This chocolate bundt cake recipe is made with buttermilk, making it a delicious and moist cake. Perfect as is, but made even better with a dark chocolate ganache. A bit of espresso powder really brings out the chocolate flavor, making this cake the perfect chocolate bundt.
Food is the common denominator
A few years ago, my “wish she were my sister” friend Jenni of Pastry Chef Online, started tossing around the idea of this project. The idea was to bring people together through baking and therefore build a community. You know I was game right from the get-go. Firstly, because I would always entertain anything that Jenni wanted to do and secondly, because something like this is right up my alley.
I am a firm believer in connecting with people through food. It is a common denominator. No matter who you are, where you live or what language you speak… We all gather around a table.
The story of this bundt cake
Jenni purchased a gorgeous bundt pan and named her Dorothy, she also got a journal that we would write our recipes in… can you guess what she named it?! Yep. Toto. As I (not so) patiently waited for my turn with “The Swirly Pan”, I imagined all the lovely cakes I would bake and all the interesting flavors I would experiment with. After what seemed like an eternity, I was finally next in the rotation! But, there was a snag… It was scheduled to arrive right around the time we would be on vacation, so this meant I would only have a few days to bake. Luckily for me, my friend Betsy was next in line to get the pan and she graciously gave me a few extra days to get it done!
I had a practice run with a citrus pound cake. It turned out really well, so I was feeling confident! With all the sharp edges and grooves in this pan, I’d had nightmares of it coming out in chunks instead of one beautiful cake. I decided to go with a chocolate buttermilk bundt and added a bit of espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor. I had a momentary lapse with the first one I made and dusted it with flour instead of cocoa powder. It tasted fine but didn’t look very pretty, so I gave it away! My way of hiding the evidence.
Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe with Buttermilk
With my brain fully functional, I started over. This time, I remembered to dust with cocoa powder so the cake would be ready for its close up. I hoped and prayed that I would get a nice, clean release without any chunks missing because I really didn’t have time to do a third cake!
I held my breath as I turned the cake over and waited for it to release. It wasn’t coming out as easily as the other one. A slight panic started to set in right before it finally slid out of the pan with only a few slight spots stuck inside. Thank goodness!
This cake was going over to our friends house and it was being photographed for this post and for The Peoplehood of the Traveling Swirly Pan, so I was incredibly relieved that it looked decent. I’d like to mention that the citrus bundt cake looked PERFECT, absolutely perfect, but do you think I took many photos? No, of course not… Just one little measly picture.
Ok, back to the chocolate buttermilk cake: I made a chocolate ganache to pour into the grooves, took a few pics and we were off to deliver the cake!
The next day, I sat down to write in the journal, Toto. Flipping through the pages and reading all the entries from everyone who had Dorothy & Toto before me was like being transported to different places. The different voices with which people write, the different recipes and flavor combinations, the stories of everyone’s experiences and photos of their cakes… It was magical and exactly what I think Jenni was hoping to accomplish. Bringing a bunch of strangers together and unifying them through this project and through baking. Food unites us all.
I packed up the pan and the journal and went to meet up with Betsy of Desserts Required for the handoff in person! We had omelets and coffee and had the chance to catch up with each other face to face. Building friendships and community through food is a wonderful experience and has brought people into my life that I may not have known otherwise. Thank you to Jenni for her vision of this project and to everyone involved who is making it a success! Bake On!
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cool but not cold
- 1/2 c. buttermilk, room temp
- 1/2 c. sour cream, room temp
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 1/4 c. AP flour
- 3/4 c. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. sugar, increase to 1 2/3 if you like a very sweet cake
- 1 TB. espresso powder
- - Preheat oven to 325, spray pan with non-stick spray or butter it and dust with cocoa powder.
- - Whisk flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt and baking soda together & set aside.
- - Whisk buttermilk and sour cream together & set aside.
- - Beat butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until very pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
- - On low speed, add 1/2 of the flour mixture, then milk mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX!
- - Fill the bundt pan and smooth the top just a bit.
- - Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
If you use the same pan we have for The Peoplehood, it is a 10 cup bundt, you will have enough batter left over for a few cupcakes!
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cakes