I’ve been searching for a long time. For a recipe to duplicate one of our favorite flavors from Nothing Bundt Cakes. Bundt cakes don’t always turn out great. The wrong recipe will take foreeeeeever to bake and end up dry on the outside or worse, stuck to the pan. I’ve ruined many a bundt cake.
But my search is over. I made this yesterday for Easter with our framily. (Not a typo- our framily).
Can we just stop for a minute and give a shout out to all the framilies out there? I mean it. Moving to Nashville was a scary thing to do for two kids who were used to living down the street from their parents. Mr. SweeterThing used to bum $5 off his dad in the mornings on his way to work so he could buy lunch. We didn’t even know our neighbors, why would we? Our parents were within a shout’s distance. We had free babysitting all.the.time. We had no idea what we were doing when we moved here. We got ourselves a bug-infested apartment and hoped and prayed that we didn’t have to show up on the doorstep in Illinois with our baby and our pillows and our pride and ask to move in with either set. (They were also praying this prayer).
And here we are, four years later. And on Easter we had a place to go. Not just a place to show up at. No, a place where we walk in without ringing the doorbell. Where people who did not give birth to our children and are not related to them by blood love on them and kiss on them and plan Easter egg hunts for them in their living room. We had turkey and several carb options and wine. And we sat long after the meal was done and complained about how we ate too much and then we helped ourselves to more cake so we could sit longer and complain some more. These are the same framily who rushed home from work when I accidentally hit the dog with my car in October and who cleaned up the tragic accident while I sat inside sobbing at their kitchen table. Who texted me all day long to make sure I was ok and who now sometimes poke a little fun at me over it. Because that’s what framily does.
And ya know what? This kind of thing is divine. I mean it. I sat in church yesterday morning and I cried while I sang songs of worship to the God who sent his son to die for my sins. But more than that, the God who is STILL HERE in my every day, bringing people into my different seasons, to teach me about grace and love and acceptance over and over again (I’m a remedial learner).
So here’s to framily. Cheers. Thank you. You’re amazing.
Back to cake (I’m terrible at transitions. Sorry.) It was rich and moist, not a dry bite. I used vanilla cream cheese frosting just like Nothing Bundt Cake does, though a simple chocolate glaze would be equally as delicious.
This batter is a perfect bundt cake consistency, so it bakes up even and pretty and can hold the weight of chocolate chips. Don’t overbake this and you will not be disappointed!
Start with a chocolate mixture on the stovetop. Water, butter, salt, and cocoa powder (use a dark or dutch-processed cocoa powder. You can buy Hershey’s Special Dark at several grocery stores or black cocoa powder (my favorite!) at specialty stores or on Amazon).
Cook just until melted and combined.
Set this mixture aside. Whisk together sugar, flour, and baking soda.
Pour half the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. It will be THICK.
Add the rest and stir, baby, stir!
Add eggs and whisk well. Add sour cream. Oh for the love of sour cream. I’m not a huge fan of sour cream as a garnish to a dish. It’s a texture issue for me. But in a cake? Oh baby. It adds moisture and a little substance to the batter.
Toss some chocolate chips in there and stir to combine. Mr. SweeterThing and I were discussing the shape of the chocolate chips and debating wether or not a flatter, chocolate chunk of sorts might sit in the batter better and keep so many from sinking to the bottom. I may just chop some chocolate next time for kicks. Truth be told though, the sinkage isn’t bad enough to ruin the cake and it’s super delicious as is.
Pour into a prepared 10-12 cup fluted bundt cake pan. Mine is from Williams Sonoma. Not sure why I’m telling you that except it makes me feel fancy (most of my bakeware is from garage sales or Walmart). And by prepared, I mean use a baking spray like Baker’s Joy or Pam for Baking. This is negotiable in some cakes but not in a bundt cake. If you skimp on this, your cake will stick. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean (some crumbs are a good thing).
Let your cake sit for 5 minutes after removing from the oven and then promptly turn out into a cooling rack or a cake plate to finish cooling. Ice with a chocolate glaze or a fabulous cream cheese icing. Below are my tips for mimicking the Nothing Bundt Cake technique.
Use a plain tip in your pastry bag, the bigger the better. Start on the outside, approximately 2/3 of the way down the side of the cake and with even pressure, pipe a “petal” of frosting up and over the side of the cake, stopping right inside the middle of the cake. Don’t start at the top center of the cake or your “petals” will look like poop when you pull the pastry bag away from the cake. Plus, it’s harder to line up each petal evenly.
When you are finished, use a small spatula or an offset cake spreader to smooth out the frosting into the center of the cake and around the very top of the cake center.
And done. Top with sprinkles or chocolate chips and enjoy.
- 1 cup butter
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (we use Dutch processed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan with a baking spray like Baker's Joy or Pam for Baking (something with flour in it)
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely blended. Whisk in the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and the vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Let cool completely before glazing.
- While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Combine 1 cup of powdered sugar, the butter, and the cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer and whip well until creamy and smooth. Continue adding sugar, a little at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Pipe onto the cake using a large plain pastry tip or by cutting the end off a pastry bag or ziplock bag.
- See pictures for tips on piping the icing onto the cake.