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!
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).
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.
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!
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
For the Cake:
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¾ cup (64.5 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) bittersweet chocolate, 60% cacao, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
- ¾ cup (187.5 ml) boiling water
- 1 cup (230 ml) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1¾ cups (218.75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (440 g) light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
For the Icing:
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (43 g) cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 3¾ cups (450 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 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.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I want to make 2 rum cakes, one chocolate, and one vanilla. I have already made your rum cake, and it is sooooo good, i will be sticking with that recipe. I noticed in the comments of that recipe, someone asked about making it chocolate, and you pointed them in the direction of this cake. Do you think i could replace the boiling water with rum, and then make the rum glaze from the other recipe and just follow the directions on glazing the cake after it bakes?
I do think that would work! Let me know how it turns out!
Back to say it was a success! I did as i said and used rum instead of water, and also used the rum glaze after it baked. I also made a rum-chocolate sauce/ ganache that i poured on top when it was cool! It was not exactly the same consistency as the rum cake (not as moist, but still a very moist cake!). It was very much enjoyed by all!
Thank you! My neighbor made us a cake and it was so good that I wanted to make one. I tried your recipe and it was perfect!
Can a Tube pan be substituted for the Bundt pan?
Not sure what was up with this. I have never struggled with a recipe this much. Specifically the icing, what? Who is she? She’s definitely not an icing. Maybe some steps were left out? I did everything it said and that icing is more like a dough.
This icing is perfection. The only chocolate icing I will ever use again. The first time I tried it it the cocoa ,butter & evap milk separated into a terrible mess (I think med high is too high on my stove) but I scrapped that & tried again this time over low medium & stirring almost constantly. As soon as it got a few bubbles in it I added the p.sugar, salt & vanilla stirring constantly for about a minute still on the heat and it was AMAZING. Got hard fast and coated the cake gorgeously.
Do you have the ingredients in weight please??
Hi Chandra, Just click on the link that says “Metric” at the bottom of the ingredient list and they will flip over to weights for you.
This cake has come out the best it’s ever come out. And I’ve made it about thrice before. It’s buttery, spongy and so light. I didn’t have light brown sugar so used dark and it’s sublime. It is quite dark this time because I didn’t have callebaut cocoa and callets, so used hintz cocoa and lindt 70% dark chocolate.
Went to some friends house last Saturday to grill steaks.. I can make a pound cake with carmel frosting but I wanted to make something chocolate. I made the cake and I liked it but the test was if others liked it. Everyone loved it. My husband says it was the best cake I’ve ever made! It was easy and only a small slice is left.
New to baking but after I successfully made other recipes on your site (cookies mostly, thank you) I decided to try out this cake and it didn’t turn out. It looked beautiful but it was dry (flavor and texture) and crumbly and not fudgy looking like the photo. I followed the instructions exactly …except it’s been cold and my butter didn’t soften as much as usual and I use a electric hand mixer. The icing was ok but I didn’t know if i was to leave it at a boil after adding the sugar and I moved the temp down cause I didn’t know if i was burning it. Could you clarify for three newbies?
… for the newbies
Hi Teri, Using a hand mixer shouldn’t be an issue, but if your butter wasn’t fully softened, that could be the culprit. Incorporating butter that it still a bit cold gives baked goods more of a pie crust/shortbread texture. Definitely give the butter time to soften completely!
Made the cake yesterday for my husband”s birthday and it was a super hit. Followed the recipe as is. The cake was moist and had a tender crumb. It was easy to put together.
Thanks for a great recipe with easy to follow instructions.
I just made the cake and it looks lovely. Came out of pan no problem. I am having trouble with the icing. I’ve tried it twice…never came to a boil and the butter separated out of the evaporated milk and cocoa mixture. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Can I just heat it until smooth then add the powdered sugar?
Hmmm that’s so strange! Yes, you could try heating until smooth and then adding the powdered sugar.
I made this cake on Thursday night to take to work for my birthday. What a hit! Everyone gave it rave reviews and asked for the recipe. It was super soft, and moist. I used my own chocolate ganache icing made with Cadburys dairy milk chocolate and cream and simply poured it over the cake once cooled. Def worth the calories and the perfect spoil for your birthday. I was a little concerned when I read that I needed to add baking soda and no baking powder and when the batter came out looking mousse like and fluffy I thought I had done something wrong. The stress was unnecessary – the cake came out beautifully.
Thank you for a great recipe – I will be using it again and again.
Heaven, looks lovely. So going to try this….Thanks
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!
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!
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!
Aw, you are so welcome! Happy birthday to your husband!
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.
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.
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.
Do you think I could use oil for the butter to make the cake more moist?
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!
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!
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
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. :)
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!
Could you swap the water out for rum to make an awesome rum cake?
I definitely think you could! Let me know how it goes!
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.
**than a pound cake
God bless the Brown Eyed baker ! My my ! what have I just seen ! Extreme cuteness all over !
Forgot to tell you…I only used 3/4 ounce cocoa and it was still fantastic!
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.
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!
You’re so right about the difference between a dry and a moist chocolate cake! It looks delicious-and the photos are gorgeous!
This looks awesome! Want to try it today but I only have dark brown sugar. Do you think that will work?
Yes! I actually ran out of light brown sugar and used dark brown for half the amount in the recipe.
It is very delicious food. I like it so much. I think it will very tasty with strawberry.
Thanks for sharing this.
This looks like absolute perfection! Please pass me a slice, or two! :)
Do you think this cake would work with gluten free flour mix? Looks incredible!
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!
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.
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.
Hi Karen, Although I haven’t tried it, you could give whole milk a try. Or half-and-half.
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?
This looks so rich and Delicious!
Made this last night and it was great — and even had a small piece for breakfast this morning!
Oh my! This looks so amazing!!
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…
Hi Leen, I have some pan conversions on this page: https://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.
Thank you Michelle!
This is my next project… Have a beautiful day..
This looks like chocolate heaven :)
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! :)
As an official member of Chocoholics Anonymous (lol) I absolutely approve of this cake! That icing looks so dangerous.
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!
Your bundt cake looks delicious and that icing, yum!
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!
That frosting especially looks unreaaaal! Yum!
Chocolate on chocolate = one happy girl!
That is such a pretty cake! I think the only thing I would change is a vanilla frosting instead of chocolate.
Oh, this one gets made SOON!
Need this! I love, love, love making and eating bundt cakes, so I hope to make this ASAP :)
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!
Drooling over ALL THAT CHOCOLATE!
This cake looks so moist and chocolatey. Delicious!
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!
Boil ;-) Recipe fixed!
Dumb question: what’s the difference between cocoa powder and unsweetened cocoa powder? I’ve only ever seen the latter.
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.
Thank you! Thought maybe I had missed something somewhere! :)
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!
Oh, my this sounds delish. I am making it today!
This is wonderful! I think the icing on top is a great addition!
Now I want chocolate cake for breakafast!
Oh, my, this recipe looks FABULOUS… pinning and trying it!
can i have some? and by some i mean all?
Can’t ever go wrong with a good chocolate cake! Yum!!
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. :)
Hi CJ, I’m sorry for that error; it’s 3/4 cup. I’ve made the correction in the recipe above.
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!
The chocolate fudge icing is calling my name!! This sound like a chocolate lovers dream!
Oh chocolatey goodness.. That’s a beautiful thing. I cannot wait to try this.. <3
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!!
Mmmm…these cake looks delectable! I need to give it a try asap!
This looks yummy and will try it soon. However is 3/4 ounce of cocoa correct?
I think is 3/4 cup of cocoa.
Hi Bev, I’m sorry for that error; it’s 3/4 cup. I’ve made the correction in the recipe above.
Thanks for the correction. You can tell who’s the chocoholics!
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
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
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
Yum! This looks awesome – love it! :)
That fudge icing looks to die for!
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 :)