Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake from The Family Recipe Box

My dad’s birthday was this past weekend, so the Picky Eater and I headed to the family farm in Missouri to celebrate. As I’ve mentioned before, this farm has been in my family on my mom’s side since 1909. My great grandparents, grandparents, and now parents have all lived there during its existence. When I imagine good home cooking, I picture that farmhouse kitchen where so many loving hands prepared delicious sustenance for hard-working farmers.

Dad loves chocolate chip cookies. Since I’ve made them for his birthday in the past, I decided to try a recipe I found for a chocolate chip cake that came from my cousin Lori, who died from cancer a few years ago. We weren’t close since we never lived in the same area and only saw each other a handful of times. Her aunt, Sue, (who is also my second cousin, or first cousin once removed, or whatever works) sent many of Lori’s recipes in a collection of family favorites she copied for me a few years ago. In some ways, I feel like I get a better picture of who Lori was through the recipes she enjoyed.

However, there was one problem with this particular recipe: I only had half. The front of the recipe card was copied, but not the back. So I had to wing it!

After reading the ingredients, I decided to make this a bundt cake and create a chocolate glaze to go on top. Walnuts were listed in the recipe, but not added to the batter. My guess is they were sprinkled on top of the cake, either before it was baked, or afterwards on melted chocolate. Since Dad likes nuts in his cookies, I put them in the batter.

The glaze will seem very sweet by itself, but it works on top of the cake. To change things up a bit, replace the boiling water with hot coffee. You won’t really taste the coffee, but it will enhance the chocolate flavor.

Everyone enjoyed the finished cake. It’s rich and dense, so small slices are best. (Serious chocoholics can always have seconds!)  


Dad, my nephew, Nick, and The Picky Eater waiting for Dad to blow out his candles. I love this photo, even though it is slightly blurred.
Dad with his cake in the farmhouse kitchen. Happy Birthday, Dad! Glad you liked the cake.
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze

For cake:
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal (not quick or instant)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For glaze:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons boiling water (or hot coffee)
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Place the oatmeal and boiling water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.

Once the oatmeal has absorbed almost all of the water, add the sugars and butter. Mix until the butter is melted and combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and hand-stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes, and then turn the cake onto a rack to cool completely.

For the glaze, place the chopped chocolate and butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Zap on high in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate and butter are just completely melted and combined. (Mine took 1 minute total.) Add the sifted powder sugar and enough boiling water to get a pourable consistency. Whisk in the vanilla.

Spoon the glaze over the top of the completely-cooled cake, allowing it to flow down the sides. Use as much or as little as you like—I didn’t use all of it. The remainder would taste great on ice cream! Allow the glaze to set for a few minutes to harden a bit. Ready to serve!  


  1. Gorgeous cake for a handsome old dude! It's always special, isn't it, when you make something special for your dad? I always make my dad a pie for his birthday. I am so impressed that you just flew by the seat of your pants on the recipe! Good work, girl! The results looks scrumptious!

  2. Lucky Dad! the cake looks and sounds delicious!
    Mary x

  3. Ooooo! This cake looks so gorgeous! Sharing recipes with family just preserves your family history! Such a wonderful thing to keep your cousins memory alive!