It has been months since I last made a bundt cake, so when the urge to get out my pan and bake one hit this week, I gave in without a fuss. One of the best things about bundt cakes is that they are really no-fuss cakes themselves. You don’t need to worry about layers, fillings, frostings or decorations. The cake will as fancy – or as simple – as the pan that it is baked in, and while adding a drizzle of icing on the top can be an option, it really is never more than just an option.
I ended up opting for a chocolate bundt cake, which I dressed up by including fresh raspberries. My original plan was to do a chocolate-and-strawberries cake, but I ended up with raspberries for two reasons. First, raspberries have less moisture than strawberries and tend to hold up a bit better in baking. Second, my strawberries were so ripe that they were on the verge of going past their peak when I bought them, so eating them seemed like the best way to truly appreciate them.
The cake recipe itself is very simple, using only cocoa powder for chocolate flavor instead of melted chocolate. I used both butter and oil in the cake because I like the moisture that oil contributes (especially if the cake is to be enjoyed over the course of several days) to a cake, as well as the flavor that comes from butter. Buttermilk gives the cake a slightly rounder flavor than plain milk, and I added a bit of instant coffee powder as well because a small amount really can enhance the flavor of cocoa. The raspberries will sink down into the cake batter, so it is better to add them into the cake once the batter has been poured into the pan, rather than stirring them into the mixing bowl.
The chocolate and raspberry combination worked out very well for me. If your raspberries have large seeds in them, however, you might want to consider alternatives (like frozen berries) because some people I shared the cake with disliked the noticeable seeds they encountered (I encountered few and wasn’t bothered by them). Aside from that, the cake was very rich tasting and very moist. It kept well for several days and was good plain, as well as with a generous serving of ice cream.
Raspberry Chocolate Bundt Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup hot water
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in butter, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, followed by the hot water. Mix only until no streaks of flour remain.
Pour about half of the batter into the prepared pan. Add in raspberries, topped with the remaining batter. Run a knife through the batter gently to even out the distribution of the berries.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then gently loosen the cake and turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.