Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Icing

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, but don't worry, no anchovies or anything weird like that!

It’s funny to me, that, you never know when a conversation will end up being one that’s indelibly imprinted in your memory banks. Today I was thinking about a dialogue I so clearly recall that occurred seven or eight years ago. My son-in-law, Josh, asked a most interesting question.

He asked a simple question, “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?”. We went around the table, and it was interesting to hear the wide variety of answers. Josh was the only one who was able to say, “I’m doing exactly what I would do if I could choose any job in the world.” I totally understood that, because he’s passionate about his work and almost every aspect of his job seems to be custom tailored to his temperament and talents.

My outside-the-home job for over twenty-five years was as a registered nurse. I worked in the obstetrics department of a local hospital, taking care of new moms and their babies after delivery. I enjoyed my work, but honestly, it was not my passion. And I certainly never had a desire to climb up the hospital career ladder.

When it was my turn to answer the question, I stumbled a bit. I said, “I’m not sure exactly, I think it would have something to do with food, since I’ve loved to cook ever since I can remember. It wouldn’t be a restaurant, not a catering business…. maybe a cooking school? The conversation ended that night and I still had no idea what that “dream job” would be for me, except that “It would have something to do with food.”

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, but don't worry, no anchovies or anything weird like that!

It’s interesting how life changes. If someone asked me that question today, I could honestly give the same answer as Josh; “I’m doing exactly what I would do if I could choose any job in the world.” Yup, it’s true. My full time job these days is The Café and I can’t believe I get to play in the kitchen all day, testing, tinkering and creating.  Not only that, I get to do it all with my best friend and husband, Scott!

We’re celebrating today, as it’s an anniversary for The Café. I had the crazy idea a little over four years ago to start a food blog. I had no idea what was involved, but I thought it would be fun. Scott offered to be my photographer, editor and behind-the-scenes person, and away we went!

We’ve enjoyed learning the ropes and working together these past four years. Like any job, there have been frustrating days when nothing goes right; days when technical issues seemed impossible to resolve and days we’ve been tempted to throw in the towel. There are even days when I end up trying four or more versions of a similar recipe before I get it “right”. But all in all, we love our job here at The Café, and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, but don't worry, no anchovies or anything weird like that!

You know what one of our favorite parts of this blogging adventure is? You, yup, it’s you. Without your kind and encouraging comments and emails, without your support by following us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it just wouldn’t be worth it. We really appreciate YOU!

Oh yes, the cake. I’ve been tempting you with these pictures and I’m hoping that you’re waiting to hear about this Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake. Believe me, it’s worth the wait!

Scott surprised me with a gorgeous new Bundt pan a few weeks ago. I decided a chocolate cake, to celebrate our anniversary, would be a great inauguration for my new pan. I started searching online for a recipe, and when I found this one on Epicurious (and read all the rave-reviews) I was quite certain I’d “found my prince”.

Yes, indeed! I’ve made the cake four times now, and every time, it delights me when I open the oven. It rises up tall and beautiful and the cake itself is moist, decadent and super delicious. The ingredient list includes two items I thought were a bit strange: coffee and whiskey, but somehow they work together and result in an extraordinary cake!

With St. Patrick’s day right on the horizon, I decided to use Irish Whiskey, but any kind of whiskey or even bourbon would work well. Don’t like to use alcohol, or don’t have any? Just add more buttermilk (1/2 cup extra) and skip the whiskey.

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, but don't worry, no anchovies or anything weird like that!

The cake is wonderful on it’s own, but since we’re celebrating, I decided to make it extra special with a caramel glaze. The glaze is comprised of simple ingredients and comes together on your stove top.  The glaze is a perfect marriage with this fabulous chocolate cake and is truly, as you can see in the pictures, the crowning glory!

If you’ve got a celebration coming up like St. Patrick’s Day or any other special occasion, this is the cake! Be sure to Pin it right now!

And if you want to make an ordinary day, like today, turn into a special occasion, this is definitely the cake! You don’t want to pin it though, you just want to pull the ingredients out and start making it!

P.S. Just a reminder, I have two recipes below. One is for a larger Bundt pan (15 cups) the second is for a smaller Bundt pan (12 cups or smaller).

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Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Irish Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, don't worry, not anchovies or anything weird like that!

5 from 7 reviews

This rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret, unexpected ingredients**This recipe is for a 15-cup or Bundt pan. If your Bundt pan is smaller, use the recipe below.

  • Author:
  • Yield: 10-12 servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup Irish Whiskey (you can substitute another 1/2 cup of buttermilk for the whiskey, if desired)
  • 3 sticks butter
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan (if not using baking spray)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • for the caramel glaze:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a large bundt pan (at least 15 cups) generously with baking spray or butter well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Heat coffee, buttermilk, whiskey, butter, and cocoa powder in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. You can also just throw all those ingredients in the microwave and heat on high until butter is melted, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat (or microwave), then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  3. While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly).
  4. Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  5. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack. Drizzle with caramel glaze, if desired.
  6. For the glaze, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium-size sauce pan. Stir gently to combine and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t stir it any more at this point. You don’t want to cause sugar crystals to form on the sides of the pan.
  7. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. If you notice any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan, take a pastry brush that’s been dipped in water and hold it on the side of the pan above the crystal/s, the water from the brush will wash the crystals back into the sugar mixture. The reason you don’t want any sugar crystals to form on the sides of the pan is because they can cause a reaction that will make the whole mixture crystalize.
  8. Simmer (without stirring) until mixture reaches a deep amber color, about 6-8 minutes. At this point, remove pot from heat and, standing back a bit, add cream and butter to sugar mixture. It will bubble up furiously for just a minute. That’s why it’s important to stand back. Once the bubbling settles down, return pan to heat and bring the mixture back to a simmer.
  9. Simmer until thick and reduced to a molasses consistency. You might have to remove the pot from the heat and let the bubbling settle down to check the consistency. If it’s still too thin, return to heat and continue to simmer. Mixture will thicken a bit on cooling, so don’t let it get much thicker than molasses. This will take from 10-15 minutes.
  10. When glaze reaches the right consistency, remove from heat, add sea salt and vanilla and stir. Allow caramel mixture to cool to lukewarm before drizzling over cake.

Notes

If you have any extra caramel sauce this makes a wonderful ice cream topping!

Print

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Irish Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, don't worry, not anchovies or anything weird like that!

5 from 7 reviews

This rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret, unexpected ingredients. **This recipe is for a 12-cup or smaller Bundt pan. If your Bundt pan is larger, use the recipe above.

  • Author:
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • For the cake batter:
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan (if not using baking spray)
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup Irish Whiskey (you can substitute another 1/2 cup of buttermilk for the whiskey, if desired)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the caramel glaze:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a bundt pan generously with baking spray or butter well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Heat coffee, buttermilk, whiskey, butter, and cocoa powder in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. You can also just throw all those ingredients in the microwave and heat on high until butter is melted, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat (or microwave), then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  3. While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using the tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack. Drizzle with caramel glaze, if desired.
  5. For the glaze, combine sugar and 1/2 cups water in a medium-size sauce pan. Stir gently to combine and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t stir it any more at this point. You don’t want to cause sugar crystals to form on the sides of the pan.
  6. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. If you notice any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan, take a pastry brush that’s been dipped in water and hold it on the side of the pan above the crystal/s, the water from the brush will wash the crystals back into the sugar mixture. The reason you don’t want any sugar crystals to form on the sides of the pan is because they can cause a reaction that will make the whole mixture crystalize.
  7. Simmer (without stirring) until mixture reaches a deep amber color, about 6-8 minutes. At this point, remove pot from heat and, standing back a bit, add cream and butter to sugar mixture. It will bubble up furiously for just a minute. That’s why it’s important to stand back. Once the bubbling settles down, return pan to heat and bring the mixture back to a simmer.
  8. Simmer until thick and reduced to a molasses consistency. You might have to remove the pot from the heat and let the bubbling settle down to check the consistency. If it’s still too thin, return to heat and continue to simmer. Mixture will thicken a bit on cooling, so don’t let it get much thicker than molasses. This will take from 10-15 minutes.
  9. When glaze reaches the right consistency, remove from heat, add sea salt and vanilla and stir. Allow caramel mixture to cool to lukewarm before drizzling over cake.

Notes

If you have any extra caramel sauce it makes a wonderful ice cream topping!

Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze - this rich, decadent cake is super easy to throw together, no mixer necessary! It has a few fun secret ingredients too, don't worry, not anchovies or anything weird like that!



47 thoughts on “Best Ever Chocolate Bundt Cake with Caramel Icing”

  • Have always baked a lot. This is one of the worst tasting cakes I have ever baked! Ever!! Threw it out to the birds! So disappointing!

  • Hi Chris,
    Love your blog! When I saw the chocolate bundt recipe I had to try it. I followed the instructions to the letter but a couple of things happened. I could not get the simple syrup to brown in 6-8 mins, does that mean I had the temperature too low? I ended up overcooking it to get it to brown which made it too thick. I think I can fix it by adding more cream in a double broiler to ‘soften’ it.
    I used a canola oil spray on the pan and added the three Tbls of cocoa powder to coat it, but the cake, when turned out after two hours cooling, lost all detail (I was using an intricate pan). The surface was aerated and almost soggy, like it had ‘sweated’ in the pan when cooling (though the interior of the cake was fully cooked, not damp at all). It tasted absolutely delicious though.
    Should I have used melted butter instead of the cooking spray? Would that have ‘released’ the cake better, or did I make a bigger error?
    I envy the height you got in your bundt!
    Thanks,
    Rosaleen

    • Hi Rosaleen,

      First of all, I’m so sorry your cake didn’t come out so well. I hate wasting good ingredients.

      It’s always hard to say what went wrong when cooking. There are times when I make the same recipe that I’ve had great success with and something goes wrong and it turns out differently. That said, I will try to answer your questions.

      With the syrup, each stove is different. I don’t think you were necessarily cooking it too low but a caramel syrup like this does take super close attention as it can turn from amber to burned or too dark so quickly. Hope the cream helped, that was a great idea!

      I always use a “baking spray” when greasing cake pans. It’s a combination of flour and butter (or shortening) and it allows cakes to release perfectly and with a nice crust. Not sure if the spray could have had something to do with your crust being so damp.

      As far as the height, I’m not sure as each time I’ve made this, it comes out pretty tall. Could your oven temp possibly be off? I know it the oven is not hot enough and doesn’t give a cake batter that initial boost of heat, sometimes the leavening agent doesn’t work as well. Just a guess. There are so many variables!

      Sorry to not be of more help!

  • My favorites flavors are in this cake. My mouth is watering and I’m gaining weight while looking at the photos !

  • I think I need this recipe in my life soon! I just read the reviews on Epicurious and judging from them and your photos it must be a wonderful cake. I love how you’ve paired it with caramel glaze – great combo!

  • Gosh! I could have this whole bundt cake all by myself 😛 It has all my favorite flavors. And many congrats for your Bloganniversary and wishing you many many more. 🙂

  • You really outdid yourself with this one Chris, it is glorious! You and Scott are such a great team and I always look forward to your creations and his amazing photography. Happy Blogaversary!

  • A dear friend just recently told me about your blog and I can’t believe I’ve not seen it before. It’s wonderful. Very warm, visual, and filled with terrific recipes. It makes me feel like we’re having a little visit together. You are one lucky lady to have a husband that can double as your incredible photographer. Scott’s photos make my mouth water and are professional-extraordinaire!
    I’ve got you bookmarked and will sign up for new post notifications. Isn’t it wonderful to be doing what you love and sharing it with others? Very nice work.

  • Wow. Eye-opening post. I think we all need to revisit this question and re-evaluate. If I could blog for money (I have given up on that), that would be my dream job, too. So until then, I will do it as a stress relieving hobby. Kudos to you and congrats on the anniversary.

    Does this cake freeze well because I would like to have three or four on hand!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Happy Blog Anniversary! you can certainly tell in all aspects of your posts, the recipes, pictures and the stories that you and your husband are doing what you both love. Congratulations………. We have some real chocolate fiends in our family who would absolutely adore this cake!!!

  • Congratulations Chris! That you love what you do comes shining through in every aspect of your blog! As a matter of fact….I love what you do, too! This cake is something special….and that glaze…..oh that glaze! LOVE IT! : )

  • Happy anniversary to your fabulous blog, Chris and Scott! You are a constant inspiration as a cook and as a friend. Your cake is picture perfect—and that caramel icing is making me swoon!

  • I’ve always loved bundt cakes. It’s funny how we see so few of them posted. One of my favorite cakes I make is a bundt. Everytime I hear that word I chuckle thinking about The Big Fat Greek Wedding when the mother-in-law to be brought a bundt cake to the party and no one knew what it was, especially with a hole in the middle.

    Great recipe. Congrat’s on your blog anniversary.

  • What a beautiful way to celebrate your blog anniversary…the chocolate cake with the caramel sauce just look amazing…beautiful texture and yes, delicious with the caramel sauce…
    Have a wonderful week Chris 🙂

  • Wow – what a decadent looking cake!
    Happy Anniversary to you and your hubs – glad that now you are doing what you love! And what joy your passion brings to us – only way it could get better is if I could reach into my screen and grab a slice of that decadence!

  • Thank you so much Cyndy, for your kind encouragement. I’m so happy you enjoyed this cake. Thanks for the heads up regarding the buttermilk too. I’ve amended the recipe.

  • NAILED IT AGAIN! Baked this up last night and it is ANOTHER winner! Thank you! I put the buttermilk in with the ingredients to heat on the stove – I might have missed it but I don’t see for sure where to add the buttermilk in? I am totally honest when I say that if I am looking for a fabulous recipe idea for entertaining – or just everyday – I look here first, and 99% of the time I find the perfect one! I have enjoyed making so many of your recipes. My favorite blog ever.

  • okay, swoon, swoon, tear up, swoon~ love the back story, can’t wait to try the cake, and how incredibly special that your husband shares your blog challenges~

  • Dear Chris: The cake looks wonderful. I want to bake it next week for my daughter’s birthday. She will absolutely love it. Congratulations on our anniversary. I agree with Gail – getting your email is like hearing from a friend. Keep up the good works we really appreciate you and Scott!

  • Congratulations on your blog-iversary! What a great way to celebrate – with chocolate cake and a beautiful one it is! Don’t have whiskey ? Oh yeah right! How lucky to be doing what you want each and every day – can’t wait to retire from my full time job and spend more time in the kitchen. Congrats again!

  • Funny – I was musing today about getting your emails (which I always look forward to) and thought it was more like getting a note from a friend rather than a site. It come from “Chris Scheuer”.

    re your recipes: There are just the two of us most of the time and we aren’t great dessert eaters but any of your recipes I have tried have been wonderful. Your cooking is divine (I should say your recipes but know a lot of thought and development have gone into them.

    You and Scott are such a nice couple and seem to have so much fun together.

    I hope to keep receiving emails from my friend and thank you so much. (p.s. I never send responses to sites but actually thought about this today as I was driving so did what my intuition told me to do)!!

  • Happy 4th birthday for The Cafe, Chris and Scott! It was so much fun reading this post knowing how much you both enjoy your jobs as well as working together. This is the perfect cake to celebrate and I love that big splash of Irish Whiskey to enhance the chocolate flavor. The caramel glaze is the cherry on top! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week ahead! xo (Pinning, of course!)

  • I love celebrations of any kind and this anniversary of yours is such a special one. What a great job the two of you are doing. Every recipe of yours is one I want to make. Now this one is something I will make, Calories be hanged.

  • Hi there!!! A question for you. DO you think it is possible to make the homemade tortillas without a mixer and dough hook? We were hoping to tackle these this evening, but don’t want to head down an impossible road! Love your blog. So thankful I stumbled upon it.

    • Hi Lisa, yes you can definitely make it without a mixer. Just mix the dough with a sturdy spoon and then knead it on the counter. That should work fine. Thanks for your kind words:)

  • Happy Anniversary! Now I want to know what job your son-in-law has. Of course your blog has been a smashing success! And you are so blessed to have your husband helping you, so you are both involved. You tell us how to do it, and your husband uses his camera magic to make our mouths water, a partnership made in heaven!

  • Oh Chris, what are you doing to me?! This cake had me drooling the moment I saw that opening photo, which is FABULOUS. Just yesterday I decided I needed to cut sugar out of my diet for a few weeks and you go and post this enticing image. I’m happy you have found a passion to pursue, by the way. Your posts show how much you love the world of food and exploration, and I’m grateful you share that with us readers. And I’m glad you tackle the difficulties and pursue blog growth. I find all that too much with my full time job, but as a hobby and keeping it simple makes me content. Anyhow, I am going to try this cake once I decide I can allow sugar back into my life : )

  • How nice of you to give the recipe for 2 sizes..My Heritage Bundt is a touch smaller than normal I think.
    Lovely!

    You two are a great team..Your recipes..his fantastic shots..like this cake:)

  • First I want to say Happy Anniversary ! Second is that I thank you for all the wonderful recipes. Every one that I have tried is fabulous. I enjoy your blog and looking at delicious pictures of food.

  • Oh gosh Chris, what are you doing to me?? Chocolate and caramel are a killer combination. I just made some caramel pot de creme for the blog, it’s cooling now, maybe I need to drizzle some chocolate on it 😉

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