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This easy chocolate bundt cake is a dream for chocolate lovers. It doesn’t get much better than a soft, moist chocolate cake topped with a rich, thick, and glossy chocolate ganache, right?
With just 5 minutes of prep time and simple baking staples, this heavenly buttermilk bundt cake is going to become your new favorite!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Okay folks, there is nothing, I say NOTHING not to love about this Chocolate Bundt Cake! It’s rich and chocolatey, soft, and moist, and elevated with a thick chocolate ganache on top.
If that wasn’t enough, this homemade bundt cake is made completely from scratch, mixed all in one bowl, then poured, baked, and ready in 1 hour. Which means if you have ANY notice of last minute guests arriving, you can pull this beauty out and serve it to friend!
The frosting gets poured overtop and then drips down the sides which is an easy way to frost a cake if you ask me. Once it’s poured, you can leave it be or decorate it with sprinkles, chopped nuts, candy bits, or whatever you have in mind, for any celebration.
So, whether you’ve got chocolate cravings that need attending to, you want something easy yet impressive to bring to a party, or you need something super easy to whip up for last-minute guests, this one-bowl wonder checks all of the boxes!
Decorate it to suit any occasion! Change it up by adding different types of frosting, or sprinkles, or try your hand at writing a message on the top!
Why this is the best chocolate cake you will ever make
- It is dense and rich with plenty of decadent chocolate flavor!
- The buttermilk makes a melt-in-your-mouth moist crumb.
- It’s super easy to whip up when you’re short on time.
Frequently Asked Questions
No! I mean, it will be much easier to use beaters because it’s a thick batter, but you can whisk it by hand.
Certainly! While a decadent chocolate ganache elevates the cake with frosting and gives something for the sprinkles to stick to, it’s completely optional.
Yes, you do. There’s nothing worse than anticipating a beautiful bundt cake with those signature grooves on top, and then it not coming out cleanly once flipped over.
I use a 12-cup bundt pan for this recipe. If you’re not sure what size yours is, fill your pan up with water, cup by cup, using a 1-cup measuring cup. Count how many cups you use and that’ll tell you the size of your bundt cake pan.
What to serve with a Chocolate Cake
One generous slice of this chocolate bundt cake is perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee. It doesn’t need much else, as it’s an indulgent taste experience.
However, if you’re serving a crowd on an extra special occasion, I don’t see why a scoop of vanilla ice cream couldn’t be enjoyed on the side!
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, keep them covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
There are plenty of ways to personalize this chocolate cake recipe and make it your own. Depending on the occasion, you can dress is up according to the theme!
- Fold in some dark or milk chocolate chips to the cake batter!
- Add 1 tsp espresso powder with the dry ingredients. It intensifies the chocolate flavor!
- Add 1/4-1/2 cup booze. Decrease the amount of hot water to make up for it.
- Use red and green sprinkles for Christmas. Crushed candy cane works too.
- Grab some heart decorations and make this for your sweetheart in February.
- Add shaved white or dark chocolate (or both) in place of sprinkles.
- Use chocolate glaze instead of a ganache.
This cake can be frozen! If you plan to make this cake ahead and then freeze it, do that without the ganache. Allow the cake to cool completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and then place it in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight and then top it with the ganache the day you plan to serve it.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- All-purpose flour. For best results, you should always measure your flour properly. If not with a scale, then use the spoon and level method.
- Granulated white sugar. Using sugar adds the necessary sweetness to this chocolate bundt cake recipe
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. Natural cocoa powder is the way to go. We use baking soda in this dessert, so we need the cocoa powder to react with it. The Dutch-processed cocoa powder won’t work the same way (however, if you’re in a bind, go ahead and use the Dutch process anyway).
- Salt. Brings out the flavors of the entire chocolate bundt cake.
- Baking soda. Leavening agent that helps to make the cake light and airy with a fantastic rise. Always make sure your baking soda is fresh!
- Large eggs They add moisture to the cake while holding everything together.
- Low fat buttermilk. The acid in buttermilk reacts with the baking soda providing moisture and a soft crumb. Sour cream does the same thing.
- Vegetable oil. Cocoa powder can be drying, so using vegetable oil that remains liquid at room temperature, will help keep the cake moist.
- Boiling hot water. When combined with cocoa powder, it helps it to bloom so the flavor of the rich chocolate is even more pronounced. The hot water also helps to dissolve the powder so it gets distributed evenly throughout the batter.
- Vanilla extract. For a fabulous warm flavor that pairs well with chocolate all day every day.
- Frosting. Made with heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips. So easy.
You’ll need a 9.5-10 inch 10 – 12 cup bundt pan for this recipe.
How to make Chocolate Bundt Cake
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Thoroughly grease a bundt pan (mine is a 12 cup), and set aside. You can use a bit of butter or cooking spray to ensure your cake doesn’t stick.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add the wet ingredients and mix until well blended. The mixture will be thick! You can use your arm muscles for this, or make it a little easier and use an electric mixer.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake for an hour (check at 50 mins) or until the cake springs back when touched lightly with a finger.
Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.
Carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Make the chocolate ganache
While the cake is cooling, make the ganache by heating the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer.
Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let it sit a few minutes.
Then, stir until the chocolate melts, and is smooth.
Once the cake has cooled, set the wire rack overtop a sheet pan or something to catch the drips.
When the ganache has thickened slightly, drizzle it evenly over the top of the cake.
Let it set for at least an hour so it has a chance to firm up. Then, slice and devour!
More delicious cake recipes:
- Lemon bundt cake – a beautiful, light, fresh, and zesty lemon bundt cake is perfect for all your summer celebrations!
- Apple dump cake – the easiest way to enjoy the flavors of apple pie, apple crisp, or apple cake without the work!
- Fresh cranberry cake – sweet, tart, and super easy to make, is just a few reasons why this cake is one of my go-to recipes around the holidays.
Update: This recipe was originally published in December of 2017. It was updated and republished in January of 2024.
Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Thoroughly grease a bundt pan (mine is a 12 cup), and set aside.
- Add the dry cake ingredients to a large bowl, and whisk together.
- Add the wet ingredients, and mix until well blended. Mixture will be thick!
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for an hour (check at 50 mins) or until the cake springs back when touched lightly with a finger.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
- While the cake is cooling, make the ganache by heating the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer. Then pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a few minutes before stirring until smooth.Once the cake has cooled and the ganache has thickened slightly, drizzle it over the cake.
- Set your cake over a rack with something to catch all the drips!
- Let set for at least an hour.
- Slice, devour.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup butter
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and hot water.
Cook, stirring often over a medium heat until thickened slightly.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter, and stir until the butter melts.
Set your cake over a rack with something to catch all the drips! Pour frosting over your Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake.
Let the frosting set a little before adding sprinkles (so they don’t all fall off).
Let set for at least an hour.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.