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With a little bit of help from a boxed mix, chocolate pudding, sour cream, and chocolate chips, this easy Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe is ready for the oven in about 10 minutes! It’s a moist, rich, and decadent dessert that will impress your guests and will satisfy every chocolate craving. Dust the cake with powdered sugar, drizzle with glaze, or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the perfect finishing touch!

Close up side shot of chocolate bundt cake sliced on a cake stand.

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Every home cook needs a delicious go-to chocolate cake recipe — better yet if it’s quick and easy! When I came across this long-lost triple chocolate Bundt cake recipe in my mom’s old recipe box, I knew that it would be perfect for my kitchen. After all, it’s a simple dessert that takes advantage of a boxed mix (and your family will never know)!

The decadent cake is moist and rich (thanks to sour cream and pudding in the batter), tastes a lot like brownies (but not so dense), has a nice outer crust like a pound cake, and a light and tender crumb. It’s basically the perfect cross between brownies and chocolate cake, since the Bundt pan gives the exterior a nice crispy texture (like the edges of a brownie), while the inside of the cake stays moist, fluffy, and soft.

Since the chocolate cake is studded with chocolate chips, you also gets pockets of melty, gooey chocolate in every bite! It’s like the best part of a warm chocolate chip cookie. What more could we possibly ask for?!

Slicing a chocolate sour cream bundt cake with a large knife.

What is special about a Bundt cake?

The Bundt cake pan was invented by H. David Dalquist, the owner of Minnesota’s Nordic Ware company, in 1950. The unique ring-shaped pan allows more of the cake to be in contact with the edges of the pan, and therefore the heat is transferred more evenly. This allows the inside of the cake to cook through without burning the outside, creating a crisp, golden brown crust on each slice.

What’s the difference between a cake and a Bundt cake?

Unlike more traditional sheet cakes or layer cakes that are baked in shallow pans, a Bundt pan has decorative sides and tops that range from ridges to fruit, or other still life scenes. It is typically used for pound cake, coffee cake, and other dense, moist cakes like this old-fashioned chocolate Bundt cake using cake mix. Since more of the cake’s surface is exposed to high heat in a Bundt pan, you achieve a nice brown crust on the outside of the cake, while keeping the inside perfectly moist.

Two slices of chocolate bundt cake on plates with the cake in the background.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make a chocolate sour cream Bundt cake. As always, the specific measurements and the complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Devil’s Food cake mix: I like the super-rich, chocolatey Duncan Hines Devil’s food cake mix, but any similar variety will work. You can even substitute with a regular chocolate cake mix.
  • Sour cream: use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor and texture.
  • Instant chocolate pudding mix: just the small 4-serving (3.9 ounce) box of dry mix — not prepared into actual pudding.
  • Water: the liquid that thins the cake batter. You can substitute with brewed coffee, if you like.
  • Vegetable oil: keeps the cake super-moist. I use vegetable oil, but any neutral oil (such as canola oil) will work.
  • Large eggs: give the cake structure.
  • Chocolate chips: I like the miniature semi-sweet chocolate morsels because they’re less “chunky” in the batter, making the cake easier to cleanly slice. They also disperse more throughout the batter so that you have rich chocolate chips in every bite. You can substitute with regular chocolate chips if you prefer.
  • Powdered sugar: for dusting the top of the cake. Skip the powdered sugar if you like, or substitute with a simple vanilla glaze or a chocolate ganache.

Mixing chocolate cake batter in a white bowl

What does sour cream do to a cake?

The sour cream is an important ingredient, thanks to its high fat content and its acidity. The sour cream adds moisture without thinning the batter, adds fat for creaminess, helps to control the browning, and activates the leavening agents.

Adding chocolate chips to a white bowl.

Why add pudding to cake mix?

The gelatin component in the instant pudding mix makes the cake super moist. It’s the secret ingredient to make your cake more fluffy, too! When baking a cake in a Bundt pan, a very moist batter is necessary so that the cake doesn’t dry out. Don’t omit the pudding, which is a key ingredient.

Pouring cake batter into a bundt pan.

How to Make Chocolate Bundt Cake Using Cake Mix

Like I said, I first found this easy chocolate cake recipe in my mom’s old recipe box. As my parents were packing up my childhood home and moving out of the kitchen that they had used for 35 years, Mom sent many of her old, tattered recipe cards my way (knowing that I would enjoy sifting through them)! It was called, “Claudia’s Chocolate Cake,” named (I assume) for one of my mom’s old friends. I hope that you love it as much as we do!

  1. Mix together the batter ingredients in a large bowl on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Transfer the batter to a greased and floured Bundt pan. Tap on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
  4. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar.

Dusting chocolate pudding bundt cake with powdered sugar.

Do cakes bake faster in a Bundt pan?

No, in fact, Bundt cakes require a longer baking time than most other cakes. This is because Bundt cake batters are so dense and the pans are so large. You’ll need about 50-60 minutes to bake this particular cake in a 350°F oven.

How to Decorate a Chocolate Bundt Cake

This rich cake really doesn’t need much in the way of decorations (yet another reason I love it so much)! A simple dusting of powdered sugar looks elegant and adds just the right finishing touch. If you prefer a sweeter, more decadent finish, try glazing the cake with a vanilla glaze or a chocolate ganache glaze.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the cake on its own, or top each slice with freshly whipped cream, fresh berries, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A sprig of fresh mint would be a nice touch, too!

Overhead shot of a slice of chocolate bundt cake on an antique plate.

How to Store Chocolate Pudding Bundt Cake

Covered loosely, this cake will keep at room temperature for about 2-3 days. To extend the life of your cake, store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Can chocolate bundt cake be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze this cake! I often cut the large Bundt cake in half so that we can enjoy part of it now and save the other half for later. Allow the cake to cool completely, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, wrap again with aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Hands serving a slice of chocolate chip bundt cake.

Recipe Variations

  • Loaf Cakes: If you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can bake this cake in two loaf pans. The cooking time will be about the same or slightly shorter, typically 45-50 minutes in a 350°F oven.
  • If you don’t have a box of Devil’s Food cake mix, use a box of regular chocolate cake mix.
  • Substitute brewed coffee for the water. Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in the cake. You can also add a little bit of espresso powder to the batter to achieve a similar result.
  • Use regular chocolate chips (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet, or white chocolate) in lieu of the mini chocolate chips.
  • Finish with vanilla glaze or chocolate ganache instead of the powdered sugar. You can also omit the powdered sugar and eat the cake without any decoration or topping — it’s delicious either way!

Side shot of sliced chocolate cake on plates on a wooden table.

Tips for the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe

  • Grease the Bundt pan really well by coating with butter and then dusting with flour. Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray that’s specifically made for baking (like this one). These options will ensure that your cake pops right out of the pan when it’s done!
  • Let the sour cream and eggs come to room temperature. They will mix smoother into your cake batter.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor and texture.
  • Do not over-bake the cake or it can become dry. Start checking for doneness by the 50-minute mark, since total baking times will vary depending on your personal oven and the type and color of Bundt pan that you use.
  • Don’t leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking — about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • The cake gets better as it sits, so this is a nice dessert option to prepare the day before you plan to serve it. Wait to dust with powdered sugar until right before serving.

Side shot of the best chocolate bundt cake recipe displayed on a wooden cake stand.

More Chocolate Cake Recipes to Try

Close up side shot of chocolate bundt cake sliced on a cake stand.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 463 kcal
With help from a boxed mix, pudding, sour cream, and chocolate chips, this rich, moist, and decadent chocolate Bundt cake is ready for the oven in just 10 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix (or sub with regular chocolate cake mix)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix (just the dry mix)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups miniature chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat together the cake mix, sour cream, dry pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs for about 2 minutes.
  • Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan; tap on the counter once or twice to release air bubbles.
  • Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. My cake is always done in 55 minutes, but the total baking time will vary.
  • Let cake stand for 10 minutes. Invert on a cooling rack and remove cake from pan.
  • Once cake is completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

  • Grease the Bundt pan really well by coating with butter and then dusting with flour. Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray that's specifically made for baking (like this one). These options will ensure that your cake pops right out of the pan when it's done!
  • Let the sour cream and eggs come to room temperature. They will mix smoother into your cake batter.
  • Use full-fat sour cream for the best flavor and texture.
  • Do not over-bake the cake or it can become dry. Start checking for doneness by the 50-minute mark, since total baking times will vary depending on your personal oven and the type and color of Bundt pan that you use.
  • Don't leave the cake in the pan for too long after baking -- about 10-15 minutes is plenty. After that, condensation will start to form and the moisture will negatively impact the crust.
  • The cake gets better as it sits, so this is a nice dessert option to prepare the day before you plan to serve it. Wait to dust with powdered sugar until right before serving.
  • Loaf Cakes: If you don't have a Bundt pan, you can bake this cake in two loaf pans. The cooking time will be about the same or slightly shorter, typically 45-50 minutes in a 350°F oven.
  • If you don't have a box of Devil's Food cake mix, use a box of regular chocolate cake mix.
  • Substitute brewed coffee for the water. Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor in the cake.
  • Use regular chocolate chips (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet, or white chocolate) in lieu of the mini chocolate chips.
  • Finish with vanilla glaze or chocolate ganache instead of the powdered sugar. You can also omit the powdered sugar and eat the cake without any decoration or topping -- it's delicious either way!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 54.8gProtein: 4.4gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10.8gCholesterol: 70.4mgSodium: 585.5mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 38.5g
Keyword: chocolate bundt cake, chocolate chip bundt cake, chocolate pudding bundt cake, chocolate sour cream bundt cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in January, 2018. The photos were updated in January, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

    1. Hi, Janis! I haven’t tried that myself, but I think it should work fine to divide the batter evenly among two round 8-inch cake pans. You won’t need to bake it as long, either — probably closer to 25 or 35 minutes, so just keep an eye on it. 🙂

  1. I wonder how this would be if you used a boxed Chocolate Fudge cake mix (instead of the Devils Food flavor). Thoughts?

  2. 5 stars
    I love a practical dessert, and this one sounds amazing! I love the combination of cake mix and pudding. Definitely trying this!

  3. Sounds delicious. I am making dessert for 50 people on Feb 2 and I am going to make a trial run on a 9 x 13 because I believe I can make it go further
    Any suggestions?

    1. Hi, Nancy! Your guests will love this cake!

      I haven’t tried it in the 9 x 13 pan, so I can’t offer any specific suggestions as far as that goes. I do know that it will bake faster than the bundt cake, so be sure to keep a close eye on it and make sure that it doesn’t get overcooked or too dry. Let me know how it goes!

  4. 5 stars
    I think I need to stop reading food blogs when I am on a diet. That looks incredible, I really need to try it

  5. 5 stars
    I have had this recipe for about 30 years. However my recipe has 1/4 cup of dark rum and 1/2 cup coffee instead of the water called for in your recipe. It always turns out great tho.

    1. Sounds amazing, Shirley! The coffee is a great addition because it always makes chocolate taste richer. And you can’t go wrong with rum! 🙂

      1. Hi Tracy,
        We haven’t tested this recipe as cupcakes, but it should work! Just keep a close eye on them, and begin to check them for doneness after 20 minutes or so.

  6. 5 stars
    The texture and taste of this Bundt cake was perfect. I used the 1/2 C of coffee in place of the water also. We ate it with a little vanilla bean ice cream on top. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    This is Darn Good Chocolate Cake from The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook. This is a favorite of friends, family and co-workers. The first time I made it I loved it! A good chocolate fix!

    1. Awesome! So glad to hear that, Mary Blair! By the way, I’m named Blair after my mom’s cousin Mary Blair. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I made this cake for my chocolate obsessed husband’s birthday. I used coffee in place of the water and topped it with a thick chocolate glaze and dark chocolate curls. It was a huge hit with the whole family! Thanks!

    1. Hi, Terese! No, you can ignore the instructions on the box of cake mix. Instead, follow the recipe exactly, mixing the cake mix with the sour cream, dry pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs before folding in the chocolate chips. Hope you enjoy!

  9. Hi j love this recipe k do have a question. I want to make it in the mini Bundt cake pans. Will that affect the texture or cooking time. These are the pans I’m talking about
    Thank you for your help

    Wilton Non-Stick Mini Fluted Tube Pan, 12-Cavity, Steel, Multi-Cavity Mini Cake Pan, Black https://a.co/d/9vyRlL6

    1. Hi, Kaya! The mini bundt pans should work perfectly! I haven’t tested the recipe in the smaller pans, so I can’t offer a specific baking time. You’ll definitely need to bake it a lot less than the larger cake. Instead of 50 minutes, I would guess that the mini Bundts might only need 25-35 minutes (maybe even less?). Just check them early and keep an eye on them. 🙂

    1. Hi, Diane! I haven’t tested it that way, but I think that two of the smaller boxes should work fine! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

        1. Hi, Debra! The sour cream is an important component for moisture and acidity in the batter. I wouldn’t omit it, or the texture of the cake will be quite different (not in a good way). 🙂 You can sub with full-fat plain Greek yogurt if you prefer, though.

  10. 5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe! We subbed sour cream out for 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 15 tablespoons lactose free milk, and used dairy free chocolate chips. The recipe still worked great, even with allergen-friendly adjustments. Thank you!!

  11. 5 stars
    Super moist, very good. Next time will replace water with hot black coffee. Used peanut butter glaze on the one I made. Thank you for the recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    I made this recipe today as my first ever Bundt cake. I used everything but the chocolate chips and I love it! It came out so light and fluffy! I also used the idea of prepping the pan with butter and a light coating of cocoa powder instead of flour and it blended into the cake beautifully! I can’t wait to make it again and try some variations!

  13. Hi if I do not have the instant chocolate pudding mix what I can use to substitute for it. Thanks . Looks forward to your reply.

    1. Hi, Betty! I haven’t tested this recipe with any other substitutes, so I can’t recommend something in particular. You can try omitting that ingredient, but the cake will not be as moist or flavorful.