Chocolate mini bundt cakes

April 5, 2011 § 4 Comments

Impulsiveness is usually characterized as a negative trait, but lately I’ve been thinking that much of my careful planning, such as it was, has been irritatingly less than successful, while my spontaneity (there’s the positive spin!) has somehow been working for me.

For instance, I present this seriously decadent and rich chocolate cake that can be made at a moment’s notice from pantry ingredients. I first made a batch of these mini bundts on a whim after deciding that what I really needed at that moment was a treat, and my trusty copy of Flour came to the rescue.

That reliable cookbook is actually my second argument that spontaneity might just be the thing we need: my copy was purchased after seeing the cover and a quick flip-through. I immediately decided that this was a book filled with baked goods I want to eat. And apparently I’m not the only one who agrees, as Joanne Chang is a Boston mainstay, with two Flour-the-bakery outposts, as well as recipes published in the Boston Globe that my aunt has clipped and are now in the holiday cookie rotation.

Finally, I adore this delightful mini bundt pan that I bought just for fun after rummaging around in the cooking supplies section of the local Meijer. Bundt pans of all sizes are pretty genius because by changing the shape of the cake, the pan turns any recipe from charming cake to miniature masterpiece, perfect anytime a bit of elegance is needed.

If you opt for the mini bundt pans as I have, the pan even does all the hard work by making the cake serving-sized and portable, and thus great to take on a spring picnic. You could even serve these cakes at a child’s tea or birthday party, as the coffee and molasses (the latter of which I did reduce a tad), while adding a hint of for-the-grown-ups smokiness, is subtle enough that I don’t think it will tip off picky palates.

Not only are these cakes last-minute-friendly, as a bonus point, it’s a vegan recipe, so egg- and dairy-free and thus ideal for last-minute guests with food allergies or sensitivities. Or chocolate cravings!

Chocolate mini bundt cakes

Hardly adapted at all from Flour

Makes twelve mini bundts, or one six-inch round cake, to serve eight to twelve


  • One and a half cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (the best you can find is really worth it, though Hershey’s did in a pinch the first time)
  • One tablespoon instant coffee powder OR two teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) canola oil (plus a few extra teaspoons for greasing the pan, if applicable)
  • One cup (240 grams) water
  • One and a half tablespoons unsulfured light or dark molasses
  • Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With cooking spray, thinly coat the bundt pan. (Or, pour a few teaspoons of vegetable oil onto clean kitchen paper/paper towels and smear a thin layer over the mini bundt pan cups to grease the cups.)

2. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, baking soda, and kosher salt) in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the liquid ingredients (canola oil, water, and molasses).

4. Pour the liquid mix into the dry mix. Stir until the mixture is rich and smooth, resembling unset pudding.

5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, scoop up some batter and pour into the mini bundt pan cups. Wipe away any drips.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for thirteen to fifteen minutes, or until the mini bundt cakes are slightly pulling away from the pan edge and a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then carefully invert the pan over cooling racks and let the cakes cool.

7. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or even some fresh fruit if you’d like. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t own a mini bundt cake pan, you can pour the batter into a greased six-inch round cake pan. Bake for fifty to fifty-five minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about thirty minutes or so, then invert onto a cooling rack.

The cake can be kept, wrapped in an airtight container, for up to two days, though really it is best eaten the day it is baked. Dust the powdered sugar over top just before serving, though.


Chang, Joanne, with Christie Matheson. “Vegan Low-Fat Chocolate Cake.” Flour. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010 (183).


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§ 4 Responses to Chocolate mini bundt cakes

  • elizabeth says:

    These photos are gorgeous–I love the combining of the wet and dry ingredients!

    And thank you, thank you, thank you for the recipe recommendation for empanada dough!

    • says:


      I stumbled across that empanada dough recipe and was a bit doubtful, but it really is the vinegar that does the trick. Hope it works out for you, I found it to be pretty foolproof even in my finicky oven.

  • Abby says:

    Those look fantastic! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a mini bundt cake pan. I’m going to have to get one. I’ve also been meaning to buy Flour forever.

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