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
 
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:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup Irish Whiskey (you can substitute another ½ 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
  • ⅛ 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 ½ 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!

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, unexpected ingredients. **This recipe is for a 12-cup or smaller Bundt pan. If your Bundt pan is larger, use the recipe above.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-10 servings
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 ½ 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 ½ 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!



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