Chocolate Bundt Cake

The baking temperature is lower than one would usually use for baking a cake—275°F.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 to 16


  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 3/4 cups of strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whisky (if skipping the whisky, just use more coffee)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt (if using salted butter, reduce to 1/8 teaspoon of salt)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa for dusting the bundt pan
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar for dusting the cake (optional)

Special equipment:

  • One 2 1/2-quart capacity bundt pan (or two 4x8x2 loaf pans)


1 Preheat oven, prep bundt pan: Preheat oven to 275°F. Grease inside of a 2-quart bunt pan with a thin layer of butter. Sprinkle cocoa over the butter. Set aside.

dust bundt pan with cocoa

2 Melt chocolate butter, coffee, bourbon, salt: Place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with an inch or two of water, make sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the metal bowl. Place the chocolate, butter, coffee, bourbon, and salt in the metal bowl. Heat the saucepan to a low simmer. (Basically you are creating a double boiler to gently melt the chocolate mixture.)

Stir occasionally as the chocolate melts. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, remove the bowl from heat and let sit to cool for 15 minutes (you can chill in the refrigerator if you want to speed up this process.)

3 In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour and baking soda.

4 In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until light and foamy (you can use a hand mixer for this, or a stand up mixer).

5 Make batter: Once the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently, slowly whisk it into the egg sugar mixture. Then, stir in the flour mixture, a third at a time. Whisk until smooth. (The batter will be rather liquid-y. Don't worry about it.)

6 Bake: Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake at 275°F for 1 hour 15 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

7 Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently remove from the pan and cool on a rack until completely cooled to room temperature.

8 Sprinkle with powdered sugar: Transfer cake to a serving platter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using. Slice with a serrated bread knife to serve. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

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  • Dennis

    This is a similar recipe to one I used many years ago and have since misplaced, so it was nice to find this. It was a delicious cake, so looking forward to trying it again.

    The recipe I made years ago called for the addition of raspberry in the batter. Basically, you thawed frozen raspberries then forced them through a sieve to remove the seeds. You would then add half the batter to the pan, add the raspberry puree (running a knife through it to spread it around), then add the remaining batter and bake. The combination of raspberries and chocolate is delicious.

    I don’t know though if that addition will affect the baking time or not. My general sense is that it won’t, but would love to hear what you think, and if you’ve ever done something similar before.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dennis, I haven’t done that but I’m guessing that you might have to increase the baking time a little.

  • Joy

    Hi Elise, how long does this cake keep? Can I bake it 2-3 days ahead?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Joy, given that typically I make a cake like this and slice from it for days, I would say, yes, it can easily keep several days.

  • Skippy

    This looks beautiful, and, well, I just got my first bundt pan. Did you ever try mixing anything in? I was wondering about pomegranate seeds, maybe just to add some brightness. Or maybe that’s just too many flavors, maybe a clash with the coffee and bourbon…? Thanks–

  • ellen

    Have you tried ‘pan goo’? equal volumes (cups) of trex or Crisco, vegetable oil and flour. you whiz it in the food processor or blender until smooth, and then brush it on.
    I sometimes have problems with sticking too, even with wonderful nordic ware bundt pans. but using pan goo PLUS on top of that, spraying wilton’s non-stick spray, PLUS leaving the cake in for 15 minutes, plus banging it gently on the counter after 15 minutes, holding it at about a 70 degree angle and turning it round, usually does the trick. I did not have a problem with this particular cake and I used the same pan as Elise, which isn’t the most non-stick nordic ware type there is. I’ve made it twice now. I agree it is such a fabulous recipe it’s definitely worth making even if it does stick! in fact I think I’ll try my hand today, using the Nordic ware Christmas fir trees one!

  • Susan Flynn

    Hi Elise –
    Happy Holidays! Question/Help – I have made this Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe four times in my non-stick nordicware bundt pan and it never unmolds cleanly. Always sticks. First time I did the butter with cocoa powder. Second time I used less butter then cocoa powder. Third time I used non-stick cooking spray. Fourth time I didn’t use any butter or spray. No luck. I’m a culinary school grad (Le Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris) so I’m no slouch in the kitchen. Any ideas what I should do? The flavor and crumb of this cake are wonderful so I really want to get this recipe to work!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Susan, perhaps you are waiting too long to unmold it? It should be flipped over while the pan is still warm. Other than that I don’t know what to tell you.

  • Gloria

    This has officially and permanently been added to our household’s menu. It has been requested a THIRD time. I don’t mind either as it’s totally enjoyable to make!

  • ellen

    Just in case they’d be useful here are weight measurements for this recipe. I didn’t get these by going to an online table. Instead I weighed the cups I measured, as I measured them. I measured them by dipping the cup into the flour and pouring the sugar into the cup. (I rounded up also, the actual numbers of grams you get are often hard to remember (eg 283g?!) and even 15g is only a tablespoon!) I find many of the tables are a bit wonky. Alice Medrich has a really good article about weight measurements somewhere on ‘’, she explains why this is the best way to convert from volume to weight measurements, better than I can.
    (Note the sugar and flour weigh the same, Many cake recipes seem to follow this formula, don’t they?) Anyway here goes:
    7 oz/200g bittersweet chocolate
    4 oz/115g butter plus more for greasing pan
    12 fl oz/350ml strong coffee
    4 fl oz/110ml bourbon
    3/4 t salt
    10 oz/285g flour (could round up to 300g – 15g is only 1 T) NB I used cake flour.
    1t baking soda
    2 eggs
    10 oz/285g sugar (I used caster or superfine) (and see note above re flour.)
    1 t vanilla
    3 T cocoa for dusting pan
    1 T powdered sugar for dusting cake

    • ellen

      Sorry that should probably be 330ml coffee – 3x110ml. I was using a cup with lines only every 50 ml. Again, I don’t think it really matters, 20 ml is a very small amount.

  • ellen graves


    I have just found this site and it is very good!

    I have a bundt cake obsession. So I tried this and it is delicious, a very smooth, consistent texture. I had to use rum though as bourbon is quite expensive here in the UK. But it worked very well. The rather unusual method and the very low oven seem to work really well! I used a mix of some chocolate chips and a bar of 85% chocolate I had. I used the same pan as you, it is very beautiful. The eaters apparently commented on how gorgeous it was!

    Another question. Do you ever put things in weight, not cup measurements, in your baking recipes? I find it is much easier to get consistent results if that is done.

    Thanks again for a really good recipe and a delicious cake!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ellen, I’m so glad you liked the cake! I do on occasion include metric measurements. Thank you for your encouragement to me to do it more!

  • Gloria

    I’ve made this twice so far and both times it is absolutely delicious. So rich and decadent. I made a butter-creme icing and shaved some 90% cocao over the top of that. DELICIOUS!

  • Ann

    This looks so good! Thinking about making mine with my homemade kahlua. What do you think. ( I mean it is strong coffee with some added goodness)

  • Marcia

    this was incredible! fabulous recipe

  • eugeniakukla

    Made this tonight. As I do all your recipes :)
    L O V E it! Big glass of milk along with it……reminds me of desserts my parents would have on Sundays when I was young! Thanks for the memories and the ability to replicate something that tastes so delicious!

  • Robin

    Elise the cake looks absolutely wonderful! On a side note – where did you get that beautiful pan???

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Robin, thank you! That cake pan is a Nordic Ware Star Shaped bundt pan. I forget where I bought it, isn’t it lovely?

  • Roxanne1010

    Hi Elise,
    I don’t have a bundt pan and don’t really want to get one as it tKes so much room for an unusual mold I don’t think I’d use much.
    Can I bake it in another pan? In which case what size?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, as mentioned in the recipe you can use two 4x8x2 loaf pans.

  • Julie

    My Festival Bundt pan holds nine cups of batter. Too small for this recipe? Should I go with a standard 12 cup Bundt pan?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Julie, good question. I just checked the bundt pan I used again. It holds 11 cups of water, but probably only 9 cups of batter, because the batter needs room to rise. I had said a 2-quart bundt pan was needed, but I think it needs a little more than that, so I’ve updated the recipe to say 2 1/2 quart bundt pan (for about 9 cups of batter).

  • Arcey

    I’ve also made the Chocolate Bourbon Cake before, and will try this one too. I use a similar Bundt pan, one that looks like a rose and makes everything I bake in it taste better. :) You should be able to find this on or a similar one at a good old-fashioned hardware/housewares store, or perhaps Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table, or certainly online. They do make everyone who sees the cake go ooh and ahh, and it seems they think you sculpted it yourself!

    Re the bittersweet chocolate, I assume you mean one with a high percentage of cacao? Also, I usually use a baking spray with flour for my Bundt pan — is that not okay to do with this one? I see that in the Chocolate Bourbon Cake recipe, flour is used to dust the pan, not cocoa. I’ve never dusted a pan with cocoa — is that for color? or flavor? Does it come out of the pan as easily?

    Thanks. Can’t wait to try this one!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Arcey, yes the bittersweet chocolate has a high percentage of cacao. The reason we dust with cocoa powder is for color. It works great!

  • Meredith

    Wow! Another Chocolate Bourbon cake recipe! I just made the other recipe, and it was delicious. The coffee in this one makes me think I’ll like it more. Plus, there is less sugar, eggs, and butter in this recipe, so that must mean it’s the healthier option. :)

  • Sandy S

    Oh my! This looks really good! Will try making it with GF flour. Wish I had your pretty Bundt pan. That extra pattern at the base adds so much and makes for a pretty slice as well.

    • Jody K

      Please let us know how it turns out with the GF flour. Thanks.

      • Janet

        I made this for my daughter with “Cup 4 Cup” GF flour that I purchased at Whole Foods. I subbed 1:1 for all purpose flour. The cake was OUTSTANDING and no one had a clue that it was GF. Moist and absolutely delicious.


  • Kiran

    How much 4 ounces butter in kg, ?
    Can’t u please clarify this. .I really wanna make

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Kiran, 4 ounces is 113 grams. Note that you can always use Google to find equivalents. Just Google “4 ounces in grams” and you’ll come up with the answer.

  • AJ Benham

    I use Irish Whiskey and serve it with whipped cream as Irish Coffee cake on St. Patrick’s Day.