You would not believe that this incredible chocolate bundt cake recipe is made from a cake mix! It is so moist it’s ridiculous. The ganache topping just puts it over the top. Don’t even think about eating this without a glass of milk – it’s death by chocolate cake!

Originally published October 4, 2016

Death by Chocolate Cake

Death by chocolate cake

After I finished making and photographing this cake, I asked Charlotte if she wanted a bite. She said yes, so I gave her a forkful.

“What do you think of the cake?”
She paused, chewing thoughtfully and said, “Huh. Gooder than I thought it would be.”
(Insert comically raised eyebrows)
“Well what did you think it was going to be??”
“Good, but just a little, um, not THAT good.”

Thanks? I think??

Chocolate bundt cake

5 years blogging!

Guess what guys!! Today is the 5 year anniversary of the day I started my blog! On October 4, 2011, I sat down at my computer and published the recipe for these Pumpkin Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies. I started my blog because I had just had a baby (Charlotte) and was totally bored with my new stay-at-home-mom gig. I mean the kid took like 4 hour naps, what was I supposed to do besides bake?

It started as a hobby. I kept publishing recipes (3 times a week, very consistently) for years and never saw anything from it except fun conversations with my friends and family about what recipe I was making that week, and whether they had tried any. I loved sharing recipes, loved having my own catalogue of dinner ideas I wanted to make again and again (still the criteria for making it on the blog) and never really expected anything more than that.

Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe

But in January 2013, I published this innocent little recipe for Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad, and my traffic went through the roof, something I never anticipated. Now I earn an income from my blog (did you know food bloggers are really just small business owners?) and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.

I never had aspirations for owning my own business; I just knew I wanted to stay home with my kids while they were growing up. For me, I have the best of both worlds: being at home with them, but still having a career that is as demanding (or not) and fulfilling (or not) as I want it to be, because I’m the boss. I make up my own rules and hours, and even if I don’t follow them, no one can fire me.

Death by Chocolate

Of course it’s not always sunshine and roses. Being your own boss also means that she can sometimes be an insane taskmaster who keeps you up all night working when all you want to do is sleep. (Ever see me post a recipe in the middle of the night? Yeah, that wasn’t scheduled. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, right boss?)

But overall I am super grateful for this crazy and strange career of mine. The other day Charlotte said out of the blue from the backseat of the car, “Mom, did you actually start your own blog?” Yes I did. “You mean you did it all by yourself?” Yeah, I did. “Wow.” I’m glad that my kids will grow up seeing me work my butt off at something I am passionate about.

How to make chocolate bundt cake

Bundt cake recipes from cake mix

How to make chocolate bundt cake

Death by Chocolate Cake

Enough sap. Let’s talk cake! This one is another gem of a recipe from my dear Aunt Shirley, my mom’s sister. She’s an amazing baker and has quite the dessert reputation in our family.

(My sister Nikki, who does not love being in the kitchen, said to me once as I was making cookies, “Karen! Oh my gosh! You’re like the Aunt Shirley of our generation!” Because her kids know me as the Bringer of Dessert. Little do they know that it’s all recycled work from MY aunt. NIKKI DON’T SHOW THEM THIS POST.)

Chocolate Bundt Cake

I had a couple friends over the day I made this cake, and they both couldn’t believe it was a doctored cake mix. I can’t even believe this is a doctored cake mix. It is just so rich and chocolate-y. The sour cream and oil make it super moist. And of course drizzling the whole thing in ganache doesn’t hurt either. Because honestly there’s nothing less satisfying than a bite of dry, dense cake, amiright?

One last thing: since it’s my blog-baby’s 5th birthday and all, if you would like to give a gift, I would love a comment telling me what your favorite recipe is from the blog, or the one you make most often for your family. Or just a favorite post or story. What I do wouldn’t be possible, of course, without you lovely readers, and I’m so glad you’re here. Thanks so much for reading and laughing and cooking with me!

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Death By Chocolate Bundt Cake (And The Food Charlatan’s 5th Birthday!)

4.88 from 25 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
You would not believe that this incredible chocolate bundt cake recipe is made from a cake mix! It is so moist it's ridiculous. The ganache topping just puts it over the top. Don't even think about eating this without a glass of milk - it's death by chocolate cake!


For the cake:

  • 1 15.25-oz. box Devil's Food Cake mix, dry*
  • 1 5.1-oz. box chocolate pudding mix, dry
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, 2 cups

For the ganache:

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, I like semisweet
  • mini chocolate chips, to garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a bundt pan very well with butter or nonstick spray. Use a small amount (like a teaspoon) of cocoa OR flour (Cocoa will be prettier) to dust the pan. Tap the pan around and shake out excess.
  • Combine the dry cake mix and dry pudding mix in a large bowl or stand mixer.
  • Beat in the sour cream, water, oil, and eggs. Scrape the sides and bottom and beat well for at least 2 minutes to whip air into the cake.
  • Fold in 2 cups of chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-58 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't over bake it!!
  • Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Use a plastic knife (so you don't scrape your pan) to loosen the edges of the cake, then invert it onto a serving plate or cake stand.
  • Meanwhile, make the ganache. In a small bowl, measure out 1 cup of cream. Microwave for about 1 minute, stir, and continue heating in 20 second intervals until you see bubbles on the side of the bowl.
  • Immediately pour in 1 cup chocolate chips but don't stir. Let the chocolate sit for about a minute (to melt) then use a whisk to stir it together. Don't give up, just keep whisking and it will thicken up.
  • Drizzle the warm cake with the ganache. You can serve it room temperature too, if you like. The ganache will thicken as it cools, just throw it in the microwave for a few seconds if you need it to thin out.
  • Garnish with mini chocolate chips and serve with a tall glass of cold milk!


The ounces on the cake mix don't have to be exact. If it's a 16 oz cake mix, that will work fine!
You can totally make this recipe in a 9x13 pan of course. I haven't tested bake times though, so you will have to experiment. It will be LESS time. I would start with 25-30 minutes, then check every 5 until a toothpick comes out clean.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 581IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 501
Keyword: Bundt Cake, chocolate, Death by Chocolate
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Here are some other cakes you will love!

The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had << I stand by this title with the qualification “best homemade chocolate cake with traditional buttercream”

The Best Chocolate Cake I've Ever Had from The Food Charlatan


Mississippi Mud Cake << (brownie-ish cake. whole jar of marshmallow creme. top with fudge frosting. Need I go on?)

Mississippi Mud Cake from The Food Charlatan


Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting:

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan


You will love these other cakes from friends!

Chocolate Mudslide Cake form Beyond Frosting
Best Chocolate Cake from Life, Love, and Sugar
Chocolate Oreo Cake from Will Cook for Smiles

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  1. 5 stars
    One of the best chocolate cakes ever, and I’ve made and eaten plenty in my life! I love how quickly I can get it into the oven – the ganache is a great addition :)

  2. 5 stars
    I havent made this cake yet but after reading the reviews I definitely will!!!! Also, I love your new format, I always find the recipes interesting and I like the new sections youve added. I read it from top to bottom!!!

  3. I made one recently for a charity online bake sale. It sold within an hour of the sale going live. It’s so easy to make, and such a nice presentation. I’ve baked many over the years. It also does well in mini bundt pans which I’ve donated to traditional bake sales.

    1. Hi Dana! At your store they might sell Ultra heavy whipping cream, whipping cream, heavy cream, etc. these are all the same product but with varying levels of fat content. Any type will do for this recipe! Enjoy! (Whipped cream is just cream that has already been whipped. the only way to buy that at the store is in the can like Reddiwhip or Cool Whip. Don’t buy that for this recipe!)

    1. Hi Kada! So sorry to hear your ganache was runnier than you would have liked. As you can see from the pictures, it does run down the cake and onto the plate a little, but most of it stays on the cake. It gets less liquid as it cools, so next time I recommend giving it more time to cool before pouring it. Another tip is that you need to use heavy cream, not coffee creamer or anything like that. I hope it turns out perfectly for you next time!

  4. Death by Chocolate bundt cake calls for chocolate pudding mix 5.1 ounces.  I find the small box size or 5.9 ounces.  Want to get this right!  Help!

    1. Hi Phyllis! You’re right, Jello is making the chocolate pudding in 5.9 oz packages now. It’s just fine to go ahead and use the 5.9 oz size – the extra 0.8 oz of pudding mix will only make the cake more delicious :-) Enjoy!

    1. Hi Missy! I feel like this is a very personal question that only you can answer 😂😂 (no, you don’t have to use it all!)

  5. I get so many requests for this cake that I could make it in my sleep. I sometimes have to make two; one for an event and one for my family. I always tell people to have plenty of milk on hand. Death by Chocolate is the best.

  6. I understand you add 1 cup sour cream to cake. But in the Ganache you state 1 cup of cream? Sour cream or whipping cream?

  7. This is by far the most decadent, delicious, heavenly chocolate cake I have ever made. My family went crazy for it. I keep getting requests for this Birthday Dinner cake. It’s a keeper.

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