Dark Chocolate Cake With a Kahlua Glaze Recipe
Coffee and chocolate are often paired together to make irresistibly delicious desserts.
This incredible chocolate cake is dense, but moist. Made with a good baking cocoa, the cake is very dark. Once soaked in a strong coffee glaze with Kahlua or Tia Maria, the cake becomes almost black in color. An optional extra, chocolate chunks, add even more richness to the cake.
It makes a perfect birthday cake for older family members. For younger eaters who should avoid strong coffee or alcohol, use a warmed vanilla or chocolate syrup glaze instead of coffee—or you could use an orange glaze and make a delicious orange chocolate bundt cake.
For the cake:
- 200 grams (just under 2 cups) plain flour, sifted
- 120 grams (1 cup) baking cocoa powder, a good quality dark cocoa is best
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 200 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 200 grams (just under 1 cup) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence, or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 250 milliliters (1 cup) sour cream or buttermilk
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (optional)
For the glaze:
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) white sugar
- 75 milliliters (1/4 cup) water
- 75 milliliters (1/4 cup) Kahlua
- 1–3 tablespoons instant coffee
Note: I've reduced the sugar quantity, as I like my chocolate dark and not too sweet. If you want a sweeter cake, increase the sugar by half again, or add a few spoons of apple sauce.
Summary of Instructions
- Sift the first 5 (dry) ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla essence.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream, then fold in the dark chocolate pieces.
- Bake in a 12-cup prepared bundt tin at 180°C (350°F) for an hour. Remove and rest in tin for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the glaze—heat water, sugar, and instant coffee until the sugar melts. Stir in the Kahlua.
- Turn cake onto a rack, and brush or spoon over the glaze while both are warm.
Optional Contrasting Glaze Color
If you want a contrasting color for the glaze, make a white chocolate glaze. Or simply melt some white chocolate, and drizzle it over the cake when warm—it will follow the contours of the cake and make the dark chocolate cake look almost black!
- 200 grams (1 cup) white chocolate, melted
- 1–2 tablespoons of hot milk
- 1–3 tablespoons of icing sugar (powder sugar)
Elegant Serving Tips
- Fresh strawberries or raspberries, piled in the center hole of the bundt cake make the cake an elegant centerpiece of a dessert table.
- Alternatively scatter some whole roasted coffee beans around the outside of the cake on its serving platter.
- After glazing, scatter some slivered almonds or coarsely chopped hazelnuts for a nutty taste.
- For chocolate overload, pile Lindor chocolate balls in the center, or mini Easter eggs for a decadent Easter cake.
Bundt Tins: Easy and Decorative
A decorative bundt tin provides an easy sophistication. You don't need to dress it with any additional decorations, simply serve slices with a good thick cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Or you can dust it lightly with icing sugar.
The best bundt tins I've found are those by the Nordicware company—excellent quality and in a range of designs. I've been eying the rose and the swirl bundt tins for my next purchase!
The bundt tin shape is perfect for drizzling a glaze over the cake. The extra surface area lets the syrup soak into the cake, keeping it moist and tasty, with a very fine sugary coating.
Unfortunately, Nordicware tins are a bit tough to find here in Germany, so I have a few high quality tins from Dr. Oetker.
Step 1: Butter a large 12-cup (10") bundt cake tin or kugelhopf, making sure to coat every corner.
Flour the tin by using 2–3 tablespoons of flour, then rotating to coat the entire pan evenly. Make sure you knock out the excess flour, or your cake's surface will have ugly white patches.
Note: You can use a 10-cup bundt tin, but the cake will rise above the edges of the tin. If you have a high-quality bundt tin, you can use caster sugar instead of flour. This will make a crispy crust on the cake.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Step 3: In a medium size bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
Step 4: In a large bowl or a food processor, cream the unsalted butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
There shouldn't be any obvious sugar crystals, and the yellowness of the butter becomes much lighter.
Step 5: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence or vanilla paste and mix well.
Step 6: Add just under a cup of the flour mixture to the creamed butter/sugar/eggs, and then 1/4 of the sour cream or buttermilk and fold together well.
Repeat this three or four times, until all of the flour mixture and sour cream/buttermilk has been added.
Step 7: If you are using them, fold in the chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips.
Step 8: Drop large spoonfuls of the cake batter into the prepared bundt tin. Smooth the cake batter and try to make an even surface. Tip: I find bundt cakes work better if you make the outer edges slightly higher—the middle puffs up during cooking!
Step 9: Bake the cake in the center of a medium oven, 180°C (350°F) for 50 minutes to an hour. Test the middle of the cake with a skewer.
Step 10: Prepare the coffee glaze. In a small saucepan, melt the sugar, water, and instant coffee granules. When hot, stir in the Kahlua or Tia Maria.
Non-alcohol version: If you don't want to use alcohol, add a little extra water and sugar to increase the amount of the glaze.
Non-alcohol, non-coffee version: Substitute 80 milliliters orange juice for the coffee and Tia Maria or Kahlua.
Step 11: Remove the cake from the oven, and let sit in its tin for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.
Step 12: Glaze the cake. Put something under the cake rack to catch the drips, and slowly spoon or gently brush the hot glaze over the warm cake. Don't forget to glaze the inside edges of the cake too!
Step 13: Allow the cake to cook more before moving it to its serving platter.
Serve slices with a good vanilla bean ice cream, or a dollop of thick cream.
Storage tip: This cake freezes wonderfully and will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator (if you can resist eating it!)