Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

I don’t know, does a cake this pretty really need words?

For years, I’ve wanted a homemade version of a chocolate sour cream bundt cake to replace an old favorite that calls for a cake mix. And I don’t think we need to have the whole “love the baker, hate the cake mix” talk do we? The short synopsis: I have nothing against people who use cake mixes (some people very close to me – ahem, mom – use cake mixes and I gloriously shove the baked cakes in my mouth when they are served, no lie) but I don’t use cake mixes very often in my own life. I kind of like the from-scratch challenge. However, I think we can all be friends no matter where we fall on the cake mix spectrum, right? Right. Cake mix guilt doth not belong here.

Moving right along, this cake is amazing. And it’s not fussy or difficult. Stir, whisk, mix, scrape – or something like that – and you’re done. Seriously, greasing the nooks and crannies of that bundt pan may be the hardest part (did that sentence sound weird to anyone else?) but only because bundt pans are inherently annoying (but the cakes are fun and pretty in the end).

Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

The thick, fudgy frosting is rustic and dare I say a bit artistic dripping all nonchalantly down the sides of the cake as it does. If your personality needs you to smooth it out a bit, no worries. You go ahead and smooth it into an even, glossy layer.

Rich and decadent, this super moist cake is not for the chocolate faint of heart, which basically means it lives in my dreams and heart always. It’s a show-stopper of a dessert perfect for your holiday table this year or really any time you need a dessert that will drop people to their knees.

Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

One Year Ago: Cinnamon Caramels {Chocolate Dipped If You Dare}
Two Years Ago: Licorice Caramels
Three Years Ago: White Chipper Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Yield: Serves 8-12 depending on the size of pieces cut

Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Using bittersweet chocolate in the glaze is delicious (obvs) but may not be sweet enough for some people's taste so add sugar to taste, if needed (I like it dark and rich without the sugar but that's a personal preference). Using semisweet chocolate will make it sweeter, too.


    For the pan:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter
  • 1/3 cup (1.25 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (11.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (3.5 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 cups (6 to 12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and cocoa powder for the pan until the mixture is well-combined and pasty. Use a pastry brush or folded square of wax paper to wipe the cocoa/butter mixture into a 10- or 12-inch bundt pan until the inner surface is evenly coated.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt and water. Heat until the butter is melted and whisk to combine well. Set aside to cool to room temperature (just slightly warm is ok, too, but let it cool more if it's overly warm or hot).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top lightly springs back and the cake is baked through.
  6. Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before turning it out carefully onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. For the glaze, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer (either in the microwave or in a saucepan) and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes without stirring. Add the vanilla and stir the mixture until it is glossy and smooth. The glaze will set up as it cools; if you want a thin drizzle, pour it over the cake while the glaze is still warm but if you want a thicker frosting, let it cool slightly.
  8. Once the cake is cooled, place it on a serving plate or cake stand and pour the glaze over the cake letting it drip down the sides.

Recipe Source: combined several recipes to make the perfect cake (including Cook’s Illustrated version and one at Two Peas and Their Pod)

57 Responses to Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake

  1. Alisa says:

    I just made this cake for my 3 year old’s birthday and our family of 5 polished that off in 2 days (my husband requested we save a piece for him as he left town the day after said birthday). It is amazing!! Thank you for sharing all of your delicious recipes. I have never disliked anything I have made from your website!

  2. Laura says:

    This cake is amazing! I love the cake mix recipe, but this is even better (especially with the ganache). I will definitely make it again.

    I recently moved to Laramie, WY, which is at 7200′, and every time I make a cake not from a mix, it falls in the middle while baking. It didn’t really matter for this cake since it looked beautiful once I turned it over onto a platter, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions? I’ve tried one high altitude adaptation without success (I haven’t made a lot of cakes in the last year, and I didn’t adapt this time). I haven’t had any problems with muffins or any other recipes; although I do notice I have to add more flour to yeast bread recipes. Thanks for all your help! And I’ll make this again even if it does fall. Your recipes always come through for me!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura – ah, high altitude baking! It can be a beast. I’ve heard if you use add 1-2 tablespoons more flour to cakes and cookies that will help. Is that what you’ve tried?

      • Laura says:

        Hey thanks! I have tried extra flour. I’m wondering if I need to change up the leavening? Baking powder instead of soda? More of it? I’m not sure! Do you have any tips on using one vs. the other? It’s something I don’t know much about.

        • Mel says:

          Well, usually I use baking soda if there’s acidity in the recipe (like buttermilk or sour cream)…or a combo of baking soda and baking powder, but I’m not sure how leavening is affected with high altitude. I know there are a lot baker forums/websites that are more knowledgeable about the high altitude stuff. Sorry I’m not more help!

  3. Kristin says:

    This looks so yummy. I’ve been searching for a from scratch chocolate rum bundt. Most have cake mix based (no thank you).
    If I add dark rum, 1/3 cup, do you think I should reduce the water by 1/3 cup?
    Please advise. Hubs loves chocolate rum cake… thanks so much! You’re the best!

  4. Leandra julien says:

    Can I put the cake in the fridge after putting on the glaze?? Would it taste the same?..

  5. Laura says:

    Made this for some family while visiting them on vacation. I think this is going to be my go-to chocolate cake recipe! I’ve tried a few that were heavy and dense, which nobody seemed to care for much. This one is moist, fluffy, rich and chocolatey all at the same time. Next time I’ll let the ganache cool a bit more before pouring it on (good tip!). It was great the next day when it had thickened up, but we just couldn’t wait any longer right after making it, haha.

    I baked it in a dark coated bundt pan for exactly 40 minutes, and I let it cool in the pan for around half an hour. I’ll be honest; I have never once been able to let any cake cool for only 5 – 10 minutes without it ripping apart when trying to turn it out of a pan, yet every cake recipe on earth says “let it cool 5 – 10 minutes”. To those having problems with the cake falling apart, it is a super moist and tender recipe. Give it at least half an hour to cool, put your cake plate upside down over the pan, hold them together and just flip it right over. Gently lift the pan away and it should come right out, no muss no fuss. Or at least it did for me.

    Thank you so much for this recipe, Mel. Flippin’ amazing!

    PS. Didn’t have enough sour cream so I used about half creme fraiche. I’ve never used it before (bought it to try out in a different recipe) but it seemed to be a perfect substitute. Might try Greek yogurt next time too!

  6. Priyanka says:

    Thank you so much for this awesome recipe.
    I made this cake today, for my bday and it turned out awesome.
    I wish I could attach the picture of my cake here, it’s moist, glaze was perfect.
    Everyone loved it and I got a lot of appreciation.

  7. Heidi says:

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and loved it, but thought it looked kind of puny in my huge 14.5 cup bundt pan. I’m happy to report that I 1 1/2 the recipe and it turned out great with a little extra cooking time. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I just made this cake last night, and not only was it delicious then, but almost better left over, chilled.

  9. Andra says:

    Oh my word. This cake is heavenly!! My new favorite! SO moist, perfectly chocolaty, not too rich and definitely not overly sweet, which is a huge must with desserts for me. It came together so easily, like you said! I loved that I had everything on hand. I used the Valhrona cocoa powder because I tried it once and can never go back to anything else, cooked for 35 minutes in my convection oven, served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and everyone raved over it. Thank you for such consistently awesome recipes. I don’t comment much but I don’t know what I’d ever cook/bake if it weren’t for your blog! THANK YOU!

  10. Sofaia says:

    I made this cake for Easter. My little one has an egg allergy so I subbed the eggs for flaxseed meal (1 TB of flaxseed to 3 TB with water = 1 egg) and after reading the other comments, I too, used 4 oz. butter and 4 oz applesauce. The cake was scrumptiously delicious! I’m already looking forward to making it in the near future for a co-workers birthday.

  11. Susan says:

    I’ve made this cake several times now and it’s as good as it is pretty! The last few times I’ve made it I used applesauce in place of half of the butter (4 oz. butter and 4 oz. applesauce) and it turned out great! Couldn’t tell a difference. I also use white whole wheat flour for all the flour and can’t tell a difference there either. So fudgy and moist! Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. Supriya says:

    I forgot to add sour cream to the recipe! Anything I can do when the ‘cake’ is done?

  13. SkinnyMe says:

    Seeing this Bundt Cake makes me happy. Chocolate is the best! I will try this recipe out.

  14. Erin says:

    This turned out fantastic! The glaze is the best. Simple and no corn syrup. Will make this again and again:)

  15. Megan says:

    As usual, Mel, this recipe was a hit! I had hoped to have leftovers of it after my New Years Eve party but that was a crazy hope. Everyone devoured it in a matter of seconds, declaring in the best chocolate cake in the history of ever. So thank you for once again elevating me to kitchen ninja status. You should know that around these parts (Alberta, Canada), Mel has become a verb. As in, “Do you Mel? You totally should!”

  16. Helen says:

    Made this for Christmas- no words. Simply.No.Words!

  17. Bethany says:

    I am so disappointed. After waiting 10 minutes, I just flipped out my cake onto the cooling rack. The cake split apart and fell through the rack. I’ll be piecing it back together for my dessert tonight, but it will not have a beautiful presentation. The good news is that it tastes really good, so hopefully that will make up for the looks. My husband says to call it lava cake tonight. Just think people will want to wait a bit longer to flip it out of the pan.

    • Bethany says:

      Ok, Mel, what am I doing wrong? I made this cake again to see if it would stay together if I let it cool longer in the pan, but it still fell apart. The flavor is amazing and both times I served it, I received great comments. But I can’t get it to stay together. I’m greasing the pan with the melted butter and cocoa powder as specified. Are the chocolate chips sticking to the pan? Have any suggestions to help so I can have another excuse to make this and improve?

      • Mel says:

        Ugh! That’s so frustrating, Bethany. You are awesome for giving it another try. My neighbor made this and said hers stuck badly too using the butter and cocoa powder and I think it may really boil down to the type of bundt pan (dark coating vs. light coating, weight, etc). Have you ever used Baker’s Joy? The spray with flour in it? It works miracles. I don’t always keep it on hand but when I do, nothing ever sticks. It might leave a little bit of a white residue on your cake but that will be covered up with ganache – you might give it a try (or if you don’t want to buy it, next time double up on the butter and really slather it in there).

  18. Leah S says:

    This is, hands down, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. Ever. So moist. So chocolatey good. I’m looking for another reason to make it – shouldn’t be hard with the holidays around the corner!

  19. NJ says:

    This was delicious! Thank you. I greased and cocoa’d my teflon bundt pan and the cake’s top still stuck to the pan. I let it sit the 10 min to cool on the rack, too. What I noticed is it mostly stuck where the choc chips where touching the pan. Suggestions ?? Maybe swirl the chips in after one fills the pan with batter, swirl ever so slightly in the top layer only instead of putting them in the batter ??? or will they sink to the bottom anyway? This won’t stop me from making this again. Thanks for another great recipe, Mel.

    • Mel says:

      I think the chocolate chips are prone to sink a little – usually they won’t if tossed in a few tablespoons flour so you could try that. You could also try the Baker’s Joy spray, I don’t always have it on hand but I’ve never had a bundt cake stick when using it.

  20. Mindy says:

    Do you think this would work well in mini bundt pans?

  21. Chelsie says:

    I made this yesterday, and it’s yum. But, I have to be honest: it wasn’t nearly as fudgy as I expected. Really rather light in texture for a cake with fudge in the title. It’s great, and certain persons may have snuck slices while the baby was napping this afternoon, but how can I make it fudgier, or denser, next time? Less water?

  22. Grace says:

    This looks great Mel! But only ⅓ cup of natural cocoa? That doesn’t seem like very much… Is the actual cake itself very chocolatey??? I want to make this but I like really dark chocolate cakes. Thanks!!!

    • Mel says:

      Yes, the cake is very chocolatey. The method of the cake (melting the butter, water, etc) makes a difference in how that chocolate flavor is amplified.

  23. Rachel says:

    My son’s first birthday is on Saturday and I was going to make some kind of cute bear themed cake, but I can’t stop thinking about this one, so it will have to be a grown up delicious cake! Any idea how to adjust the time for a spring form pan? I don’t have a bundt…

    • Mel says:

      Hmm, to be quite honest, I think you’d be better off baking it in a regular baking pan (like a couple round cake pans or a 9X13-inch). I’m not sure how it would work in a springform, although it’s certainly worth a try. Good luck!

      • Lauren says:

        Thx for mentioning the 9 X 13 & cake pans for options, mel. I’d love to give this delightfully looking recipe a try but don’t have a bundt pan.

  24. Natasha says:

    Like, I’ve always known I’ve liked your blog, but the use of “obvs” reminds me why I love your blog.

  25. Mary says:

    Do you think I can throw some frozen cherries in the batter? This cake looks absolutely delicious and and I am not only pinning it but am writing it into my little dessert notebook.

  26. Wow this looks simply irresistible! So rich and moreish for sure! Love the photographs.

  27. Rachael says:

    Just curious–do you use the cocoa because it’s a chocolate cake? My go-to for greasing bundt pans is Baker’s Joy (sprays out oil and flour simultaneously). I’m sure you’ve heard of it but thought I’d mention it just in case…that stuff is amazing!!

    • Mel says:

      I use cocoa to avoid the white streaks from using flour but Baker’s Joy would be a great substitute (although I have found that even it leaves a white residue on my chocolate cakes sometimes).

  28. Marek Steed says:

    Thoughts on using full fat homemade Greek yogurt in lieu of sour cream? Possible?

  29. Paige says:

    This cake looks amazing. I need it in my life right now.


  30. This makes me so happy! I agree with all, I love that bundt cake too but haven’t been buying cake mixes, and I’m very excited to make this soon!

  31. Amy W. says:

    The old recipe with the cake mix has been a favorite of mine, too, but I feel the same way you do about cake mixes. Thank you for giving me an option to make the same yummy deliciousness without the boxed mix!!! Hooray!!! Love ya, Mel!!

  32. Elise says:

    I’m So grateful you posted this this morning! I had forgotten that I volunteered to bake a bundt cake for a party tomorrow evening! The only thing I need to pick up this morning is the chocolate chips, I have everything else 🙂
    I completely trust your recipes after having made about a dozen – I know I can make this today and take it tomorrow as a first-try with NO FEAR!

  33. Teresa says:

    I love that box mix sour cream cake recipe. I remember when I used to work 20+ years ago, that cake made it around the office and we all made it over and over again. It is truly decadent, but I would love to make a version without a box mix. My husband and kids love chocolate and who doesn’t love a good bundt cake–yum! I think this is a perfect year-round delicious cake option.

  34. Sheila says:

    Oh, yum! I wish you weren’t so good at food photography. There are many posts like this one where I want to call off work just to spend the day in the kitchen making Mel recipes. 🙁 I finally got around to making those super delicious sour cream muffins. The problem with your recipes is when I make one (which is frequently) my family continually request that same recipe a “million” times over the next month.

  35. Lori says:

    Oh my goodness–does that look delicious! You had me at ‘Chocolate Fudge’. I don’t have a bundt pan, but I think I will have to get one just to make this glorious cake.

  36. Hilary says:

    I woke up this morning to bake you cinnamon sugar twists and now I see this!!!!! Oh happy day!! Cinnamon twists for breakfast and chocolate cake for dessert!! 🙂 This will be happening after I get the children off to school!!! THANK YOU!!

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