Monday, September 26, 2016

Chocolate Volcano Cake

Don't worry. It doesn't blow up. It's not that kind of volcano cake. But "molten lava cake" was taken, so I couldn't use that name. And, frankly, this one is better. And you should all make it. It's easy. And perfect. And it oozes chocolate. So win. Win. And win.

(Gratuitous display or excessive chocolate)

The nice thing about tube and/or bundt cakes is that you don't have to mess with layering, yet they're still showy (especially when they ooze chocolate). You do need to grease your pan mighty well with cooking spray. I'm sorry if you're opposed to cooking spray on moral grounds and only use butter and/or coconut oil and/or the hair grease of virgins. I understand this snobbery, I do. But I don't know what it is about cooking spray (it probably has silicone in it or something dreadful), but it keeps bundt cakes from sticking in a way other greases won't. So, you can be a grease snob if you want, but your cake might stick.

While we're speaking of snobbery, this cake also calls for a partial package of instant chocolate pudding mix (1/2 C to be exact). How annoying, I thought. How cheaterly. And it kind of is. But it's worth it. Totally worth it.

Honestly, it looks pretty good naked too. 

Chocolate Volcano Cake
adapted from Through Her Looking Glass
Makes one large bundt cake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Cost: $8.00 (much more than a usual cake in this house, but it's birthday season and I will splurge on those birthday cakes. Plus, as I sometimes point out, it's so much cheaper than buying a lousy cake make from lousy ingredients from the store. And it will feed a crowd. It's at least 16 servings making this only $.50/serving)
sugar: .30, butter: 1.25, eggs: .30, flour: .25, cocoa: .50, chocolate pudding mix: .50, chocolate chips: .90, more butter: .60, cocoa: .50, powdered sugar: .90, other stuff: .30


2 C sugar
1 C butter, somewhat softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 1/2 C flour
1 C cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C instant chocolate pudding mix
2 1/4 C buttermilk
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Icing:

1/2 C water
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 C cocoa
3 1/2 C powdered sugar

To make the cake: 

Grease that bundt pan, baby. Grease it, or you will regret it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add eggs

Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, instant chocolate pudding mix. Of course you're supposed to sift this, and if you're a person with grit, I suppose you will. I always just dump it in the bowl and then sort of fluff it around with a fork or, heck, the beaters. Because I'm lazy. My cakes turn out anyway.

Now add the buttermilk.

Then the chocolate chips.

Pour it into the bundt pan (or a tube pan).

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn the temperature down to 325 and bake for another 30-ish minutes (mine was about 35 minutes). Insert a knife or other long cake testing device. It should come out with moist crumbs, but not batter.

Let it cool for 10 minutes. Then turn it out onto a cake platter. Here I must issue another warning. Don't leave this thing in the pan for an hour or few and then expect it to come out. The longer cakes sit in pans, they less they want to leave them. So give it just a brief cooling period and then turn it out.

When it is completely cool, you'll add the frosting.

For the frosting:

Heat water and butter. Melt butter. Then remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and beat (I always have to move it to a bowl for this step because my pan isn't big enough and is non stick and I like to beat icings so the ingredients incorporate fully).

When the cake is cool, pour this into the center. It will overflow down the sides. I should tell you that I also like to spoon it up onto all the sides so that it is on all sides. In fact, I do this a few times (every couple hours or so) to get a chocolate glaze coating on the cake. Because I like it like that, okay.

Afterwards, my daughter sprinkled it with powdered sugar for beauty's sake. Then my husband took a picture of it with flowers. Because, apparently, that's what he thinks food bloggers do.



  1. One of the best baking tips I've learned for bundt cakes is to generously (and I mean generously!) butter the pan. Then, instead of flouring the pan, coat the butter with a layer of SUGAR. It will form a little crust on the outside of the cake that tastes delicious. But most of all, it will ensure the cake releases. Let cake cool 15-20 mins after baking as usual, loosen around top edge if necessary (some cakes recede away from the pan sides) with a soft utensil so as to not mar your pan, and invert onto serving platter.



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