My One-Bowl Chocolate Bundt Cake is an easy to make, foolproof dessert. Perfect for every day, or special occasions, you'll come back to this recipe again and again!
Battle of the Bundt Cakes
One of the bakeries I worked in did a brisk business in bundt cakes. Every morning, before 6:30 a.m., I had to make, bake, glaze, and decorate at least one bundt cake. For Holidays, I made so many cakes. Dozens, but it felt like hundreds. Might have been. It's all a blur of bundts.
That's a lot of butter and sugar to be creamed, a lot of eggs to crack, and so much flour. I was covered in flour. Making a bundt cake for myself, I really wanted to have a simple cake that didn't require butter and sugar to be creamed, didn't need a bunch of eggs, and didn't require a million ingredients. I wanted simplicity.
I also wanted chocolate. And I wanted a cake that I could make on a whim, that would stay moist for days, that could feed a bunch of people (if we wanted to entertain), could freeze well (if we didn't), and didn't require any fancy decorations to feel good about itself. That is this cake.
❤️ What you'll love about this recipe
- No need to cream butter and sugar
- Can be made in a stand mixer or by hand
- Everything gets mixed in the same bowl
- Ready to serve in less than 2 hours
- Can be made ahead for parties or gatherings
- Perfect for Holidays and special occasions
Ingredients in this bundt cake
- Buttermilk This ingredient not only brings a little tang, to cut through the sweetness of the cake, it snips the gluten strands, making for a more tender cake as well.
- Vegetable oil While most cakes call for butter, this cake uses vegetable oil. Butter is usually used in cakes for its flavor, but all the chocolate in this cake would override the flavor of the butter anyway. Also, cakes using vegetable oil bake up more fluffy, have a more tender crumb, and stay moist longer. So, vegetable oil.
- Eggs 2 large eggs is just enough to give this cake the tender crumb I want, but not make it overly fluffy. I wanted the texture of this cake to be almost like a pound cake. A tender, but dense crumb.
- Vanilla extract Vanilla smooths out the bitterness that can come from cocoa powder. You won't taste the vanilla, but it'll be there, quietly enhancing your chocolate experience.
- All-purpose flour I played around with cake flour, but found that all-purpose flour gave this cake a tighter, more pound cake-like, crumb and that made me very happy.
- Sugar Regular granulated sugar, in here being sweet. Good job.
- Cocoa powder Serious Eats has an in-depth article about the differences between regular and dutched cocoa powders, including what they are and when you should use them, so if you want all the science, please check it out. Regular cocoa powder will give you a deeper chocolate flavor, while dutched cocoa will give you a darker cake. I used dutched cocoa because the ganache doubles down on the chocolate flavor, but you can use what you have/prefer.
- Baking powder and baking soda The baking powder reacts with the dutch process cocoa powder (but you can still use regular cocoa powder) and the baking soda reacts with the buttermilk. Together, they give your cake the perfect texture.
- Salt As always, I add salt to my desserts to enhance all the flavors. Trust me, you would know if it wasn't there. You might not be able to put your finger on what it is, but you'd know something was missing. Just a touch. Salt, not salty.
- Hot coffee Hot water helps break down cocoa powder and distribute it evenly within a cake batter. Making it coffee, instead of just water, makes the chocolate taste more chocolaty and that is never a bad thing.
- Chocolate For my ganache, I use a chopped up bar of semi-sweet chocolate, not chocolate chips. Chips have stabilizers added to them, so they stay chip-shaped in cookies. Those stabilizers don't always play well in ganache. You can use semi-sweet, bittersweet, or even milk chocolate. Chop chop.
- Heavy Cream To make the ganache I use heavy cream. Not half and half, and never milk, warmed until steaming hot, but not boiling.
- Butter Just a tablespoon will give your ganache a touch of shine. You can substitute with a tablespoon of vegetable oil or melted coconut oil.
Note: Make sure your buttermilk and eggs are room temperature by removing them from the refrigerator 30 minutes before starting. This will ensure a smooth, velvety batter that bakes up more evenly.
- Mix wet ingredients In your stand mixer, or a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add in dry ingredients Add dry ingredients to the same bowl: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined. Some dry parts might still be visible.
- Pour in hot coffee With mixer on low, add in hot coffee. Allow to mix for one minute. Use a large silicone spatula to make sure all the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl have been fully mixed in.
- Bake Pour the batter into a bundt pan that has been greased and then sprinkled lightly with cocoa powder. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a wire rack and place on a large sheet pan. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before glazing with ganache.
- Make ganache Chop chocolate and place in a shallow bowl. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and cover bowl with a plate. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes, then using a whisk or small silicone spatula, mix until smooth. Add in butter, in small pieces, and stir until completely incorporated.
- Glaze cake Pour ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip over the sides. Let set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- No glaze, no problem If you prefer, you can skip the ganache and sprinkle your fully cooled cake with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Expert Bundt Tips
- Grease your pan Coat the inside of your pan with shortening, oil, or nonstick spray. I use a pastry brush, or a piece of paper towel, to evenly distribute the fat in all the nooks and crannies, without allowing big pools of oil to settle in the crevices. Do not use butter to grease your pan. The solids in the milk can stick to the pan during baking, causing your cake to stick as well.
- Dust your pan Sprinkle your bundt pan with a light coating of cocoa powder, turning the pan over and tapping out the excess into the sink or trash can. The cocoa powder, being dark brown, won't leave any trace on the cake and will only enhance your chocolate flavors! (when making a non-chocolate bundt cake, use flour)
- Let cool If you try to remove your cake from the pan too early, you run a greater risk of leaving some cake behind. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning out your cake.
- Bang Bang! Lightly tap the edges of your pan against the counter to help loosen the sides before flipping your cake out.
- Show no fear Place a wire rack upside down over the opening of the pan and flip in one decisive move. Give the bottom of the pan a few good wacks and then lift straight up.
- Don't panic! If some of your cake is left behind in the pan, just carefully remove the pieces and place back on top of the cake, like a chocolate 3D jigsaw puzzle. The whole thing will be covered in ganache and no one will ever know!
This bundt cake can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to five days. I like to use a cake stand with a cover, but plastic wrap placed lightly over the top will work as well.
You can also freeze this cake. Allow to chill in the refrigerator before wrapping individual slices in a double layer of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter, still wrapped in plastic wrap, until ready to eat.
Other (easy) sweets you'll enjoy
One-Bowl Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 1 ¼ cup (325 g) buttermilk
- 1 cup (218 g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- ⅔ cup (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for dusting the pan
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 g) hot coffee
- 4 oz (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- ½ cup (120 g) heavy cream
- 1 tbs (14 g) butter
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Thoroughly grease a bundt pan, lightly dust with cocoa powder, and set aside.
- Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to stand mixer, or large bowl, and combine until well blended. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until almost completely incorporated. Pour in hot coffee and mix for one minute. Use a large silicone spatula to make sure everything from the bottom of the bowl has been incorporated and everything is mixed well.
- Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for an hour, but check for doneness at 50 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when touched lightly with a finger and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan, set on wire rack, for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack set over a large sheet pan. Let cool at least 30 minutes before glazing.
- For ganache, heat up cream in microwave for 1 minute, or until steaming hot. Pour over chopped chocolate in a shallow bowl, cover with a plate, and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes. Using a whisk or spatula, stir until smooth.
- Pour over cooled cake and allow to drip over the sides. Let set for 15 minutes before serving.
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.