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This brownie bundt cake is rich and fudgy! Made with cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate it’s full of pure chocolate goodness. Drizzle it with an easy 2-ingredient chocolate ganache to impress your family and friends. I’ve included step by step photos for you to make this cake!
Is it a brownie? Is it a cake? These are the two questions you will be asking yourself when you take a bite of this chocolate brownie cake.
And maybe – where’s the ice-cream? Because you’re going to a scoop to pair with this cake. I’ve been dreaming up this cake for awhile now and it took a few attempts to make it perfect. I wanted a texture somewhere between (you guessed it) – brownie and cake!
This has a crunchy top (or bottom since it’s a bundt!), dense fudgy texture like a brownie, but since it’s baked into a cake pan, and I used a little baking powder to give it a bit of a rise, it’s a cake! Hence, brownie cake. Best of both worlds.
Why You Will Love This Cake
- Chocolate Lover’s Dream! It’s full of chocolate flavor first of all. I used two kinds of chocolate – bittersweet chocolate and Dutch cocoa powder. So you get that dense, fudgy quality you expect from a brownie. But I used just a little baking powder to give it a little lift so it’s not too heavy.
- Made In A Bundt Pan – I love bundt cakes because there is not fussy layers and frosting to deal with. Once the cake is baked just turn it out and you have one beautiful cake to present. I drizzled with a chocolate ganache for some no frills presentation.
- Can Be Made Ahead – This cake can be made ahead 1-2 days ahead of time so it’s easy to present. Just let the cake cool completely and wrap it up. Then right before serving, drizzle with your ganache.
Here is what you need to round up from the pantry for the cake. If you’re making the ganache, you’ll also need 6 ounces (or half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips) and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
- Cocoa Powder – You want to use Dutch process cocoa powder, which is different than natural cocoa powder. It won’t react the same as the Dutch process. I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. This cocoa also gives it a richer, darker color.
- Bittersweet Chocolate – You want to use good quality chocolate for this cake. I used 60% chocolate, but I think you could also use 70% chocolate it will just a bit darker/bitter.
- Greek Yogurt – I used full fat plain Greek yogurt, but sour cream also works.
- Unsalted Butter – I always recommend using unsalted butter vs. salted butter. Unsalted butter is fresher, and different brands will vary the amount of salt added so it’s better to be able to control the amount of salt added yourself. If you only have salted butter I would reduce the butter to 1 teaspoon.
Prep Your Ingredients
A good baker will always read the recipe and prep their ingredients before they start! This step is called “mise en place”. In French, mise en place, literally means “putting everything in it’s place”. Here are a few specific things to prep before you start for this brownie cake:
- Chop your chocolate. You want to chop 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and set aside 2 ounces to fold in at the very end.
- Cube your butter. You want your butter cubed so it melts in easily to the chocolate during the double boiler step.
- Bring your eggs to room temperature. I like to set mine a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes while I get everything ready.
- Sift Your Cocoa Powder. You want to use sifted cocoa powder so measure your cocoa powder then sift it to remove any lumps.
- Preheat Your Oven. As always, preheat your oven! This recipe you will set the oven temperature to 325F and position a rack in the center of your oven.
Making The Brownie Cake
Make The Chocolate Mixture
- Combine your cubed butter and chopped chocolate in a double boiler. You want to just set a heat proof bowl over a saucepan that has a couple inches of simmering water in it on the stovetop. And stir the butter and chocolate together until smooth and melted.
- Add cocoa, espresso, and water. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the sifted cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water. Your mixture may become grainy and slightly separate during this step. It’s OK!
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: Boil The Water Then Measure. I tried boiling my water in my microwave but I found that I lost water this way. So I recommend boiling the water on a stovetop or in a teakettle then pour it into your measuring cup for the most accurate measurement.
Mixing The Batter
- Stir in the sugars then oil. You want to stir in the granulated sugar and light brown sugar. The mixture will be grainy. Then stir in the oil.It may seem like the oil and chocolate don’t want to play well together. But keep stirring it will smooth out and come together.
- Add the eggs, greek yogurt, and vanilla. You want to use 5 room temperature eggs and stir these into the chocolate mixture. Now stir in the greek yogurt and vanilla extract until it’s smooth and combined.
- Combine your dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Now with a spatula, stir in the flour mixture from step 1, and you want to stir just until the flour has been mixed in.
BAKING 101: Overmixing your batter will result in a chewy, tough cake. The more you mix, the more the flour becomes hydrated forming gluten- the protein in flour that creates structure. Too much mixing = too much gluten formed. To achieve a perfect texture, leave a few bits of flour remaining.
Finish Up And Bake!
- Fold in the remaining chocolate. Last but not least, let’s add more chocolate! Stir in the remaining chopped 2 ounces chocolate.
- Bake! You want to right before adding the batter to your bundt pan, grease it. Then pour in your batter into your cake pan and bake for about 1 hour (to 1 hour and 10 minutes long).
- Finish With Ganache. I heated some heavy cream (1/2 cup) in a heatproof glass measuring cup in the microwave for 1 minute. Then I added 6 ounces (1/2 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the cup and then let it sit for 5 minutes. And then stirred until smooth! Once the cake was cooled I drizzled it over the cake and served!
Heather’s Baking Tip
Prepare Bundt Cake Pan LAST. This might go against what you’ve learned which is to prepare your cake pans first. But bundt pans are special! The baking spray/grease can slide down the pan by the time you’re ready to put the batter in. So do this last. You can grease the pan with vegetable shortening (I find butter still sticks) and dust with flour. Or use a cooking spray with flour.
1. Wooden Skewer: I like to use a long wooden skewer and insert about halfway down to see moist crumbs not wet batter. You don’t need the skewer to be completely clean -this could actually indicate the cake is overbaked. You may hit a pocket of melted chocolate, so it’s best to check a few spots to be sure.
2. Bounce Test – Press the top of the cake with your finger, the top should spring back not stay sunken in.
Yes I think this cake would freeze beautifully! Do NOT add the ganache, and make sure to let it cool completely before wrapping the cake up. I like to wrap in plastic wrap first (2 layers) then a final layer of tin-foil. And when ready to serve, let thaw at room temperature (should thaw in an hour or less) and then drizzle with ganache.
I haven’t tested it in a different pan. My bundt pan capacity is 10 cups so if you were to bake in 8 or 9 inch cake pans, you would probably need two and reduce the baking time significantly.
I would recommend 1-2 days ahead of time. Store at room temperature, wrapped well. And do not drizzle the ganache on until ready to serve.
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Brownie Cake Recipe
- 3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons, 170 g) unsalted butter cubed
- 6 ounces (170 g) 60% bittersweet chocolate baking bars chopped and divided
- 1 cup (85 g) Dutch cocoa powder sifted
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) boiling water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (147 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy cream
- 1 cup (6 ounces, 170 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
To make the cake:
- Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C)
- In the top of double boiler (I set a glass bowl of a pan that has a few inches of simmering water in the bottom), combine butter and 4 ounces (113 g) chocolate. Heat over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in cocoa, boiling water, and espresso powder until smooth and well combined.
- Whisk in sugars.
- Whisk in oil.
- Gradually whisk in eggs until combined.
- Whisk in greek yogurt and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until a few bits of flour remain.
- Fold in remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate.
- Spray a 10-cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray with flour (or grease with shortening and dust with flour). Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minute, then invert onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
To make the ganache:
- Heat the cream in a microwave safe bowl until very hot, but not boiling. (about 1 minute).
- In a second bowl, add chocolate chips. Pour hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir
- After 5 minutes, stir until smooth.
- Drizzle over cake before serving.
- Make Ahead/Storage: I would recommend 1-2 days ahead of time. Store at room temperature, wrapped well. And do not drizzle the ganache on until ready to serve.
- Freezing: If freezing, do NOT add the ganache, and make sure to let it cool completely before wrapping the cake up. I like to wrap in plastic wrap first (2 layers) then a final layer of tin-foil. And when ready to serve, let thaw at room temperature (should thaw in an hour or less) and then drizzle with ganache.
- Different Pan: I haven’t tested it in a different pan. My bundt pan capacity is 10 cups so if you were to bake in 8 or 9 inch cake pans, you would probably need two and reduce the baking time significantly.