I ended up using 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup oil in the cake. Add the oil when creaming the butter and sugar. Thanks for the great recipe!

        Reply

  59. bart on August 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Great recipe. Being a buttermilk lover I threw a couple tablespoons buttermilk powder in the dry indredients and substituted equal amount of real buttermilk for evaporated milk in the frosting. yum yum.

    Reply

  60. Jose on August 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I love to bake bundt cakes. I saw this recipe on Friday and made it on Sunday. OMG!! This cake is absolutely decadent. It was easy to make and it is chocolate heaven. I brought half of the cake to work for my co-workers and I am already getting orders for another one. For those who wrote “will try it” take it from me, “try it.” you will not be disappointed.

    Reply

  61. Mitsi on December 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I made the icing for use on a chocolate bundt cake filled with coconut-egg white-sugar filling. Très magnifique! Pours easily and hardens quickly. I used the entire batch to top one standard cake mix sized bundt, which was too much. The icing hardened into a sugary 1 1/2 inch icing mound in the center of the cake. I would either make 2/3 to 1/3 of the recipe next time. Super rich and tasty (tho sugary). It might be a good base to add a tablespoon of liquour to for additional flavoring. Using flaked or course salt also add a nice counter bite to the sugariness. Will use this recipe as an icing standard.

    Reply

  62. terry on January 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I just made this recipe for my husband’s birthday today. So luscious and it truly is a WOW. I did not have enough sour cream so I did something unthinkable and healthy…I used homemade kefir. He’ll never know, he only thinks I am now a fantastic baker because of your recipe…thank you much for helping me shine today!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 19th, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Aw, you are so welcome! Happy birthday to your husband!

      Reply

  63. Mary on April 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Hi there-

    Longtime fan of your website/recipes. I just got a Bundt pan for my birthday last weekend and I am looking for recipes. I just knew you would have a great one. This chocolate cake looks like it’s going to be my next cake! Tahnk you!

    Reply

  64. Ana on May 21, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Mine was delicious but it was really cakey not so dense and rich as yours, it didnt seem like a pound cake more like a cake ;)) thanks anyway!

    Reply

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