This chocolate bundt cake recipe made with cocoa powder is rich, moist, and happens to be dairy-free. Made from scratch, this easy chocolate cake is the perfect dessert for special occasions, like Mother’s Day, birthdays, and other celebrations. Alternatives to bundt pans are also included below.
In addition to being dairy-free, this recipe has another secret ingredient: mayonnaise. Mayonnaise replaces the eggs and oil found in most cake recipes. It creates the stick-to-your-fork moist crumbs we all love!
Old Fashioned Mayonnaise Cake
The old-fashioned mayonnaise cake originated during the Great Depression when there was limited access to eggs and oil. Since mayonnaise is a combination of eggs, oil, and vinegar, mayo was the perfect substitute when baking. Various brands caught on and began adding this recipe right to the jar!
Using Mayonnaise in Baking
For this recipe, it’s important to use full-fat, real mayonnaise – not Miracle Whip. I prefer Duke’s mayonnaise but any brand will do.
It’s important to use full-fat versions instead of “light” or low-fat. The more fat, the more flavor and moisture in the finished product.
Bundt Cake vs. Regular Cake
If you do not have a bundt pan, you can swap it for a regular cake pan to make 1 or more layers. You could also ice each layer with homemade icing for a beautiful layer cake!
Bundt cake and regular cake molds will require different baking times. If you are converting your bundt cake recipe to a regular cake recipe, note that the pan or pans you use will determine the cooking time.
If you choose to use a regular cake pan, bake at the same temperature called for in the recipe. Check for doneness more frequently. Please note that the timing of this recipe was calculated with a bundt pan.
What can I use if I don’t have a Bundt pan?
Before baking, make sure of two things: how big the bundt pan is and its volume capacity. This recipe calls for a standard 10-inch bundt pan which holds 12 cups in volume.
If you don’t have a bundt pan, here are a few alternatives:
- 1 (9×13-inch) baking pan
- 2 (9-inch) round cake pans
- 18-24 cupcake molds
- 1 (9-inch) tube pan, or angel food cake pan
- 2 (11×17-inch) baking pans
- 1 (10-inch) springform pan
To find the best alternative to a bundt pan, know how many cups of batter the bundt cake recipe makes and how many cups the bundt pan holds.
Typically, most bundt cake recipes recommend filling the pan ⅔ of the way full, so keep this in mind when deciding which pan to use.
How to Make a Chocolate Bundt Cake
Making a cake from scratch is not nearly as difficult as it seems. But here are a few tools I recommend to make this recipe easier:
- 10-inch Bundt Pan: Use a 10-inch bundt cake pan with a 12-cup volume capacity. More on bundt pan equivalents below.
- Mixing Bowls: Make sure you have two large bowls for mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately.
- Whisk and Spatula: You don’t need an electric mixer for this recipe. The ingredients are easily whisked and then mixed together with a silicone spatula.
- Sifter: This breaks up any lumps in the flour and sugar and keeps the cake light and fluffy.
Prep the Bundt Pan
When using a bundt pan, grease and flour the inside dome to prevent the cake from sticking.
Using flour and baking spray will help the cake release from the pan, so you have a whole bundt cake without any missing pieces. To make sure the flour and fat are in every nook and cranny, use a pastry brush, your fingers, or a paper towel to smear the inside of the pan.
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately
Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately to evenly disperse the ingredients that help the cake rise and stay moist.
Start by sifting and mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl. Then, mix the wet ingredients. Finally, whisk both together into one bowl to create the cake batter.
This ensures that the ingredients are evenly distributed and that the texture of the cake will be the same throughout.
Then, pour the batter into the cake pan and bake.
How to remove a cake from a bundt pan
When you remove the cake from the oven, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
To remove the cake from the bundt pan, turn a cooling rack upside down and place it on top of the pan. Then, carefully turn the cake pan and rack upside down so the cake turns right-side up on the rack. Carefully lift the pan off of the cake.
The cake should slip right out. Give the pan a light shake if needed.
If your cake is stuck to the inside, drape a hot, damp towel over the pan. Let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. The steam and moisture will help the cake release from the pan.
Then, use a rubber spatula to gently ease the cake away from the sides of the pan if needed.
Decorating a bundt cake
Since bundt pans add a decorative design, many bundt cakes are served without any toppings. Sometimes, you may see these cakes drizzled with a glaze or sauce.
This chocolate cake is finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, which gives it a beautiful presentation! It’s easiest to fill a sifter with powdered sugar and sift the sugar over the top of the cake to get the lightly dusted look.
If you choose to frost the cake, use any icing you prefer. Homemade cream cheese icing is always a hit!
Tips for the Best Chocolate Bundt Cake
Can you freeze a chocolate bundt cake?
Bundt cakes freeze wonderfully! Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap.
I recommend double-wrapping and placing in an airtight container to ward off the freezer burn. It will last for up to one month in the freezer. Thaw on the counter for several hours.
How do you store a chocolate bundt cake?
Bundt cakes without a dairy-based frosting or topping can be kept covered at room temperature. Alternatively, store the cake under a cake dome or an airtight container.
If your cake does have a frosting that requires refrigeration, place the cake in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.
Other desserts to try
- Best Chocolate Bundt Cake Recipe (Dairy-Free!)
- Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
- Make a Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Day Cake
- Classic Rice Krispie Treats Recipe from Scratch!
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (Soft & Chewy!)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
- Homemade Icing
- Powdered Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and mayonnaise until smooth. Then, whisk in the vanilla and water.
- Add dry ingredients to the mayonnaise mixture; stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 to 12 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Lightly dust with powdered sugar or frost if desired.
To remove the cake from the bundt pan, turn a cooling rack upside down and place it on top of the pan. Then, carefully turn the cake pan and rack upside down so the cake turns right-side up on the rack. Carefully lift the pan off of the cake. The cake should slip right out. Give the pan a light shake if needed.
If your cake is stuck to the inside, drape a hot, damp towel over the pan. Let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. The steam and moisture will help the cake release from the pan. Then, use a rubber spatula to gently ease the cake away from the sides of the pan if needed.
What can I use if I don't have a Bundt pan? Please see Bundt Pan Alternatives section in the post above for recommendations.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 489mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g
The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.