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Chocolate Bundt Cake

The dessert's elegant appearance belies its simple make-ahead preparation.

  • Servings: 10
Chocolate Bundt Cake

Photography: Con Poulos

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or rum (optional)
  • Tangerines, for serving


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 14-cup Bundt pan. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix milk and sour cream in a small bowl.

  2. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add flour mixture, alternating with milk mixture, ending with flour. Fold in walnuts, if using. Spoon batter into pan. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Invert cake. (Cake will keep for up to 1 day.)

  3. Make the glaze: Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter and Cognac or rum, if using, and mix until smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Pour glaze over cooled cake. Slice, and serve with tangerine segments.

Reviews (25)

  • George11 3 Mar, 2015

    1 cup of chocolate chips** not cookies sorry

  • George11 1 Mar, 2015

    This cake is super delicious and it was a very big hit! I added around 1 cup of chocolate chip cookies and that made a big difference. It made the cake more moist and chocolaty !

  • Amanda saro 10 Aug, 2014

    I was a little disappointed. For all the hard work and money I put in for the ingredients it was not worth it. The cake was dry and not as tasty as i thought it would be. The worst of it was I bought the cake over a friends as a dinner dessert and could see the faces turn. Very embarrassing. :(

  • cojack 21 Mar, 2014

    The flavor was very good, but mine came out a little dry, as it did for other reviewers. I made it exactly to the recipe's specifications, and I've made plenty of other cakes over the past few decades, so I don't think it was my technique. Next time I'll up the sour cream a little bit and bake it 5 minutes less. The flavor was good enough that I'd try this again. As for the glaze, I add some more melted chocolate, as it wasn't setting up properly. Next time I'll add the cream gradually.

  • alessandro brugnaro 17 Feb, 2014

    I was afraid to do this cake after reading the previous reviews..well mine came out very moist and delicious. Perfect!

  • I_Fortuna 31 Dec, 2013

    I made this tonight for a birthday cake. Wow! It was delicious. I used buttermilk, coconut sugar 1/2 cup, 1 tsp baking soda, & Splenda. In addition, I used a tsp of instant decaf coffee mixed in a little hot water and added halved glace cherries. The measurements pretty much stayed the same throughout. This is my first chocolate cake from scratch and I am so pleased with how, tender, moist and yummy it came out. A good basic recipe, easy to modify and a "no guilt" dessert.

  • ritamay 6 Jan, 2015

    so in other words you didn't use this recipe.

  • Cmeakin 22 Nov, 2013

    An amazingly easy recipe to follow and the result was a soft, fluffy and delicious chocolate cake. After reading the previous reviews about the cake being dry I reduced the cooking time to 40 minutes only in a 180C fan forced oven. I used a skewer to ensure the cake was cooked through which it was. The cake was not dry but the soft sponginess of it was perfect. The glaze was perfect for me but more could have been added for a more decadent result.

  • spicken 31 Aug, 2013

    i really like this cake because it's not too sweet. Didn't know it was only good for one day! Just two of us. Maybe it will end up in the freezer!

  • Tida Jeng 1 Jun, 2013

    I like that it is not too sweet. I find the coating is too little. Big white marshmallows look so good for the decoration.

  • samarsoliman 19 Feb, 2013

    very good recipe but in 10'' bunt cake cup very moist

  • John Goodemoot 4 Feb, 2013

    Unbelievably dry recipe. Barren. I would not make it again. Maybe melt some real chocolate instead of cocoa? More sour cream? Oil? This recipe needs some serious help; it's inedible as is.

  • KayaLove00 28 Jan, 2013

    I've made other bundt cake recipies and this is my least favorite. It it dry and somewhat of a disappointment! Maybe it's the smallish amount of sour cream...? I don't know. I only baked it until the toothpick came out clean so I know it wasn't anything I did..Use a different recipe!

  • gracemliu 19 Dec, 2012

    As some others have commented, this recipe yielded a cake that was slightly dry. I baked it for 5 mins less than prescribed and still got that result. Perhaps if I baked it for 10 mins less, I would have gotten a moister cake. Also, this cake is not particularly sweet, which I actually like, but if you're looking for something sweet, this cake probably won't satisfy your craving.

  • Dombivli 5 Oct, 2012

    This recipe is perfect. It came out exactly same as shown in the picture. The glaze looks wonderful. My daughters and family really enjoyed this cake. I always likes Martha's recipes.

  • OhKimbaCooks 3 Oct, 2012

    This cake is EXCELLENT! I think the problem folks are having with dryness can be attributed to the size of the bundt pan. Although the recipe calls for a 14-cup bundt pan, I'd recommend using a 10-cup. The smaller pan allows the cake to bake more slowly, thus keeping it moist. I baked the cake in a fancy 10-cup bundt for 55 minutes and the resulting cake was exceptionally moist — even though I used 1% milk and nonfat yogurt (instead of sour cream). I'll definitely make this cake again!

  • homemaderocks 19 Aug, 2012

    I have found, through trial and error, that if your cakes are coming out dry, you are probably overmixing. If that is the case, you might want to try using your mixer to do you creaming, but then switch to mixing in your flour and liquid by hand. If you do choose to use the mixer all the way through, as soon as you've put in the last of the flour, stop. I am sure you will see an improvement. Hope this helps! Happy Baking

  • Prilasaurus 16 Oct, 2011

    Dry and tasteless. So bummed, I baked this for my chocolate loving boyfriend's birthday and was so embarrassed. What a huge let down. Will never consider this recipe again.

  • molushka 14 Mar, 2011

    I'm in Mexico City and did some little tweakings regarding the altitude issue; other than that, this cake was easy to make, rich in texture -tasted a bit like a brownie (though obviously not as thick in consistency); overall great taste,not too sweet, the glaze was a hit, easy crowdpleaser. Tends to harden quickly, cover well.

  • Elovely 19 Jan, 2011

    I just made this cake for my daughters 3rd birthday and it turned out wonderfully. It was not at all dry like some of the others posted, rather it was very moist and chocolatey. I did notice the batter getting rather stuff during the mixing process so I chose to reduce the amount of flour to only 2 cups. Also, I added a cup of chocolate chips to the batter. End result is a beautiful delicious cake. I frosted it with a green colored butter cream frosting at my daughters request.

  • falcio 22 Jan, 2009

    How are you measuring the flour? That's one thing I think should be included in recipes is how the flour is measured because that makes a big difference in the outcome. I believe with Marthan n n n n n s recipes you spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then sweep off the excess. If you dip the measuring cup into the flour and then sweep you are actually getting more flour which could make the cake dry.

  • chef-r-us 29 Dec, 2008

    I didn't like this DRY cake it was crumbly! If you have kids don't add the cognac or rum my daghter didn't eat the edges because of this. We all think the Hershey's chocolate bundt cake was 1,000 times better! So take my word for it DON'T TRY THIS RECIPIE!

  • chef-r-us 29 Dec, 2008

    This was the dryest cake ever! We completely followed the recipie and it came out dry! If you have kids don't add rum or cognac my daughter didn't like the glaze. We thought the Hershey's chocolate bundt cake was 1,000 times better! Please take my word for it and DON'T TRY THIS RECIPIE!

  • BussysMom 22 Dec, 2008

    Perhaps your oven temperature is too hot. I believe you can purchase an oven thermometer at a discount store such as Kmart or Walmart. With all the butter, sour cream, eggs

  • kellybean12 3 Dec, 2008

    I made this cake twice now and it is DRY. The first time I used 2% milk and thought maybe that was the reason but the second time I went with the whole milk and it is still dry and crumbly. Why is that?

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