I love birthdays. I also LOVE chocolate cake. Spoiling my family and friends is my favorite thing and the best gift I can give is a good cake, homemade ice-cream and a delicious dinner. You can’t go wrong with giving comfort food to someone you love. The joy you receive in return is priceless and the memories made are forever.
This year my daughter’s birthday fell on a Tuesday so she had a week long celebration with two cakes. I knew that one cake wouldn’t stay fresh long enough and two full-sized cakes would be too much for us. I searched for a solution and found the 6-cup Bundt pan.
It was the perfect size for 8 people we celebrated with over the weekend and just right for 4 people on her actual birthday. We all enjoyed a slice of this perfectly fudgy cake and there was enough to send home with my dad. If you love Bundt cakes because they are easy & pretty, but always felt like a traditional 10-12 cup pan was too much… then this is right up your alley.
If you are a chocoholic, or even better if you love a good fudgy brownie then this recipe delivers that kind of decadence in a cake. Maybe it’s the buttermilk. Maybe it’s the bananas or the generous amount of chocolate chips floating in the batter like a little surprise… or just maybe it is that glorious ooey gooey chocolate frosting with a touch of sprinkles.
Either way it is the PERFECT combination and it makes the best chocolate cake. I know for sure this is on my list of go-to recipes from now on. Grab yourself a small bundt cake pan and follow along with this recipe. Don’t worry I have many more recipes to fit this pan and your special occasions. Stay tuned!
What you’ll need:
Small Bundt Pan– This little 6-cup (8-inch) pan serves 8 people and I don’t know what I ever did without it. There have been many times that I have skipped making a bundt cake because it was just way too much for us. Now I can get busy getting recipes written for you fellow bundt cake fans!
Cacao Powder– I use cacao powder for most of my chocolate baked goods. Whether it is this cake or brownies. This is not a Dutch processed cocoa and it works great in my cake.
Dutch processed powder is made from cocoa beans that have been washed in an alkaline solution of potassium carbonate. All that means is typically recipes that do contain Dutch cocoa will NOT have baking soda because it might not react to rise your baked goods. You will usually see it paired with baking powder. Here I use the regular cacao powder with baking soda as the leavening agent.
Chocolate Chips- We prefer semi-sweet, but you can use any kind of chocolate chips in the batter that you wish or skip them. They really do take this cake to the next level and those little pops of chips make this extra decadent. You will however need semi-sweet chips for the frosting. I have not tried this with any other type of chocolate and semi-sweet works like a charm.
Buttermilk- There are so many things I use buttermilk for. It is something I will always try to keep in my refrigerator. Pancakes, bread, cakes, muffins, waffles… if I can find a new way to use it, I will never waste a drop. It makes this cake so rich and soft without losing the structure bundt cakes need to hold their shape.
Bananas- They add a little something special to the flavor and the texture. You can taste the banana, but it is not overpowering at all in my opinion. It’s just a hint. It’s a simple flavor that pairs so well with everything else. What looks like just another chocolate cake, ends up taking you by surprise.
Butter- As usual with my recipes. Real butter please, any brand will do 🙂
Brown Sugar- The molasses in brown sugar is just another component that makes this cake the best one I’ve made so far in my home cooking journey. It’s full of ingredients that make this next level soft & delicious.
Heavy Whipping Cream- It’s a must to have this extra thick cream that has a good amount of butterfat. The frosting is as simple as chocolate chips, a bit of butter, and whipping cream. It is one of my favorite discoveries when trying to find the perfect frostings for my bundt cakes.
Baking Spray with Flour– This is an ABSOLUTE MUST for me. There are two brands I recommend, Pam & Baker’s Joy. I don’t have any experience with others, but if you do please feel free to leave a comment below so I can check it out.
Since I have jumped on the bandwagon and started using it, I have had zero issues. There is always that chance and anyone who has made a bundt cake holds their breath when flipping the pan over. I generally try to read reviews when I buy something online and I have made MANY bundt cakes over the years. Any issues that people have with releasing a bundt cake, in my research can be resolved with 3 simple things:
#1. Make sure you are using a recipe designed for this time of pan. It requires a batter that doesn’t produce a cake that is too soft.
#2. Use a non-stick spray that already has the flour. Do not use regular spray, oil, shortening or butter to grease the pan. It’s too risky and I am not about that life. I don’t like loosing a good cake.
#3. Do not let the cake cool for more that 10 minutes before turning out to a cooling rack. There is a sweet spot to prevent sticking as it cools.
Digital Scale– I love baking and the accuracy of a gram scale helps get that perfect cake. It also makes it SO much easier to measure once you get the hang of it.
Digital Thermometer– Even though it is small, it is still dense. There’s some heavy ingredients in here and checking that the internal temperature is 210 F has saved many cakes that look done on the outside but need some extra baking time.
Cooling Rack– After removing the cake from the oven and letting it rest for 10 minutes, flip the pan over and release onto a cooling rack. When it is cool enough for frosting, you can either ice it on the rack or on your cake plate. Because the cake is smaller, it is very easy to transfer with 1 or 2 large spatulas.
Sprinkles– Get creative decorating with sprinkles. It is such simple, yet beautiful cake and the sprinkles really are the cherry on top.
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Tips & Tricks:
- Bundt cakes are not your ordinary cake. It’s more than just a pretty face. I have discovered that it takes the right kind of recipe to hold up to the shape. If it is too light and fluffy, you run the risk of it falling apart when you take it out of the pan no matter what methods you take to insure success. It has to have more of a thick pound cake batter. It’s a tricky thing to do without making an actual pound cake. I think that I have definitely nailed it here.
- Cooling time before taking it out of the pan should be no more than 10 minutes. There’s a sweet spot here as it cools. You need it to be warm so it does set and stick to the sides. Too long in the pan can also make the bottom a little soggy. After releasing, cool for 1-2 hours or overnight. I have left it at room temperature overnight in a covered cake plate, but after you frost it will need to be refrigerated and air-tight. The cake should be fresh for 3-5 days.
- When you make the frosting, it should be thick, but pourable enough to float down the sides. Top with sprinkles right away.
- I use a digital gram scale so I have had no issues with overflow, but always try to using a baking sheet just incase. Cleaning out my oven is not my favorite thing. (See photos for how full my pans are with un-baked batter and fully cooked.)
Chocolate Buttermilk Banana Bundt Cake
- 1 6-cup Bundt Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and generously spray the bundt pan.
- Combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the egg until well combined, then add the buttermilk and vanilla. Don't worry if it looks a little curdled. It will all come together.
- Add the mashed bananas to the wet ingredients and mix well. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients, stir in until combined. Fold in 1 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and set on a large cookie/baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes on the middle rack until the internal temperature is 210 F.
- Remove and cool for no more than 10 minutes in the pan. After 10 minutes, loosen the edges if needed and flip it over to release the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat add the heavy whipping cream, butter, and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and a pinch of salt. Whisk & stir constantly until melted and combined. Add more whipping cream if needed and turn off the heat as soon as it comes together so it does not burn.
- Pour the frosting over the top of the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides. Add your sprinkles right away so they set nicely. Cut and serve or refrigerate for 3-5 days. Enjoy!
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